Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Bickersons Do New Hampshire

 **Updated below.

Thanks to corporate media goading, the marathon reality show known as the New Hampshire Primaries threatens to devolve into a high school junk food fight.

On the Democratic side, the pressing exam question du jour is "Who's a progressive?" On the Republican side, there are no questions. There are only class clowns, and serious questions are not, and never were, in the script. 

Last night, CNN's Anderson Cooper, fresh off his depraved New Year's Eve "comedy" gig with Kathy Griffin, pressed Bernie Sanders on his loyalty to Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. Sanders fumbled badly, first denying writing the blurb with his name on it for Bill Press's critique-from-the-left of Obama. Then he fumbled again, by pleading that Obama has had some progressive moments, despite all evidence to the contrary. Then he blew it big-time by suddenly pivoting from proud socialism and insisting: "Of course I am a Democrat."

Somebody just shoot me. If Bernie keeps this up, he's going to start losing the support of the nation's youth, who are really the ones instigating the new socialist wave in this country. As I have been saying all along, the Occupy movement never did die. Bernie himself seems to be shocked to find himself riding on the crest of this tsunami. Even some hardcore socialists and Greens have backed down from their initial attacks, which accused him of "sheep-dogging" new voters into the Democratic fold. With Bernie or without Bernie, socialism is the default position of the under-30 crowd now bearing the brunt of decades of harsh Clintonian neoliberal policies.

The only thing that saved Sanders's hide at last night's town hall, in fact, was another breathtaking gaffe by Hillary Clinton. (By the way, if Bernie says "I like and respect Secretary Clinton" one more awful time, I'll throw my copy of Howard Zinn at him. He should loathe and fear her, just like any self-respecting human for whom a modicum of survival is a top priority).

But back to the gaffe. When Cooper asked her if she'd made "a bad error in judgment" in accepting $675,000 from Goldman Sachs for three private speeches, she flippantly retorted: "That's what they offered!" (A bribe by any other name should smell as sweet.)

She went on to whine that since every other secretary of state has cashed in upon leaving office, why not her? And anyway, she burbled, she didn't know she was running until she formally announced last spring... despite the Ready for Hillary PAC and the pre-endorsements from nearly every establishment elite with a public office or a checkbook, and the fact that the New York Times had already established a full-time Hillary Desk by 2013, shortly after she left the State Department in order to "explore" her future career plans.

But back to Sanders. I think he's goofed by calling her a "moderate" who has no right to the progressive moniker - which then led to the inevitable demands for him to define his terms, and differentiate progressivism from liberalism. 

He should simply and correctly call her a conservative, a right-winger, a neoliberal, or even a neocon, given her bellicosity. He should contrast the two wings of the Democratic Party and educate his younger audience on how Hill and Bill spearheaded the move to the right back in the 90s with their Democratic Leadership Council (now known as the New Democrat Coalition), aka the Third Way, aka the second wave of the Reagan Revolution. He should be noting that these centrists have long co-opted the word "progressive." The most glaring example is the Clintons' own corporate-funded Center for American Progress think tank, founded by her campaign manager and former Obama Chief of Staff, lobbyist John Podesta.

Another Clintonista-riddled centrist think tank is the Progressive Policy Institute, whose economic "studies" helped propel Bill Clinton to the presidency, pass NAFTA, and repeal Glass-Steagall.  Most recently, the PPI wrote a plutocrat-soothing report which falsely claims that inequality has not risen since the 2008 crisis.

According to SourceWatch, the  PPI has been funded by such corporations as Eli Lilly, AT&T, the Koch Brothers' Georgia-Pacific Foundation, Ameritech, Chevron, and BP. Bernie should really bring up the Clintons' hidden ties to the always-popular Kochs while he's at it. There are so many more Hillary-affiliated villains out there to pick on besides Lloyd Blankfein and Goldman Sachs.

Bernie and Hillary will be back at it tonight, in a face-to-face MSNBC debate co-moderated by Rachel Maddow and Truckle Chodd. I'll have the popcorn and the dog-eared Howard Zinn ready.

My advice to Sanders is to ignore the polls on Obama's continuing popularity and not be afraid to "distance" himself from a president who not only also took money from Wall Street, he also actively sheltered Wall Street crooks from prosecution.  You can't criticize Hillary Clinton without also criticizing Barack Obama.

Sanders should call Obama out directly for cravenly calling the Trans-Pacific Partnership one of the most "progressive" pillars of his entire tenure. He shouldn't be afraid to mention that Obama has upgraded slave-trading Malaysia's human rights status just so that rich multinationals can exploit even more people and grow even richer.  Ralph Nader can even helpfully supply Sanders with 10 reasons why there is nothing even remotely progressive about Obama's attempted corporate coup. It's not enough to simply accuse Clinton of "flip-flopping" on it after championing it 45 separate times.

There is nothing even remotely moderate about Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders should not stoop to honor her with that distinction. In Clinton World, progress is about as healthy as a metastatic cancer.If the Clintons have proven nothing else, it's that they will stop at nothing in their ruthless and immoderate quest for power.

** Update, 2/5. I have to say, it was a great debate, and although Bernie lost a few opportunities to verbally destroy Hillary, he got in plenty of jabs to render her relatively helpless. The withering look on her face as he railed against Wall Street fraud without needing to mention her by name was worth the price of admission.  I didn't have to toss my dog-eared Howard Zinn at the TV, after all.

She obviously bested him on foreign policy factoids, given her four long wasted years of frequent-flying, bloodthirsty imperialistic experience. What can I say: the guy is not that into becoming Commander in Chief of the world's largest, most bloated military ever. Maybe if Bernie is elected, the war machine will just start to wither away through lack of interest. And the world, for once, will be safe from American democracy. (OK, so I'm getting way too ahead of myself and starting to sing John Lennon in my head.)

If you missed the debate and read about it in the New York Times, you probably got the mistaken impression that it was Hillary Triumphans all the way. Jonathan Martin and Patrick Healy took her aggrieved retort about being "smeared," and made it the lede and highlight of their slanted coverage.

My published comment: 

I think I must have been watching a different debate from the one described here by Martin and Healy. The "bitterness and rancor" angle is highly overblown. Long before candidates entered the second half of the debate, the tone became almost too civil on both sides. I think they both realized they were being set up for a semantic food fight. And thanks to the subsequent relative dearth of "gotchas" by the moderators, I was able to learn a lot more about their positions. They actually spoke in complete, uninterrupted paragraphs. What a refreshing change from the boilerplate soundbites we've come to expect from the GOP's fascist clowns.

  If you happened to miss the debate and were relying solely upon this article for a recap, you were sadly misled. Clinton did not launch a harshest of all harsh attacks on Sanders. If anything, she disingenuously overreacted to his correct observation that Wall Street has an outsize influence on politicians and his call to do away with the legalized bribery of Citizens United.

Yet the opening paragraph of this piece would have you believe that Clinton destroyed Sanders in one fell swoop. Huh?

This is the Times doing what it does best: diminishing/attacking Bernie Sanders through the same insinuation and innuendo that Clinton ascribed to her opponent. It's a terminal case of journalistic OCD, and apparently highly resistant to the usual therapy of fairness and accuracy.

For a clear picture, simply watch the debate or read the transcript.



annenigma said...

That Obama popularity is a bunch of hooey. It's Democratic Party propaganda to keep the sheep in line.

So where were Obama's popularity coattails during those two Congressional elections where Democrats shrank nearly into oblivion? They blamed us for not turning out to vote instead of admitting it was Obama the turncoat with his corporate giveaways.

Democrats just won't admit that Obama is a Black Star - no light escapes to reflect on others. Hillary is a Shape Shifter paid in advance by Wall Street to shift into whatever corporate brand is popular on the shelf that day.

I'm getting sick and tired of being taken for an idiot and a fool by Democrats. They're now saying we're against Hillary only because after years of Republican bashing, we've been brainwashed. They're also saying that New Hampshire, my home state, is going for Bernie only because it's the state next door to Vermont. The reality is that politics is the state sport in NH.

When Bernie takes off the gloves fully, I'll believe he's in it to win it. Frankly, if he can't fight Hillary head on, he's not worthy of leading a political revolution. I can see the Clinton plan - attack and pull dirty tricks to escalate the pressure on Bernie to decide it's not worth incurring the wrath of the Clinton Machine. Can you even imagine the fear of loss of power they face if Bernie brings in new faces and new blood - exactly what is needed - on his political coattails? It would be like the Republicans facing the Tea Party.

With the Political Revolution under way, Democrats realize they are dinosaurs facing extinction so they're sticking with Hillary all the way. They'll do what they have to to forestall the doom they see on the horizon. It's clear they don't WANT Bernie or his agenda. I bet the whole team is going into a full court press.

So it would horrify me but not surprise me if Bernie decides to keep the gloves on and Hillary wins and he ends up as her VP. She can scoop up many of his troops for votes and he can be Cheerleader-in-Chief for the 'political revolution'.

Ok, call me a cynic, but Bernie does have a history of convenient political arrangements to accomplish his goals. However it turns out though, the tide has turned in this country on both sides of the political aisle and in-between. We can still hope for a tsunami.

That said, I'm going to drop Bernie's campaign a note today to tell him that I'll not contribute one more cent until I see him actually taking the gloves off and obviously fighting to win. That would also impress all voters. I'll keep rooting for him, but that's as far as it goes for me.

annenigma said...

No matter how it turns out, Bernie deserves credit for galvanizing this Political Revolution and giving it a huge lift off. It has momentum of it's own now that cannot and will not be stopped.

Jay–Ottawa said...

With a brief introduction, I've zinged Karen's essay in its entirety into the camp of Bernie Sanders. Let's hope one of the flack catchers bucks it up the line so what we thought was Bernie can get back to acting like Bernie.

Bill Sprague said...

I get these emails constantly from Bernie's campaign. I gave them a bunch of bucks once and they keep wanting more. I understand that campaigns (all of them) run on money, but once is once and I'm not a PAC or a Koch brother. It's time for more than just 2 parties in amerika: the revolution will not be stopped.

annenigma said...

Thanks, Jay!

Btw, I sent Bernie one modest donation by snail mail after Obama endorsed Hillary. I did it that way because if you donate online with a credit card, they get your phone number and email address. I enjoy my privacy and loathe being hounded for donations, so that's how I play it.

Karen Garcia said...

Re donations: I have sent Bernie a couple, most recently to help his team get out the caucus vote in Iowa. Bill, you are right, I too am beginning to find the constant money bombs tedious. Once you give once, they figure that you are an open spigot. And before you know it,every congress-critter from thousands of miles around is emailing you for dough. I had sworn, after being snookered and giving $ to Obama in '08, that I would never, ever donate to another politician. Then I made exceptions for Zephyr Teachout (who primaried neolib Andrew Cuomo here in NY) and recently for Bernie. For now, I am done.

I am also on Hillary's email list, only because I find her various appeals so humorous and Sardonicky-worthy. Especially the ones from Chelsea. She only asks for $1, because they need to brag about the number of donors, not the amounts, and they especially need to pump up donations from The Sistah-hood.

Oh, and I we can't forget Obama, still dialing for dollars via Organizing for Action. I love it when he asks for money to help him pimp out the TPP.

I am also on the email list for his Foundation. I haven't heard from his Shrine Project for the Ages for quite awhile, though. Maybe because he doesn't want to be associated too closely to Rahm of Chicago, who literally stole public park land as the site for Barack's "library."

Jay–Ottawa said...

Whoa! Good to know Bernie's money handlers act the same as everyone else's money handlers.

Wife and I had shamed ourselves into a corner where guilt demanded that we send Bernie a cheque, oh yes, via snail mail. After all, we told ourselves, we had stupidly sent Obama a couple of checks in '08, so how could we not support the real thing in '16, Bernie Sanders.

Like everybody else around here, I'm beginning to wonder all over again whether Bernie is sheepdogging for the DNC. Like Anne, we'll release said cheques after Bernie takes off the gloves, stops punching the air, and draws blood until the proverbial towel gets tossed in from the other corner.

Ste-vo said...

Jay @ Ottawa - I too zinged it to I have two donations so far, but it is wearing thin.

Pearl said...


"You can't criticize Hillary Clinton without also criticizing Barack Obama."

Is it possible that by accusing Hillary of many shady operations, he is also accusing Obama without saying so? and is this not a clever way of criticizing a current president of malfeasance as well as a Hellish support of the likes of Hillary without saying so. Anyone hoping to get votes for the presidency cannot anger the Obama lovers too much when you might need them to give you their votes should you be nominated and attacked by the Republicans.
I am sure Obama gets Bernie's message about Hillary and is worried about the repercussions should she become shriller and put him in a bind. Too many attacks on Obama as well as Hillary could backfire and remove the delicate focus on both of them which is obvious without blaming Bernie for being a nasty enemy of the sitting president and the office he represents. I am sure other real progressives will see the purpose involved.
At any rate, just a thought. I think Bernie is too clever and experienced to not know how to get his message across without leaving any blood or footprints behind.
And stating that he is a proud Democrat is true since his version of being a democrat is a far different one from many in the party and hopes to bring back the days of FDR when people were justly proud of their party.

Hope my thoughts make sense especially in a long drawn out battle.
It is obvious from the strong comments of readers to the NYTImes article today that they are on to all the nuances and doublespeak of Hillary and her mentor and hero Obama if I read it correctly. It will be interesting how things resolve themselves in the long run and I think and hope Bernie is too clever to become a sellout. Time will tell.

annenigma said...

Yay! We won!

Chelsea referred to 'President Sanders' today!

annenigma said...

Don't forget to hum 'Hail to the Chief' when you see Bernie. It's working!

annenigma said...

I thought Hillary won the debate battle but lost the election war. Bernie did fine, but due to the moderators making it The Hillary Show, he sometimes looked like a prop on stage while they allowed her to stage her outrage act without interruption and otherwise favored her timewise. Yet Bernie looked steady, gentlemanly, and mature, even Presidential.

Here's my comment to the NYT which may appear around #1000 or higher if the usual 6-8 hour lag time occurs:

"Judge me by my record." "Check my record"

Can we really? It depends on what the meaning of 'record' is.

Mrs. Clinton has been asked on several occasions to provide the RECORD of her $5000/minute speeches to Wall St. firms. She normally laughs off the request but last night she opted for the lawyer's form of the middle finger, saying "I'll look into that." How can we judge her relationship with Wall St. when she keeps her record$ secret?

We also couldn't check her public RECORD as SoS through FOIA requests because she subverted that public interest law by hiding them on her personal server until she was finally busted by a FOIA lawsuit. She also co-mingled State Dept, Clinton Foundation, and personal emails to boost her claim of privacy and ownership, allowing her to decide which ones to submit to scrutiny and which to deep $ix.

As if that isn't enough to show a pattern, recall that her subpoenaed billing RECORDS for the Rose Law Firm, related to a failed $avings and Loan case she was involved in, also went missing. Copies, not originals, of them mysteriously reappeared years later in the White House.

Tip of the iceberg. Banks + Secrecy + Missing Records = Hillary Clinton.

"Judge me by my record" - We are.

Meredith NYC said...

your comment to Krugman's column on Obamacare today was there earlier---where is it now??? Can’t find it and I replied to it. Not all of my comments were posted either. Did you get an email on it? Was it removed or something?
The one where you said read the transcript, I believe.

Pearl said...

I caught a bit of last night's debate (via the Guardian as NBC doesn't come in here) watching Bernie argue forcefully (I was worried that he would have a stroke) and according to all the reports his mission was accomplished in further exposing her dishonesty. I was not happy with his support for Obama but I will forgive him anything if he destroys Hillary.

I think the urgency of his mission is becoming very clear because with Hillary as president the country is doomed. The only possibility if she squeaks through is a groundswell of citizens watching and fighting her every move. But I hope Bernie does not have to lose his health because of this witch in the process. Great comment annenigma with so many others feeling the same way.

I have faith that the numbers of young people supporting him will swell if they see they are going to have to be the saviors for the country and the rest of us. The next months are going to be very stressful especially for bona fide progressives and other knowledgeably angry people. MY blood pressure goes up every time I see Hillary open her lying mouth. She debases womanhood and especially similar female leaders (Margaret thatcher, Golda Meir,etc.)the latter who said after leaving office, "We have become a nation of killers".

Karen Garcia said...


The only comment I posted on the Times was the one I reprinted above, re the homepage "news" article on the debate.

Gave the Prigman a quick glance. At least he abandoned the Bernie Bro pejorative for his latest column... unless it was edited out by a higher-up.

I propose a new game: take a drink every time Hillary invokes Paul Krugman in a speech or debate in order to justify her own corrupt candidacy. I wonder if he realizes how badly his professional reputation has been damaged by his crass politicking. He even uses Clinton's legalese to describe "relitigating" Obamacare, as though it were a Supreme Court case instead of a piece of legislation. He's defending the ACA as though it were Roe v Wade or Brown v Bd of Ed. The guy may be a brilliant economist, but he is a real dud as a political thinker. He seems to actually relish rubbing the noses of his loyal readership into some really foul crap. I nominate him for the Rahm Emmanuel Prize for best performance of the year in hippie-punching.

Meanwhile, I wish his colleagues would just stop it with the "I respect and like Paul Krugman, but..." excuses.

Pearl said...

Hillary Clinton Losing Her National Lead Over Bernie Sanders, Poll Shows - ABC News - via @ABC

Anonymous said...

I was surprised (and relieved!) to read that Karen Garcia's characteristically spot-on analysis of last night's debate didn't involve Henry Kissinger. That was left to Alex Pareene at Gawker, who I think really nailed it.

"At last night’s Democratic debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton invoked an unexpected figure: Henry Kissinger. “I was very flattered when Henry Kissinger said I ran the State Department better than anybody had run it in a long time,” she said, in an off-hand aside. It wasn’t an endorsement of Kissinger, or really much of anything. It was just a little brag that would have played well in a different room.

"The sort of room it would have played well in, really, is the sort of room in which the worst people in the country congregate. The fact that Clinton lapsed into speaking as if she were in that room is more or less why she’s having trouble, once again, convincing the Democratic electorate to nominate her for the presidency.

"Henry Kissinger, for the record, is a bad man, who waged a terrible and illegal war in Cambodia, supported a horrific right-wing strongman in Chile, and generally ran America’s foreign policy apparatus in the most amoral way possible, as a point of pride. However, in the bubble of elite American society, the bipartisan consensus, shared by politicians and members of the media alike, is that he’s simply a respected elder statesman.

"The point I’m making here is not, [Glenn Greenwald voice] HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTS A WAR CRIMINAL. (Trust me, I know Kissinger isn’t moving many votes in New Hampshire.) It’s that Hillary Clinton exists in a world where “Henry Kissinger is a war criminal” is a silly opinion held by unserious people. Her problem? Lots of those silly and unserious people want to wrest control of the Democratic Party away from its current leadership, which is exemplified by people like Hillary Clinton.

"Bernie Sanders’ critique of Clinton is not that she’s cartoonishly corrupt in the Tammany Hall style, capable of being fully bought with a couple well-compensated speeches, but that she’s a creature of a fundamentally corrupt system, who comfortably operates within that system and accepts it as legitimate. Clinton has had trouble countering that critique because, well, it’s true. It’s not that she’s been bought, it’s that she bought in."

Meredith NYC said...

Excuse please! I just saw that it was your comment to the debate article I as looking for, thinking I'd seen it in the Krug col. It was published as was my reply.

But we are seeing a new surge of reader criticism of Krugman. That is definitely worth reading,even if his columns are a predictable waste of time. In fact I find his reader critics interesting--they come up with good arguments based on facts. So his lousy columns are increasing fact based responses. Just makes him look worse.

He is damaging his political reputation, but he keeps digging in deeper to justify himself. I think it's an embarrassment for the Times. I'm also sick of his sophomoric, smart aleck wisecracking. The op ed page of our most important paper lacks a progressive columnist in the 2016 campaign, when the issues of inequality and big money dominance are so starkly out there.

Then if they get a real progressive, it might just show up the other columnists negatively. David Brooks is just a travesty.

I see Charles Blow also wary of defending Sanders. Nobody wants to stand out from the prevailing conformity. He's showing his true self? Stay with the powerful?

This is the main point--US media is so proud of our 1st amendments, but their conformity prevents them from taking views contrary to the powers that be. So the protection from outright govt censorship that the framers aimed for is only half the battle.

Just like universal voting rights are only half the battle, if the nominees we get to pick from are chosen by the big money.

Pearl said...

Anonymous (?) who are you?

Thank you for your excellent comment. I had seen that statement regarding her friend Kissinger and forgot about it but found it more revealing than anything she has said so far. As president, she would undoubtedly seek his advice if he were still around.

The fact that she did not realize the implication of what she was saying boggles the mind.

The only thing keeping us real progressives going is the report above from ABC about her losing her general numbers. Does that mean it covers all the states together now and if so that is very important news. I wonder how many caught that Kissinger comment and shuddered.

Meredith NYC said...

The best ever from Borowitz.

Sanders Admits Receiving Free Checking from Big Banks
By Andy Borowitz

MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE (The Borowitz Report)—Scandal rocked Bernie Sanders’s Presidential campaign on Friday as the candidate was forced to admit that he received free checking from several big banks.

In a press conference in Manchester, New Hampshire, a chastened Sanders acknowledged that, over the past two decades, he received free checking from Bank of America, Citibank, and JPMorgan Chase in exchange for maintaining a five-hundred-dollar minimum balance.

“I should have acknowledged my relationship with these banks earlier,” a subdued Sanders told reporters. “For that, I am sorry.”

The Clinton campaign immediately seized on the revelation, with one senior Clinton aide alleging that Sanders’s cozy relationship with the banks “effectively strips him of the label ‘progressive.’ ”

“Quite frankly, I don’t know of too many progressives who make five-hundred-dollar payoffs to the big banks,” the aide said. “This doesn’t pass the smell test.”

The news of Sanders’s ties to the banking industry comes just days after damaging reports that he leveraged his relationship with the American Automobile Association to obtain a discount on renting a Nissan Sentra.

annenigma said...


Funny you should mention stroke. It never crossed my mind that Bernie would have one, but I did have a feeling watching Hillary's attack on Bernie that she would stroke, live on camera. I kept looking for the first signs and wondering if it would happen. I'm glad it didn't. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

Bernie has passionate intensity at times, but Hillary has a simmering anger that threatens to erupt, and which she has a hard time controlling, whenever her addiction to power is threatened. She's quite a driven person.

I'm not sure Hillary knows how to relax, except for having a drink (alert - in-artful smear!), but you just know Bernie can relax naturally and does.

Meredith NYC said...

@anonymous...thanks for quotes. Didn't know she cited Kissinger. Bad judgment proving HC is in her own bubble. She doesn't grasp where the country is and what we need, so just gives generalized promises. Then this is called 'pragmatism'. While Bernie is specific and realistic, with ideas based on past evidence of success, and this is called revolutionary and idealistic.

The Supreme Court thinks Citizens United is not about actual buying of politicians for favors. Not quid pro quo. so the corrupt system is disguised and justified with money as free speech. And Glenn Greenwald, I believe supports Citizens United. Watch out.

annenigma said...

While I was having my blood drawn yesterday, the skilled young woman carefully trying to get into my elusive veins remarked that she'd like a 'real career' but can't afford college and doesn't know what to do with her future. She spoke about a co-worker there who was ~$30K in debt just for a 2-year Medical Assistant certificate! She wisely didn't want to go down that path. I was sickened. It's financial genocide of an entire generation and the banksters and CEOs are now richer than God. Oh ya, you'd better believe I'm on a new mission now!

I informed her that back in the good old days, before the greedy generation of Boomers helped close the door to the very advantages they themselves enjoyed, some public universities were free (CA and NY) and others were very low. These kids don't even know that. You should see their faces (I mentioned it once last summer to one) when they hear that what is considered an outrageous idea now was once normal, not 'socialist' or 'communist'.

I explained that corporations lobbied to redirect that tax money that was used for public support of education to themselves in various forms, including their own tax-deductible 'Research and Development' expenses instead of for our young people's educational development.

She got it! She kept repeating 'greed...greed...greed' as it sunk in. I of course had to punctuate that by saying 'It's called Capitalism.'

So I'd like to announce here today the launching of the recruitment branch of the Political Revolution. The goal is to begin replacing the political ruling class in Congress who cling to power and money and refuse to retire or give up their seats to make space for a new generation. That would include nearly all of the incumbents. Take Nancy Pelosi, please! With so many kids unemployed or underemployed, it's worth encouraging them to enter politics as a new career, and now they have Bernie as a model that speaking the Truth can be powerful.

I'm naming this recruitment program in honor of Hillary Clinton's server. It's called, drum roll please....

'WIPE IT CLEAN' - For a New Generation of Public Servers*

Please join me in encouraging our youth to find a new path in life as a 'public server', NOT a servant for the ruling class. Don't forget to tell them about the free public university systems of the past and watch their reaction.

*My name is President Sanders and I approve this message*

Pearl said...

Going back to a long time ago I got a degree at the U. of Wisconsin around l950 and was able to pay the tuition by working summers in summer resorts. I paid the lower state tuition having good grades and it was a very low amount and I had NO DEBT when graduating. Your information, annenigma is very important and Bernie should be told to mention those low tuitions of the past. Send him a note; the volunteer assistants always send me a comment when I send information on to Bernie.

Also my boyfriend at the time to become my husband got his ph.d degree under the GI bill which should have been kept in place for current veterans.

Pearl said...

I just sent a note to Bernie about the past acceptable tuition rates after WW 11 as this is an important point for him to mention when talking about eliminating tuition for public universities. Many younger people may not know about this past bit of history.

annenigma said...

Every time I hear Bernie talking about free public college tuition, I keep wondering why he doesn't remind everyone that we used to have that. It needs to keep repeating it until all the young people all hear it.

I graduated from the University of New Hampshire twice, once in 1974 and again in 1988. NH, the Live Free (of sales and state income taxes) or Die state has been pathetic about supporting public higher education. Tuition has always been among the highest for a state institution. I was only able to attend and graduate by commuting, taking out loans, and participating in the Work-Study program in addition to usually 1-2 part-time jobs off-campus. I was lucky to live fairly close by to make that happen.

My family was not in a position to help financially, and I was almost unable to attend at all because my father, a staunch conservative Republican, refused to submit the family income for the financial aid form. He claimed they had no right to know but it was probably a matter of pride. He was crippled by polio as an adult with young family and it took years to get back on his feet, literally, figuratively, and especially financially. Poverty is familiar to me. Naturally I was devastated and cried and my mother must have intervened because the form got sent in and I received some assistance.

I can't recall exactly, but I think I owed ~$3000 for my first degree and ~$6000 for my second. I had to request a deferment early during the first payment period, paying just interest, when the employment market was down. I do recall that the second time I financed my student loans, I was surprised to learn that the banks were competing for my business with the help of the university which gave me a list of banks - as if they were in partnership, which of course they were. I was advised to choose carefully, but none of the rates were very low.

That was the effect of the Reagan Revolution and the 'free market' solution to everything. It's now high time for another Revolution.

It's essential that we make this issue personal so the kids can relate and vote. We must work to SHAME the adults who are denying the kids the same chances we had. So let's hear it - 'IT'S JUST NOT FAIR!'*

*I'm President Bernie Sanders and I approve this message*

Valerie said...

Great comments all around - and a really great post, Karen. I haven't been able to get the debate on you-tube - it keeps cutting out on me after the first segment - but I will persevere. My heart sank at the beginning of this post when you wrote about Bernie's faux pax and faltering but I brightened to know he was forceful at the debate. He seems to do well in that venue.

My question: How many times has Hillary said she respects Bernie Sanders? Surely Bernie has advisers. Why is he constantly mentioning how much he respects Hillary and Obama when he clearly can't possibly? You cannot separate the policies from the policy makers. I suppose that in order to run as a Democrat, Bernie had to accept some limitations on how much he could attack Hillary, Bill and Obama. But I agree, he is going to alienate his base if he is too soft on Hillary. I still think he made the right decision to run as a Democrat. Otherwise, they would never have allowed him to debate and this is where he is picking up support and getting his message out. I wonder how different the election would have been between Bush Jr and Gore had Ralph been able to participate in both the Democratic primary debate and the presidential debates. Even as early as then, the cracks were already showing and the duopoly was starting to emerge.

Agreed that just like Bernie keeps saying other first world countries have universal health care and run it cheaper than the U.S., he should harken back to the days when tuition was free or at least really cheap in the U.S. Even those of us who had student loans got them at 3 or 4 percent for the life of the loan (which was usually ten years.) I have a friend who pursued a PhD and owes around 100,000 dollars in student loan debt. A big part of the problem is that some of the debt isn't government loan debt but actual bank debt. The system as it stands is horrible.

Well done, Annenigma, on recruiting young people to the cause.


Meredith NYC said...

I agree. Our own past could be a role model. Bernie Sanders should use our own history as evidence of what works to create a secure middle class. What could be a more effective campaign strategy? He's the real conservative,in the good sense, aiming to restore traditional policies, hardly a revolutionary.

Describe how low cost or free state college tuition was accepted centrist policy. Millions were the 1st in their family to get degrees. They had more secure lives, with greater income and paid greater taxes. Win Win.

He should point to marginal tax rates up to 91% during Gop Ike's time and after. Yet business thrived. Plus union strength,apprenticeships, rising salaries, regulations on banks and big fed govt projects like the natl highway system.
He could bring out multiple generations of the same family to illustrate the past vs present in jobs, income security etc.

Decades ago, even if no ACA, health care costs hadn't been allowed to soar, creating bankruptcies from illness.

And he could point to other countries now in person to person concrete terms using citizens in various walks of life, and compare to whatinsecure Americans lack.

And Bernie could point to the senate hearings he held on health care systems around the world, with witness from Canada, France, Denmark, Taiwan. Hardly covered in media and containing fact based role models he could use now to bring the US into the late 20th century in health care access and lower cost.

Why doesn't he do this? Just a passing general sentence on some of this now and then doesn't do the job. It's not enough to just say we have the highest h/c costs and leave out millions. That's an abstract generality,and doesn't make much impression on the average US voter.