How Sanders Should Talk About Democratic Socialism:
The next time, embrace our own American radical tradition. There’s nothing wrong with Denmark; we can learn a few things from them (and vice-versa). But most Americans don’t know or care much about Scandinavia. More importantly, your response inadvertently reinforces the idea that socialism is a foreign import. Instead, talk about our radical forebears here in the United States, for the most successful radicals have always spoken the language of American society and appealed to some of its deepest values.
You could begin with Tom Paine and other American revolutionaries who strove not simply for independence from Britain but to free the new nation from the social and economic inequalities of Europe. Embrace the tradition of abolitionists, black and white, men and women like William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, and Abby Kelley, who, against overwhelming odds, broke through the conspiracy of silence of the two major parties on the issue of slavery and helped to create a public sentiment that led to Lincoln’s election and emancipation. (And don’t forget to mention that slaves represented by far the largest concentration of wealth in the United States on the eve of the Civil War, that slaveholders were the richest Americans of their time, and that nothing could be accomplished without confronting their economic and political power.) Refer to the long struggle for women’s rights, which demanded not only the vote but also equality for women in all realms of life and in doing so challenged some of the most powerful entrenched interests in the country.
Each generation of Americans had made its own contribution to an ongoing radical tradition, and you are following in their footsteps. So next time, forget about Denmark and talk about Paine, Douglass, FDR, and Debs as forebears of a movement that can make the United States a fairer, more equal, more just society.
Bernie Backs Puerto Rico:
Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has told Treasury Secretary Jack Lew that any debt in Puerto Rico that was issued in violation of the territory’s constitution “must be immediately set aside.”
Meanwhile, key House and Senate Republicans criticized the Treasury Department’s proposals to provide help to Puerto Rico, suggesting they won’t be acting on them any time soon, if at all.
Sanders raised the debt issue with Lew in a letter sent to him on Wednesday. In the letter, he urged the administration to take four steps regarding Puerto Rico.
The first is to convene a meeting as soon as possible with Puerto Rico officials and stakeholders, including major creditors, “to work out a debt repayment plan that is fair to all sides.” Sanders added that Puerto Rico does not need more austerity, saying, “It is impossible to get blood out of a stone.”
Can Bernie's Reddit Army Get Organized?:
Bernie Sanders’s Internet fan base has swelled into a digital army, and his supporters on Reddit have been the ground troops. With nearly 130,000 subscribers as of Thursday, the main Sanders forum on the site has helped draw massive crowds to his rallies and aided his campaign in raising $26 million in the third quarter, the vast majority from small donors. But in recent weeks, the more fractious side of Bernie’s digital army has come to the forefront.
Reddit can foster close communities, but when its forums reach a certain size, they can also turn heated—and fast. The question for the Sanders movement is how to channel the best of Reddit—the friendly groups of like-minded nerds—without falling prey to its pitfalls. How do you turn the denizens of one of the most unruly corners of the Internet into a focused fighting force?
he stakes for the Sanders campaign are considerable. There’s a natural affinity between Sanders fans and Redditors: Both embrace an anti-establishment ethos, encourage grassroots participation, and skew young and male. The sheer size of Sanders's subreddit dwarfs that of any other candidate, Republican or Democrat: As of Friday, the subreddit for Rand Paul, who emerged from the tech-savvy libertarian movement, had a little over 4,700 subscribers; the Hillary Clinton subreddit just over 900. The size and reach of the Sanders subreddit has turned it into a key piece of his organizing effort. As the Wall Street Journal reported, his campaign's own website has a page featuring the total amount that Reddit and other social media users have donated on, which topped $377,000 as of Friday
Bernie Lightens Up:
In the last two weeks, Bernie Sanders has danced on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," joked about his oft-disheveled hair and lightheartedly discussed his "ample supply of underwear.”
On "Jimmy Kimmel Live!," he did a spot-on impersonation of Larry David, who has won widespread praise for his own recent impersonation of Sanders on “Saturday Night Live.”
And on Friday evening, Sanders took the stage of a rock concert with a lineup of a dozen artists in front of a crowd here of more than 2,000 supporters.
While it might seem like standard politicking, it's a softer side for the usually all-business Vermont senator. The candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination has long eschewed personality politics and has criticized the mainstream media for covering politics like entertainment, rather than focusing on issues.
Some Local Endorsements:
A pair of union locals in New Hampshire, home to the first primary of the 2016 election cycle, endorsed Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders as their candidate for president this week.
On Wednesday, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local Union 490 endorsed Sanders, with local executive Denis Beaudoin saying that members at meetings spoke overwhelmingly in favor of the endorsement due to the candidate’s progressive views on labor. According to a statement released by the Senator’s campaign, Beaudoin says the close to 500 electrical workers that make up the union “know they have a champion” with Sanders in the race.
Also earlier in the week, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 560, which represents 500 custodial, maintenance, and dining service workers mostly at Dartmouth College, endorsed Sanders. Local president Earl Sweet says, “Sen. Sanders has always stood up for workers and the middle class, here in New Hampshire and across the country, which is why we’re proud to give him our enthusiastic endorsement.”
The Sanders campaign has expanded its physical footprint in New Hampshire over the course of the past few months, opening numerous field offices in the state for a growing staff. The two endorsements should provide Sanders with further support and organizing for a Democratic Party race that remains deadlocked in local polls.
Bernies Thriving Campaign:
As he seeks the Democratic nomination for president, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has an ally in Choctaw, Okla. Bill Haivala is an 82-year-old retired electronics technician.
“I like to find people that basically support, if you call it, a progressive or socialist agenda,” Haivala told Seven Days. “Bernie Sanders is talking about how America should look like Scandinavian countries. That rings a bell with me.”
In July, Haivala found Sanders’ campaign website and made a donation: $250. That’s chickenfeed in a political contest. But democratic socialist Sanders is getting enough of it — from letter carriers, artists, accountants, librarians — to make a towering pile.
Sanders’ latest Federal Election Commission filing, released last Thursday, shows that his campaign raised $26.2 million in the three months leading up to September 30. Since he joined the race, roughly 650,000 people have donated to his campaign — and just 270 of them have given the legal limit of $2,700.
Bernie Sanders Rocks:
Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders brings some big name stars from the music world to help boost his campaign to the Quad Cities.
It's not a typical rally for a Presidential candidate, but supporters for Sen. Sanders will do what it takes to see their choice as a nominee.
"I had never gotten interested in campaigning or anything, but I jumped at the first chance to do that. I`ve never done it before. Nobody`s ever excited me like Bernie does," Sanders supporter Marilyn Kean said.
"I honestly enjoy how blunt he is about the issues and how he`s not afraid to say no, this is the problem and this is how we`re going to fix them. He`s got some great ideas to go ahead and move us forward," Sanders supporter Cynthia Safford said.
The Transformational Sanders Candidacy:
In 2004, the shrill sound of a rebel yell came from the man from Vermont. That moment was largely viewed as a political gaffe.
The man, Howard Dean, became known for the "Dean Scream," which became the death rattle for a campaign unable to recover.
Now there is another yell emanating from a man from Vermont, perhaps equal in decibel level, yet the reverberation has the potential to last much longer.
The presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders embraces an unwavering commitment to addressing the nation's growing income inequality. For Sanders, this is a moral issue that the nation should have addressed yesterday.
Sanders' presence in the race helps to mitigate the possibility that calls to address income inequality now do not fall into the abyss of empty political promises to be addressed tomorrow.
Martin Shkreli's Feelings Are Still Hurt:
After Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., rejected a presidential campaign donation from Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli last week, the drug executive struck back. Shkreli called Sanders a “demagogue” in an interview with Fox Business Friday and said the Democratic presidential candidate will “say anything to get a vote.”
“For me to be his piñata is unacceptable. I think he has a lot of great ideas,” Shkreli said. “But if he wants to talk about pharmaceuticals, he can do that with me. He’s refusing to do that because I think he’s afraid of the issues. I think I’d destroy him in any debate about pharmaceuticals.”
“I don’t think he understands pharmaceuticals at all,” Shkreli added.
After Shkreli rose to prominence and journalists scoured his social media feeds, which were full of selfies and bragging posts, he received the nickname “Pharma Bro” and was seen as a prime villain for Democratic candidates, who have talked about lowering drug prices and fighting corruption of large companies that gouge prices.
A Letter To The Editor:
A lot can be said about the last Democratic debate where issues concerning the American people were discussed civilly, without denigrating the intelligence of the voters. It was in stark contrast to the previous Republican debates involving a gaggle of name calling, irate candidates unable to rationalize their own illogical dogma.
Bernie Sanders displays a real understanding of the major issues facing the country: wealth disparity, reforming Wall Street, getting money out of politics, the cost of education, mass incarceration, climate change, a living wage, women's rights and pay equality for women, strengthening Social Security and healthcare as a citizen's right.
It seems the media is more concerned with a "polished" presentation, an expectation of what the appropriate mannerisms of a political figure should be while ignoring the substance of their actual beliefs.
The result is a disservice to the public by failing to recognize policy positions that impact all of us. Bernie Sanders, what's not to like?