Potentially Fatal Mistakes and the Necessary Correctives

    A year ago political insiders expected Hillary Clinton to waltz to the Democratic nomination.  Last July, Five Thirty Eight's Nate Silver opined Clinton might well win every primary except the first two.  Things didn't turn out quite that way.

    Clinton had to weather a surprisingly strong primary challenge from a self-described democratic socialist.  Weather it she did thanks to overwhelming support from both "strong" and "weak" Democrats.  Anxious moments came courtesy of "independent Democrats," among whom Bernie Sanders has a 10 point edge, and independents who prefer Sanders by a 5 to 1 margin.  Young voters, those least likely to register with either major party, have mostly abandoned Clinton.  The under-30 cohort favors Sanders by more than 3 to 1.

    Nevertheless, after sweeping the south and with big wins in the rust belt and New York, among other states, Clinton has all but sewn up the Democratic nomination.  Now she must decide how best to pivot towards her likely Republican opponent Donald Trump.  Should she reach out to centrists by embracing her "moderate and center" inner self or would it make more sense to offer an olive branch to progressives by dialing back on hawkish rhetoric and promising to support a populist agenda?

    Very recent history as well as articles in the New York Times and the Hill suggest Clinton has little patience for the left and has already moved forcibly back to the middle - assuming she ever left it in the first place.  If this is indeed her strategy, she is risking Democratic control of the White House.

    By late March, after big wins in Ohio and Illinois, Clinton's ultimate triumph this summer in Philadelphia seemed extremely likely but not quite certain.  Throwing aside any concerns, however, that she might alienate pro-peace independents, Clinton delivered a bellicose speech at AIPAC on March 22 fulsomely detailing Israeli deaths at the hands of Palestinians with nary a comment on the various ways Israel oppresses the nearly two million  Palestinian Gazans every day.  She mentioned the ongoing settlement program on Jordan's West Bank once in passing.  In the end, Clinton called on the United States to take our relationship with Israel "to the next level."

    Clinton's AIPAC speech suggests she is unafraid of alienating peace-loving millennials whose support for Israel is "far less fervent" than that of previous generations.  Still, her campaign has not abandoned all hope of winning over young voters.  Clinton's "secret weapon" is New Jersey's heroic Senator Cory Booker just 47 years old.

    His millennial cred is impeccable.  He's a techie with 1.6 million twitter followers and and an iPhone playlist heavily weighted to Prince?? and Selena Gomez!!  There's just one problem.  The guy's on the side of the big banks and Silicon Valley as much as (if not more than) he is on the side of the little guy and gal.

    Salon's Alex Pareene wrote an aggressive takedown back in 2013 urging Garden Staters to vote against this "avatar of the wealthy elite."   To be fair, Pareene's piece is probably somewhat unfair and just this month Booker championed a new fiduciary rule requiring financial advisors to put their clients' interests first when recommending retirement plans.

    Nevertheless, Booker seared into voters' minds the suspicion that his first allegiance is to big banks and corporate America in 2012 when speaking as an Obama surrogate.  On Meet the Press, the President's surrogate defended the actions of firms like Mitt Romney's Bain Capital and called attacks on private equity "nauseating".

    Booker's support for the financial industry may be explained by the fact that his major funders include Goldman Sachs, Prudential Financial, and Time Warner.  The biggest contributor to his campaigns though is NorPAC which describes its primary purpose as supporting Senators and Representatives "who demonstrate a genuine commitment to the strength, security, and survival of Israel."

    Clinton is relying on Booker to appeal to millennials on the most superficial grounds - his twitter feed and music preferences.  At the same time, she is hoping they will ignore or overlook his close relationship to the corporatists who eviscerated our economy and the lobbyists funneling billions of dollars to the Israeli Defense Force.  In so doing, she is showing contempt for the millions of twenty-somethings confronting a bleak future due to Wall Street's greed and recklessness and hoping for peace in the Middle East.

    If she hopes to win over millennials, Clinton did herself no favors with her speech to AIPAC.  Likewise, Cory Booker is more likely to flop than fly when courting the youth vote.  But neither necessarily reflects an overarching failure to read the electorate's mood.

    The AIPAC speech came in advance of the New York primary where the Jewish vote is very important and Jews there are more conservative - though still overwhelmingly Democratic - than in the rest of the country.  Clinton won the closed contest very handily putting to rest any lingering doubts that she would be the Democratic nominee.  Cory Booker may not be the millennial magnet Clinton is hoping for.   But she needs to get every possible African-American vote in the general election as much as, if not more than, she wants millennials.  Even if Booker can't attract the latter, he should help with the former.

    Against a widely despised Donald Trump, Clinton should be able to survive AIPAC and especially Booker with little or no trouble.  Her campaign's perhaps fatal mistake is believing it needs to disavow Sanders-style populism to attract independents.  Clinton supporter Emanuel Cleaver told the Hill Clinton can't move left to appease Sanders supporters since the conversation has already gone “farther . . . than most moderate Democrats would like to see."  He added, “[s]ome would say it even endangers a victory in November because the further you go to the left or right, the further you frustrate independents.”

    The Hill also reports:

    Another ally bluntly said it will not be possible for Clinton to compromise with Sanders on some policy demands. “We can’t do it,” the ally said. “But there’s going to be a place for him to weigh in on the campaign and at the convention and he should have the satisfaction that he raised some issues that have been a part of the conversation.”

    These comments reflect a dangerous misunderstanding of independent voters.  Conventional wisdom has it that independents or non-affiliated voters are centrists who view both major parties as too extreme.  When Clinton fessed up last summer to being "kind of moderate and center", she was doubtless thinking of her husband's success in reaching these voters through triangulation and by cherry-picking issues.

    But many of today's independent voters don't view themselves as torn between two extreme parties.  They view themselves as apart from or to the left or right of both parties which they perceive as tools of big government and business elites.  Sanders independents are slightly more liberal than Democrats but much more suspicious that the party sold its soul  to corporate backers, the military, and other establishment types.

    Donald Trump's voters span the conservative spectrum.  But given his rhetoric at campaign rallies and the responses of attendees, what appears to unite his supporters is a belief that government has betrayed them by failing to deport immigrants and through free trade deals.  He also frequently says the government needs to ensure broader health care coverage and to spend more on infrastructure.

    Under these circumstances, the last thing Clinton should do is hew to a cautious centrist approach.  Such a course will alienate potential young voters who feel little or no allegiance to the Democratic party.  It will also do nothing to stanch the flow of more conservative independents to Trump since his populist rhetoric is in tune with their belief that both parties are conspiring against them.

    Clinton would be much better served emphasizing her support for broad-based social programs and to call for a massive jobs bill.  She could avoid being labeled a Sanders copy cat by emphasizing her preference for building on Obamacare with a focus on specific easily understood improvements that will lead to more widespread and cheaper coverage.  For example, she could argue in favor of a public option and allowing the government to negotiate directly with drug companies.

    When it comes to employment, Clinton needs to outline how government can best help create millions of good middle-class jobs.  Again, she must eschew nuance and speak plainly and emphatically.  She has said she opposes the TPP because it won't protect American workers.  That's a good start but not enough.  She must also convince us she doesn't believe in a "level playing field" if that means American workers must compete against foreign laborers paid $1/hour or less.

    Clinton is rightly calling for more infrastructure spending.  She needs to tell us how many jobs her plan will create and how it will maximize employment and worker's pay.

    Finally and perhaps most importantly, Clinton needs to embrace a true progressive as a running mate.  Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown, along with Bernie Sanders, stand out as the two most pro-worker Senators.  The problem with both Warren and Brown is their respective states have a Republican governor.  Losing a Democrat from the upper house is a very high price to pay to solidify the progressive base.

    There are other options.  For a number of reasons, Bernie Sanders would not be an ideal choice.  Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin offers help in an important swing state and she has serious pro-worker credentials voicing early opposition to the TPP and in support of authorizing unions by card-check rather than secret ballot.  Like Warren and Brown though, her governor is a Republican.  Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley fits the progressive bill nicely but doesn't help in a swing state.

    In the end, Pennsylvania Senator Robert Casey might be the best choice to run as Clinton's running mate.  The Keystone State has a Democratic governor and although it is probably safely blue Casey would definitely offer help in neighboring Ohio.  He voted against Trade Promotion Authority and in favor of card check.  He is a strong pro-social security voice as well as a reasonably strong proponent of green energy.

    Bottom-line: Casey is  progressive on economic issues but more conservative socially and therefore complements Clinton well.  His pro-life stance is decidedly problematic - and for many (but not necessarily millennials) would be a deal-breaker.  But since the biggest threats to national well-being are economic injustice and ecological collapse, he may be the best choice at the current time.


    If it hadn't  happened previously ,  the millennial women will be switched  to Hillary by Trump's sexism  as soon as the first  debate. They don't have to love Hillary in order to hate Trump.

    Infrastructure spending is  ,fortunately, a two edged sword. It's self evident that this federally financed massive effort will produce  domestic  blue collar jobs. You can't fix a St. Paul bridge in Bangalore. The other shoe to drop will be the  subsequent badly needed  increase in  tax progressivity.

    There's no sense ,Senator, in fixing a bridge half way  over the Mississippi.

    If we can't raise tariffs to keep imports out we at least can raise bridges to keep Americans at work. And (unstated but obvious) ones with social security cards.

    I'm optimistic.   

    Instead of obsessing on 'Clinton' 27 times in this piece, and bashing her in scores of posts for over a year, you, Hal, might devote one, likely short post on how a single one of Sanders talking point 'big revolution' policies could ever be passed in the 'real world' of a Republican controlled House.

    rmrd has told you a gazillion times Sanders game is rhetoric only, pie in the sky stuff, and you have NEVER explained to us how that is not, in fact, the absolute truth.

    Oh my Oh my Oh my . . .

    Instead of obsessing on 'Clinton' 27 times in this piece, and bashing her in scores of posts for over a year ...

    Maybe we should give Dave a call.





    Sanders always says the revolution can only come when Congress is in progressive hands.  I agree and have written at this site he should do more to help elect progressives.  None of that is a legitimate argument against his candidacy.   The pertinent question is who will be the best President for all Americans.  The fact that Congress is currently in Republican hands doesn't militate in favor of a Republican-lite President.

    In any case, the original post isn't an argument for Sanders, it's a discussion about what Clinton can and should do going forward to unite Democrats and progressives and how she can maximize her chances of winning in November

    I am struck by your specificity as you list the tasks for Hillary Clinton, even down to how many jobs her infrastructure plans will produce.  Does it bother you that Bernie Sander's has not given any specifics at all about one of the main pillars of his campaign:  Breaking up the big banks?  In fact, when asked about it he seemed not to have even thought about how he might do it, or what the consequences would be.  

    Does that bother You?  If not, why not?

    Clinton has a very different problem in the general election than Sanders had in the primaries.  She is facing an opponent who is talking overtly about the loss of jobs due to "free" trade deals - many of which her husband or President Obama signed and she supported or negotiated.  If she wants to maximize her chances of prevailing in November, she needs to convince a justifiably skeptical electorate that she is serious about bringing good middle-class jobs back to America and has a viable plan to do so.

    When running for president in 2007 and 2008, [Clinton] spoke strongly against potential agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. Her positions on Colombia and South Korea changed, however, when she became secretary of state under President Obama, who ironically ran to Clinton's left in 2008 on trade.

    In 2007, for example, Clinton called the South Korea deal "inherently unfair." Yet, four years later in Seoul, South Korea, as secretary of state, she said getting a South Korea deal done was a "priority for me, for President Obama and for the entire administration. We are determined to get it done, and I believe we will."

    In April 2008, before the Pennsylvania primary, where she was trying to woo white working-class men, she said of a Colombia deal that she "will do everything I can to urge the Congress to reject the Colombia Free Trade Agreement."

    But again, as secretary of state, she changed her tune.

    "We think it's strongly in the interests of both Colombia and the United States," Clinton said two years later. "And I return very invigorated ... to begin a very intensive effort to try to obtain the votes to get the free trade agreement finally ratified."


    You didn't even try to answer my question. Bernie's problem in the Primaries is that he couldn't articulate any plan to accomplish any of his goals.  When asked for his plan to break up the big banks he had no clue. His wife called the interview an "inquisition" but any objective person would know that all the questions were reasonable. 

    Many people, myself included wanted to believe in him but he wouldn't  throw us a bone. So I ask again, politely if it bothers you at all that he has not shared one plan as to how he would accomplish his goals, and if not, why not, since he might have been the nominee had he done so?

    You asked why I urge Clinton to specify how she would create jobs when I allegedly haven't worried over how Sanders would do that. 

    Two reasons: 1) Sanders was/is competing against a candidate whose record is one of destroying good American jobs, see e.g., MFN for China, Columbia Free Trade Deal, TPP, so there was far less onus on him to show that he could create jobs. 

    2) Sanders' campaign focused on simple proposals to create more jobs: A) Single-payer makes it much cheaper for businesses to employ workers so they hire more.  It also leaves more money in workers' pockets so they purchase more which leads to more jobs.  B) Raising cap on social security withholding protects social security payments thereby leading to more spending by seniors thereby creating more jobs.  C) Vetoing job-killing trade bills like TPP and TTIP means American jobs.

    I am shocked that you would so glaringly mis-state my question to you. 

    I wrote this sentence, which is NOT a question:

    I am struck by your specificity as you list the tasks for Hillary Clinton, even down to how many jobs her infrastructure plans will produce.  

    This was my question to you:

    Does it bother you that Bernie Sander's has not given any specifics at all about one of the main pillars of his campaign:   Breaking up the big banks? 

    And at the end:

    Does that bother You?  If not, why not?

    Note, the statement about HRC was really just a comment about what you said about her.  The questions were about Bernie's lack of substance, and I believe it is why he didn't get support from as many adults as he needed.

    Nice try, well, not really. I believe that you are either ashamed to address my question or are in denial about it. 





    "You mean the Big Bank Break-up?"

    Thumbs up here Mike.

    I accept your criticism of me CVille since you specifically asked for my feelings about Bernie's alleged failure to specify how he would break up the big banks.  I ignored that question altogether to answer the one I wanted to answer which is why I wasn't concerned that he didn't provide more specificity with respect to job creation.  I failed to respond because I did not read your comment carefully.  For that I apologize.

    That said I do not accept your premise that Bernie doesn't detail or know how he would break up the big banks.  Economist Dean Baker is quoted at Common Dreams on April 6 as follows:

    When asked how he would break up the big banks Sanders said he would leave that up to the banks. That's exactly the right answer. The government doesn't know the most efficient way to break up JP Morgan, JP Morgan does. If the point is to downsize the banks, the way to do it is to give them a size cap and let them figure out the best way to reconfigure themselves to get under it.

    On Morning Joe on April 8 Bernie gave a detailed answer as to how he would break up the big banks.  In response to the criticism that Bernie has no idea how to break up the big banks, Donna Borak at the Wall Street Journal! noted the "Vermont senator’s full interview with the New York Daily News, however, shows he offered a clearer vision than the political backlash suggests."

    Borak adds:

    Under Mr. Sanders’s plan, the Financial Stability Oversight Council, headed by the Treasury secretary, would have 90 days to compile a list of banks deemed to be too-big-to-fail. The list would automatically include institutions like J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs, Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp. and Morgan Stanley, a point he reiterated during the interview. The firms are among the eight identified as institutions that could pose a threat to the financial stability of the country.

    After drawing up the list, the Treasury secretary, in consultation with the firm’s regulator, would have one year to make sure the banks break themselves up so that a failure wouldn’t require a taxpayer bailout to avoid a big blow to the U.S. or global economy.

    You go all in on Cory Booker because he doesn't pass your purity test.

    Here is a link too Booker's votes in Congress, How many fail your litmus test?


    I'll print out the recent votes

    114th Congress


    The first session of the 114th Congress has enacted into law six out of the 2,616 introduced bills (0.2 percent). Comparatively, the 113th Congress had 1.3 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session.[22] The Senate has confirmed 3,934 out of 5,051 executive nominations received (77.9 percent). For more information pertaining to Booker's voting record in the 114th Congress, please see the below sections.[23]

    Economic and fiscal

    Trade Act of 2015

    See also: The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, 2015

    Nay3.png On May 22, 2015, the Senate passed HR 1314, which was used as a legislative vehicle for trade legislation with the titles "Trade Act of 2015" and the "Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015," by a vote of 62-37. The bill proposed giving the president trade promotion authority (TPA). TPA, also known as fast track authority, allows the president to negotiate trade deals that cannot be amended by Congress. Congress casts a simple up or down vote on a trade agreement, and the legislation only requires a simple majority for approval. The bill also included a statement of trade priorities and provisions for trade adjustment assistance. Booker voted with 30 other Democratic senators against the bill.[24][25] 
    Trade promotion authority
    Nay3.png On June 24, 2015, by a vote of 60-38, the Senate approved trade promotion authority (TPA) as part of  HR 2146 - Defending Public Safety Employees' Retirement Act. Booker was one of 31 Democrats to vote against the bill. After, Senate Republicanleadership honored a pledge to support trade adjustment assistance (TAA) by passing the measure as part of HR 1295 - Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 by voice vote. The House passed HR 1295 the following day, on June 25, 2015, and both TPA and TAA were signed into law on June 29, 2015.[26][27][28]

    2016 Budget proposal

    Nay3.png On May 5, 2015, the Senate voted to approve SConRes11, a congressional budget proposal for fiscal year 2016, by a vote of 51-48. The non-binding resolution will be used to create 12 appropriations bills to fund the government before funding runs out on October 1, 2015. The vote marked the first time since 2009 that Congress approved a joint budget resolution. All 44 Democrats, including Booker, voted against the resolution.[29][30][31]

    Defense spending authorization

    Yea3.png On November 10, 2015, the Senate passed S 1356 - the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 by a vote of 91-3. The second version of the $607 billion national defense bill included "$5 billion in cuts to match what was approved in the budget" and language preventing the closure of the Guantanamo Bay military prison.[32][33]Booker voted with 41 Democrats, 48 Republicans and one independent in favor of the bill.[34] On November 5, 2015, the House passed the bill by a vote of 370-58, and President Barack Obama signed it into law on November 25, 2015.[35]

    Nay3.png On June 18, 2015, the Senate passed HR 1735 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 by a vote of 71-25. The bill "authorizes FY2016 appropriations and sets forth policies for Department of Defense (DOD) programs and activities, including military personnel strengths. It does not provide budget authority, which is provided in subsequent appropriations legislation." Booker voted with 21 Democrats, two Republicansand one Independent against the bill.[36] The House passed the bill on May 15, 2015.[37]President Barack Obama vetoed the bill on October 22, 2015.[38]

    2015 budget

    Yea3.png On October 30, 2015, the Senate passed HR 1314 - Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015by a vote of 64-35. The bill increased military and domestic spending levels and suspended the debt ceiling until March 2017.[39] Booker voted with 43 Democrats, 18 Republicans and two independents in favor of the bill.[40] It passed the House on October 28, 2015.[41]President Barack Obama signed it into law on November 2, 2015. 

    Foreign Affairs

    Iran nuclear deal

    See also: Iran nuclear agreement, 2015

    Yea3.png On May 7, 2015, the Senate voted to approve HR 1191 - A bill to provide for congressional review and oversight of agreements relating to Iran's nuclear program, and for other purposes, by a vote of 98-1. The bill required President Barack Obama to submit the details of the nuclear deal with Iran for congressional review. Congress had 60 days to review the deal and vote to approve, disapprove or take no action on the deal. During the review period, sanctions on Iran could not be lifted. All 43 Democratic senators who voted, including Booker, approved the bill.[42][43]

    Hire More Heroes Act of 2015
    Nay3.png On September 10, 2015, the Senate voted to filibuster the measure to disapprove of the Iran nuclear deal by a vote of 58-42.[44] Sixty votes were needed to proceed to HJ Res 61 - the Hire More Heroes Act of 2015, the legislative vehicle the Senate was expected to use to disapprove of the Iran nuclear deal. Booker voted with 39 Democrats and two Independents against proceeding to the measure of disapproval.[45]

    Hire More Heroes Act of 2015 follow up votes
    Nay3.png On September 15, 2015, the Senate voted for a second time to filibuster the measure to disapprove of the Iran nuclear deal by a vote of 56-42.[46] Sixty votes were needed to proceed to HJ Res 61 - the Hire More Heroes Act of 2015, the legislative vehicle the Senate was expected to use to disapprove of the Iran nuclear deal. Booker voted with 39 Democrats and two Independents against proceeding to the measure of disapproval.[47]The legislation was voted on for a third time on September 17, and it failed for a third time by a vote of 56-42.[48]

    Hire More Heroes Act of 2015 fourth vote
    Nay3.png On September 17, 2015, the Senate voted to filibuster a vote on S.Amdt.2656 to S.Amdt.2640 by a vote of 53-45. The amendment proposed prohibiting "the President from waiving, suspending, reducing, providing relief from, or otherwise limiting the application of sanctions pursuant to an agreement related to the nuclear program of Iran."[49]Booker voted with 42 Democrats and two Independents against proceeding to the amendment.[50]


    USA FREEDOM Act of 2015

    Yea3.png On June 2, 2015, the Senate passed HR 2048 - the Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ensuring Effective Discipline Over Monitoring Act of 2015 or the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015 by a vote of 67-32. The legislation revised HR 3199 - the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 by terminating the bulk collection of metadata under Sec. 215 of the act, increasing transparency of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and requiring the use of "a specific selection term as the basis for national security letters that request information from wire or electronic communication service providers, financial institutions, or consumer reporting agencies." Booker voted with 42 Democrats, 23 Republicans and one Independent to approve the legislation. It became law on June 2, 2015.[51][52]

    Cyber security

    Nay3.png On October 27, 2015, the Senate passed S 754 - the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 by a vote of 74-21.[53] The bill proposes procedures that will allow federal agencies and private entities to share information about cyber threats. Booker voted with 13 Democrats, six Republicans and one independent against the bill.[54]


    Nay3.png On October 20, 2015, the Senate voted against proceeding to a vote on S 2146 - the Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act by a vote of 54-45. The bill proposed withholding federal funding from "sanctuary jurisdictions" that violate the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 and other federal immigration laws. In addition, the bill proposed increasing "penalties for individuals who illegally reenter the United States after being removed" and providing "liability protection for State and local law enforcement who cooperate with Federal law enforcement."[55] Booker voted with 41 Democrats, one Republican and two Independents against proceeding to the bill.[56]

    You write: "You go all in on Cory Booker because he doesn't pass your purity test."

    I write: "To be fair, Pareene’s piece is probably somewhat unfair and just this month Booker championed a new fiduciary rule requiring financial advisors to put their clients’ interests first when recommending retirement plans."

    Typical doublespeak. Your section on Booker is about his ties to banksters and how that will not appeal to Millennials. 

    Booker does have close ties to "banksters" and his biggest funder is a pro-hard line Israeli PAC.  Those facts make him unattractive to millennials as I show.  You criticized me for criticizing Booker because, you say, he flunks my "purity test".  I noted that there are areas where I think he is better than some critics claim and identified reasons he is far from an ideal surrogate for Clinton to employ to reach out to millennials.  What did I write that you specifically disagree with?

    When it is put to the test most Millennials will vote for Hillary. The enthusiasm gap between Sanders and Hillary is under-estimated especially when it comes to nonwhites


    Millennials are voting for Savnders but are stillmenthusiastic about a Clinton victory. You misread Millennials.


    Regarding Clinton, Booker, and corporations, I think many blacks and women who gain ties to upper echelons of power try to make a difference. There is a delicate balancing act of knowing how far you can go. Hillary did not challenge Walmart anti-union stance, but she did move to dance women in the company and moved on environmental issue. Unfortunately Hillary does not have the magic that Bernie has to have change occur with mere rhetoric.


    There are many more blacks and women in high places than ever before.  While women may be economically better off relative to where they were 33 years ago, African-Americans are significantly worse off.  The chart indicates black families reached peak wealth at the end of Clinton's second term.  This is misleading however because the millions of African-Americans incarcerated during the Clinton years - the great majority of whom had no assets at all - were excluded from the calculation.

    Hal, the point I was making is that blacks and women who sit on corporate boards often try to make changes in the corporate culture. That appears to be what Hillary attempted at Walmart. That has nothing to do with your graph.

    The number of blacks with bachelors and advanced degrees has advanced dramatically.


    Blacks are more optimistic about the future than whites. What was the purpose of your graph?


    The point I was making is that the policies that Democratic and Republican Presidents have pursued since the early 80s - union busting, tax cuts, mass incarceration, bank deregulation, free trade, welfare reform, etc. - have done grievous harm to African-American communities even if a few blacks have achieved spectacular success and even if those few have tried to make things better for their less fortunate sisters and brothers.

    Hal, the racist policies began when the first African slaves arrived. Blacks live the experience and are not impressed by a 74 year-old white guy who had no contact with the community and comes offering a "revolution". Blacks realize that those yelling about revolution will be the first to run back to mommie and daddie when real conflict begins. 

    Jamal Bryant is a pastor and activist in Baltimore. Bryant supports Sanders but is based in reality enough to know that Sanders cannot accomplish much of what the Senator promises. Bryant will vote for the Democrat in November.


    As a group, black voters are sick and tired of Progressives who criticize Obama, the Congressional Black Caucus, etc. for not feeling the Bern. All these armchair revolutionaries can say is that we need single-payer, etc. They point to corporate ties of politicians, yet admit that Democrats attempt to put curbs on abuses. Black activists have been lynched, burned, bombed, shot, etc. Blacks took to the streets in Ferguson and Baltimore. Blacks took to prayer in Charleston. Latinos protested often risking deportation if arrested. Occupy Wall Street had a camping trip. 

    I noted above the first people to run from conflict will be the armchair revolutionaries. If these revolutionaries came into power, they would first address their issue, economics. They would tell blacks and Latinos that the race stuff would be addressed in due time. Sanders can say whatever he wants, but the black community knows his priorities.

    Sanders wants to tax the wealthy and the corporations. He is willing to let funding for Pre-Kbe set aside until his progressive tax system is implemented. From the Pennsylvania townhall


    QUESTION:  Senator Sanders, I was surprised and disappointed to hear you oppose Philadelphia's efforts to bring universal preschool to all kids through a tax on big soda distributors.  Here in Pennsylvania we have a state legislature that doesn't adequately fund our existing public schools, and importantly, we also have a constitution that prohibits us from taxing just the wealthy.


    So given those constraints, I'm interested in hearing your ideas for funding winnable anti-poverty agendas like pre-K for all.


    SANDERS:  First of all, please do not be disappointed in my views on pre-K.  I believe that we have right now in my state and in Pennsylvania a dysfunctional pre-K system, which is a national disgrace.  That we have child care workers who make less than McDonald's employees, where we have parents who cannot find quality affordable childcare.  


    We have kids who are entering school way behind because they are not getting the intellectual or emotional nourishment that they need.  I believe absolutely, and if elected president one of my priorities would be to establish a cutting-edge high-quality pre-K system in every state in this country.  I can't think of many things that are more important to me than that.


    But when it comes to funding these programs, at a time when we have massive income and wealth inequality, when the top one-tenth of 1 percent now owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent, when 58 percent of all the income goes to the top 1 percent, to ask poor people to pay for that, it's wrong.  You are taking money from the people who are hurting the most.


    So please count me in as somebody who will aggressively lead the effort for universal, high quality childcare, but I believe it has to be funded in a progressive way.  The wealthy and large corporations are going to have to pay for it.




    HAYES:  A follow-up on that because I think it's a really tricky issue and there are people of all kinds of politics on either side of the issue.  You know, the big soda companies are on the same side of that, right.  And they have poured -- I saw them pour millions of dollars in New York City to fight that.  And that's their argument, right.  I mean, how do you feel when you end up on the same side as them?


    SANDERS:  Look, big soda companies will do what they do.  And let me also be clear.  I am more than aware of the negative role that sugar is playing in terms of obesity and health in the United States.  But what we have got to do is to have progressive taxation.


    Look, and I don't want to have to repeat it, the truth is the very, very rich are becoming much richer.  Almost everybody else is becoming poor.  It is absurd to go to some of the poorest people and raise their taxes.  And by the way, this tax, if I recall, is three cents an ounce.  Twelve ounce bottle of soda, that's 36 cents, times five sodas week, that's two bucks, 100 bucks a year.  If you don't have a lot of money, you know, that's a lot.


    So I think what we have got to do is to understand that nationally we need progressive taxation.  There are corporations, Chris, right now who make billions of dollars a year in profit, stash their money in the Cayman Islands, not paying a nickel in federal taxes.  I intend to end that.


    Sanders is willing to tax cigarettes, because he considers them evil. He is not concerned that that tax impacts the poor. Here though, Sanders tells the woman to wait until his never gonna happen tax plan is put in place.

    The revolution will not be televised.


    Is your argument that it's okay that Reagan, H.W. Bush, Clinton, W. Bush, and Obama each took actions that harmed African American communities because we have a 400 year history of racism?  That's the only way I can reasonably interpret this statement:  " Hal, the racist policies began when the first African slaves arrived."

    In any case, whether you think it's okay or not, African-Americans have lost significant ground to whites since 1983.  What do you think we should do to regain that lost ground?

    So, if I'm black and I realize there have been economic setbacks,I'm going to automatically assume that Sanders is going to gain back the lost ground? That's if he doesn't lose the election to a Republican and if he's elected, he can get his agenda enacted. The fact is that the majority of blacks feel that life is better now than it was fifty years ago. So if I'm black, what keeps me from making an overall risk assessment, same as a white?

    Ah yes . . .

    Typical doublespeak.

    That plus distractions and deflections are the true stock in trade of slippery attorneys and/or fast talking hucksters. Take you pick.



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