Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Vice President Joe Biden Endorses Senator Bernie Sanders

Well, maybe not officially, but he might as well have.

UPDATE (Associated Press/January 12, 2016) MoveOn just endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. The group says Bernie was supported by 78.6 percent of its membership in an online vote of more than 340,000 members — while 14.6 percent voted for Hillary Clinton — and less than 1% voted for Martin O'Malley. These overwhelming numbers favoring Bernie reflect what all other online polls have shown. Last year MoveOn tried to encourage Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren to run for president; but when she declined, many of her supporters got behind Sanders' campaign. MoveOn says it will mobilize nearly 75,000 of its members in Iowa and New Hampshire. Ilya Sheyman, executive director of MoveOn.org Political Action, said: ""MoveOn members are feeling the Bern."

During an interview with CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden offered effusive praise for Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders.

Biden described Sanders as more authentic on economic inequality than Hillary Clinton — and he defended Sanders' record on gun control. Weighing in on the Democratic race, Biden said he never felt Clinton was the prohibitive favorite to win.

Biden also lauded Sanders for doing a "heck of a job" on the campaign trail and praising him for offering an authentic voice on income inequality --- Read more here at U.S. News and World Report

A new Journal/NBC/Marist poll shows Senator Bernie Sanders polling better than Hillary Clinton against all the Republican candidates, and by wider margins. And Bernie is also leading Hillary in New Hampshire, while being in a virtual tie with her in Iowa.

UPDATE: January 12, 2016 — A  new Quinnipiac University poll for Iowa shows Bernie Sanders at 49% to Hillary Clinton with 44% — and a new Monmouth University Poll for New Hampshire shows Bernie Sanders at 53% to Hillary Clinton at 39%.

Even Donald Trump has begun to say that he's looking forward to facing off against Bernie Sanders. The myth about Hillary being more "electable" than Bernie has finally been revealed. The Hillary camp has begun to panic ... and for good reason. Yesterday Hillary herself said "Anybody can win."

President Obama will not endorse Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Primary — and Oprah Winfrey will not endorse Hillary Clinton. (The Sanders campaign may be waiting for Senator Elizabeth Warren's endorsement.)

What happened at the recent Putting Families First Presidential Forum in Iowa?

Hillary Clinton was a "no show" at the recent "Putting Families First Presidential Forum" in Iowa — and it didn't go unnoticed — but Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley courted progressives in Des Moines last Saturday afternoon with a pair of stirring speeches that repeatedly put the crowd of more than 700 on its feet. (Story here at the Des Moines Register)

While the crowd gave O'Malley their attention and applause, it was clearly a Bernie Sanders day for most. The Vermont Senator received roaring applause and standing ovations multiple times throughout his time on stage. Focusing on immigration, as well, Sanders took his own jab at Trump. (Story here at NBC-WHOTV)

O'Malley and Sanders each spoke for over one hour, and the entire 3 hour forum can be seen on YouTube —> Martin O'Malley first takes the stage about 20 minutes into the video here — and then Bernie Sanders takes the stage about 1 hour and 20 minutes into the video here.

What happened at the recent Brown & Black Presidential Forum in Iowa?

Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley were all at the 2016 "Brown & Black Democratic Presidential Forum" in Des Moines, Iowa. First Bernie Sanders speaks here — then Martin O’Malley speaks here — and lastly, Hillary Clinton speaks here. (Story here at the Des Moines Register)

Latest Poll: 2016 Iowa Democratic Presidential Caucus (American Research Group 1/6-1/10)
Sanders 47%, Clinton 44%, Martin O'Malley 3%


  1. The Washington Post:

    A few people who attended the Trump and Sanders rallies over the weekend saw similarities in the appeal of the two candidates, saying both have attracted people who are fed up with politics, with a political system built in part on super PACs, and with cookie-cutter ads and mindless sound bites.

    In recent days, both Trump and Sanders have warmed to the idea of running against each other. Sanders told supporters in a conference call last week that he would ‘love, love, love’ to run against Trump, saying it would be ‘a dream come true.’

    At a rally in New Hampshire on Monday morning, Trump said: ‘I want to run against Bernie. That’s my dream. My dreammmm.’”


  2. The next Democratic debate is on Sunday, January 17th (9pm Eastern Time) and will take place on a weekend, on the same day as an NFL playoff game.

    After that, the very last 2 Democratic debates fall AFTER the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.


  3. Symone Sanders, a spokesperson for Bernie's campaign, says: "We don’t have quote-unquote fundraisers. Senator Sanders doesn’t go to the fancy dinners where people pay upwards of $5,000 to attend. We have mini-rallies, if you will, fundraiser rallies, if you will. We’ve only done a few of those.” She estimated that the campaign has had fewer than a dozen in-person fundraising events. Instead, it’s raked in massive amounts of cash through [grassroots] online fundraising.


  4. After Hillary Clinton complimented Kim Kardashian’s selfie game on “Ellen”, Kardashian posted this shot of their big selfie moment from 2015, hashtagging it “LOVE HER”. It appears that super-rich female trust-fund babies and super-rich female pop stars love Hillary because she would be the "first woman president". So no matter whether or not Hillary was a "victim" or an "enabler", they will still vote to put Bill Clinton back into the White House and aboard Air Force One. All the female Senators in Congress (except Elizabeth Warren) are also campaigning for Hillary. Quinky dink?


  5. If CNN makes a copyright claim to YouTube about my embedded video (like the mainstream media does with bloggers, despite "fair use"), it can be seen at CNN here:


  6. Per the Guardian: At the Iowa Black and Brown Forum

    “It could be that the inevitable candidate for the Democratic nomination may not be so inevitable today,” Sanders told Jorge Ramos, a TV host on Univision and Fusion, when asked about Clinton’s recent attacks.

    On immigration [in a reference to Obama] Clinton promised she would not be the next “deporter-in-chief” if elected. But she could not answer whether she would deport children, saying the issue was more complicated than that. When the moderators pressed her for a more straightforward response, Clinton said only that children would receive “due process”. Clinton also told the moderators that she did not see a “contradiction” between her support for immigration reform and her calls for increased border security, which she said included funding for a fence not a wall.

    Clinton, who was the last candidate to be interviewed on stage, received the final question of the night: “Can you say categorically tonight that Bernie Sanders cannot win the presidency?” Ramos asked her. “Anybody can win,” Clinton said, laughing. “Who would have thought Donald Trump would be leading in national polls?”


  7. Bernie Sanders was asked in a live appearance on Fusion for the 2016 Brown & Black Democratic Presidential Forum:

    "How much do you have to earn to be rich?"

    It took Sanders only a few seconds to answer the question:

    "I would say that people who make $250,000 a year are doing pretty well."


  8. Tommy Chong (of Cheech and Chong) Feels the Bern


  9. New York Times (January, 12, 2016)

    Iowa Democrats are displaying far less passion for Hillary Clinton than for Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont three weeks before the presidential caucuses, creating anxiety inside the Clinton campaign as she scrambles to energize supporters and to court wavering voters ... Audiences for Mrs. Clinton have yet to grow to consistently match those for Mr. Sanders ... many of them, still unsure, rebuffed Clinton aides trying to get them to sign “commitment cards” to caucus for her. “I personally want to find out if she’s trustworthy or not,” said Katie Bailey, 71, of Cedar Falls. “There’s so much un-trust. I want to eyeball her.” Ultimately, about half of the audience signed commitment cards ... Mrs. Clinton and her aides have dropped any pretense that they can ignore Mr. Sanders or treat him like a gadfly. They have become zealous and combative as they try new ways to undercut his high favorability ratings ... To amplify her criticisms, she has even taken to calling in to MSNBC news shows that are popular with Mr. Sanders’s liberal base ... Several of Mrs. Clinton’s advisers, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the race candidly, said that they were anxious but not panicking about Iowa ... some advisers said they were torn about whether the campaign would ultimately regret purposely holding small events in Iowa — a strategy Mrs. Clinton preferred — given Mr. Sanders’s ability to continue to turn out and energize huge crowds ... Both Mr. Sanders and Mrs. Clinton garnered several rounds of applause on Monday night at the Brown and Black Forum at Drake University here, though the crowd seemed more delighted with Mr. Sanders ... I think his secret weapon, maybe his silver bullet even, is the young adult population that hasn’t been involved in politics up until this point,” said Katie Mitchell ... Mrs. Clinton’s campaign is trying to shore up her base among female voters [to help her put Bill Clinton back in the White House] ... Yet many younger women [said] that for most of their lives, she has been a familiar fixture of establishment politics rather than an exciting new voice or an agent of change.


  10. Hillary Clinton misrepresented Bernie Sanders on guns. She claimed that by Bernie voting for the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), he gave to the “gun lobby, gun manufacturers and gun sellers absolute immunity.”

    The bill that Bernie signed does not grant “absolute immunity” to anyone. It ...

    "... protects firearms manufacturers and dealers from being held liable when crimes have been committed with their products. However, both manufacturers and dealers can still be held liable for damages resulting from defective products, breach of contract, criminal misconduct, and other actions for which they are directly responsible in much the same manner that any U.S. based manufacturer of consumer products are held responsible. They may also be held liable for negligence when they have reason to know a gun is intended for use in a crime."


    And my two cents...

    Hillary Clinton is Ignorant on Gun Law...either that, or she is a liar.


    Bernie Sanders Makes the Most Sense on Gun Control


  11. MoveOn first got its start in 1998 by advocating against the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

    But since then, the group's relationship with the Clintons has soured. Hillary Clinton reportedly bashed the group during her 2008 bid and last year declined to participate in a forum it was hosting.

    Bernie Sanders has also received endorsements from two other major progressive organizations: the Working Families Party and Democracy for America (not to mention, the Daily Kos members chose Bernie in their straw poll).


  12. Update:

    Wall Street Journal (Jan. 13, 2016):

    As polls show Mr. Sanders ahead in New Hampshire and closing the gap in Iowa, Mrs. Clinton, her daughter and top campaign aides have unleashed a string of attacks on the Vermont senator’s policy agenda. The shift in tone marks a turning point in the Democratic race as Mrs. Clinton works to avoid back-to-back defeats in the first two presidential contests.

    A former campaign adviser to former President Bill Clinton said: "Everything is moving in Bernie’s direction, and usually when that happens, it doesn’t erode on its own. If you’re Hillary, and you stay positive, the most likely result is you lose. You have to go negative and erode the momentum. It could backfire, but it’s a chance they believe they have to take.”

    Bernie Sanders said: "When you see that many attacks, and I am sure that more will be coming, it is an indication that the Clinton campaign is getting very, very nervous. You know, for many months, they basically ignored us. They’re not ignoring us right now, that’s for sure.”

    The Clinton approach isn’t risk-free. Sanders supporters are intensely loyal to him, and many already don’t care for Mrs. Clinton. The attacks from the Clinton team suggest they have concluded drawing these contrasts is worth any potential backlash among Democratic voters.

    The leading single-payer plan pending in Congress is estimated to cost an additional $15 trillion over 10 years. To cover the cost, national health-care plans typically include significant payroll taxes, though workers and employers would no longer have to pay health-insurance premiums.A plan Mr. Sanders introduced in 2013 would have been funded in part through a payroll tax.


    1. The bill that Bernie introduced in 2013


  13. Besides doubting the costs and the taxes needed to implement Sander's Medicare-for-all plan, critics also say:

    1) There's no guarantee that workers will have the same quality or amount of care.
    2) Reduced costs could also create issues with access to health care.
    3) Lower drug prices will limit funding for research and development.
    4) Lower physicians’ salaries disincentivizes people from going into medicine.
    5) Lower fees could bankrupt hospitals.
    6) People would have less choices in health plans.
    7) There's skepticism that Congress would even pass Sanders' plan.


    * I noticed that, just like the "problem" of having less expensive energy (like cheap gasoline and heating oil) — there are always some people telling us why so many good things can also be very bad.

  14. How Hillary Clinton USED to feel about Bernie Sanders....

    "To Bernie Sanders with thanks for your commitment to real health care access for all Americans..." - Hillary Clinton, 1993


  15. UPDATE: Today "The Nation", America’s oldest weekly magazine, just endorsed Bernie Sanders. The Nation only endorsed twice before: Jesse Jackson in 1988 and Obama in 2008.


  16. On Thursday, January 13, 2016 (tonight at 6:15 p.m. Pacific Time), on the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, I heard Hillary Clinton say it's important for her to win the election to "continue President Obama's legacy."

    But I thought Hillary wasn't running for Obama's (or her husband's) third term in office — so why should Obama's legacy matter to her? She's always said she was going to be her own person.

    And lot of people weren't very happy with Obama giving a speech at Nike headquarters about offshoring jobs when promoting the TPP trade deal -- a deal that Hillary promoted 45 times, before she said she was against it. Is that the "legacy" Hillary wants to continue?

    And a lot of people very weren't happy that Obama extended the Bush tax cuts for 2 more years. And they weren't very happy that Obama considered using chained-CPI to limit COLAs for Social Security recipients. Is that the "legacy" Hillary wants to continue?

    Also, lot of people weren't happy about bailing out the banks, and then later not prosecuting the bankers for tanking the economy. Is that the "legacy" Hillary wants to continue?

    Hillary Clinton recently said before she wanted to "continue President Obama's legacy" -- before she was on the Rachel Maddow Show tonight -- I just can't remember when that wass. But it appears she's now trying to get Obama's supporters to rally for her because she's been losing so much ground in the polls.

    And Obama is wrong — he wouldn't win a third term if he could run for President again, not if he were running against Bernie Sanders (or Elizabeth Warren). Maybe if Obama were running against Hillary Clinton again, then yes, Obama could win a third term easily.

  17. UPDATE (JANUARY 15, 2016)

    The Atlantic:

    The gulf between the two Democrats on taxes is perhaps most evident in the debate over paid family leave. Sanders supports the FAMILY Act, which would require employees and employers to each contribute just 0.2 percent of wages, an average of roughly $2 per person, per week. Only wages up to $113,700 would be taxed, meaning the maximum contribution possible—even for the highest earners—would be $227.40 per year.

    Clinton, on the other hand, would rely on increased taxes on only the wealthiest Americans to fund paid leave. According to her campaign website, “American families need paid leave, and to get there, Hillary will ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share. She’ll ensure that the plan is fully paid for by a combination of tax reforms impacting the most fortunate.” Clinton has pledged not to raise taxes on middle-class families, which she defines as those making $250,000 or less annually.

    Clinton’s campaign promise to not raise taxes on those earning less than $250,000, particularly in the context of paid family and medical leave, ignores the fact that the social, economic, familial, and health benefits of the program—supported by Sanders and so many others—would exponentially outweigh the very modest tax it calls for.