Thursday, February 18, 2016

Bernie Sanders: Release your Goldman Sachs Transcripts!

Hillary Clinton said she would release her transcripts when Bernie Sanders releases his.

Telemundo sponsored the Clinton-Sanders Town Hall forum that was aired LIVE from Las Vegas on MSNBC last night. It was moderated by José Díaz-Balart and Chuck Todd (Transcript)

Evidently, the first to speak was determined by a coin toss (like some caucuses are determined), and Bernie was the first to speak. Of course, when it was Hillary Clinton's turn, she took advantage of this by making attacks on Bernie that he couldn't respond to or refute.

From the very first moment during the forum, Bernie Sanders was getting hammered left and right by some very hardball questions from the moderators and from the audience members. At first it appeared as though it was a staged ambush — and the forum didn't seem near as warm and welcoming as the previous forums I watched. But all throughout, Bernie held up and I thought he did much better than anyone else might have. And the longer he spoke, he seemed to be drawing more and more applause from the audience. I waited to see if they'd put Hillary through the gauntlet too.

When Hillary first came on stage she reieved a standing ovation from the audience, and I thought to myself: "Hmmmmmmmm."

At first she was getting lobbed softballs. The moderator José Díaz-Balart mentioned Bernie Sanders's previous criticism of Bill Clinton's legacy for the NAFTA trade agreement, deregulating Wall Street and passing welfare reform, and then asked Hillary, "Should you be held accountable for your husband's presidency?"

First of all, those decisions her husband made on trade, the banks and welfare reform were all decisions that Hilary publicly supported — so it doesn't matter whether or not she should be held accountable. The question by moderator José Díaz-Balart was clearly asked for the purpose of giving Hillary a chance to explain that she wasn't running for her husband's third term, but that she was running for her first term (even though, it appears she's been really running for Obama's third term. Not to mention, she's been running for her first term for the past 15 years...every since she left the White House in 2001 )

Hillary had criticized Sanders when she said Sanders had tried to get Obama primaried in 2012. Bernie said that because Obama had ran as a progressive, but then, once he was elected, Obama moved to the right to govern as a moderate. Now Hillary is being forced to call herself a "progressive" to show that she is to the left of Obama (just like Bernie); but yet, at the same time (to pander for the Black vote), she's also been hugging Obama and saying she'll continue his policies.) Later Hillary got applauded, then booed, because she said maybe Bernie wasn't a real Democrat. And then I thought: "Maybe the audience wasn't fixed after all."

Hillary had also implied that, unlike Sanders, she won't make promises that she can't keep. But then she made all kinds of promises herself, but admitted that she'd also need the co-operation of Congress (which is dominated by the GOP) to get things done — just like Sanders would also need Congress (but she didn't say that).

Oh, and she reminded us again that she was a "progressive". She said "We need to do this" and "We need to do that" — but she didn't say what she could do that Sanders himself couldn't also do with a GOP congress. But yet, she still got applause — and I thought, "Why are they applauding her? Is that how the bankers behaved during one her speeches to them?"

Speaking of which, later Clinton finally got a hardball question when asked by a Bernie supporter about the transcripts to her Goldman Sachs speeches, for which she said: "I'm happy to release anything I have, when everybody else does the same, because every other candidate in this race have given speeches to private groups, including Senator Sanders."

Then after she went "bla, bla, bla" for a few minutes about saying why she once thought marriage was between a man and a woman, the man asked her again about the transcripts. Then she gave him another B.S. answer. [Bernie, please release the transcripts for all your paid speeches to Goldman Sachs too.]

When asked about shoring up Social Security, Clinton hemmed and hawed about taxing the "passive income" (capital gains) of rich people for Social Security; and when asked about lifting the "cap" higher, she just said it was something to consider as an "option" — but as usual, she never really gave a direct answer or offered any solid plan in writing — not like Bernie Sanders, who has a REAL plan.

After the forum, the Las Vegas journalist Jon Ralston had commented that [paraphrased] he was very surprised by how sharp the questions were for both candidates, and especially their follow-up questions. He said that on a couple occasions both candidates were a little taken off guard, and noted that when the Sanders supporter had asked Clinton the question about the Goldman Sachs transcripts, she got really irritated. He said Bernie also got irritated about a couple questions too: "But with him, it was harder to tell — because Bernie is always irritated."

One of the MSNBC's pundits had said the Nevada's biggest labor union (Culinary local 226) had said the leadership won't endorse Hillary because the rank-and-file members wanted Bernie. That's probably the same reason why the AFL-CIO isn't endorsing Hillary. So far, the unions that did endorse Hillary were done so by the union's leadership, not by their union members. And the unions that endorsed Bernie, did so by votes from its members.

Here are (what I thought) were the highlights from Hillary's segment of the forum in the 4½ video below. Of course, there were more, but it would have taken me too long to edit ;)


  1. The New York Times noted that the Culinary Workers Union were 57,000 strong, more than 50 percent Latino, with an 80-year history of labor advocacy on the Strip and have a record of turning out its members in political campaigns. The Times wrote:

    "Union leaders said they were staying on the sidelines because the demands of mobilizing behind either Mr. Sanders or Mrs. Clinton would divert resources, distract members and potentially polarize the union just as they are entering critical contract negotiations."

    As I noted in an earlier Tweet, it's probably because, if the union's leadership voted against the union members (like other unions and super-delegates), they would drop out of the union and stop paying union dues.

    The Times wrote: " In 2008, when the union endorsed Barack Obama in the final weeks of the campaign. Hillary Clinton’s supporters took the Culinary Workers to court to challenge its voting procedures, while an angry Bill Clinton went from casino to casino, urging workers to defy their union and support his wife. A CNN/ORC poll released Wednesday found Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Sanders effectively tied. And, by many accounts, this union — which Mrs. Clinton had once counted on as a strong supporter — is just as divided as the state appears to be, and union leaders are wary about pushing through an endorsement that could split its ranks. Despite the union’s endorsement, Mr. Obama lost the popular vote here to Mrs. Clinton in 2008 (although, because of how the caucus results are counted, he won more delegates).

    [This year, it appears to be just the opposite. Some of the casinos had allowed Hillary in the back of the house to talk to their workers.]

    The Times noted that Service Employees International Union and unions representing carpenters, teachers and plumbers — are supporting Mrs. Clinton, but doesn't mention that it was their LEADERSHIP that endorsed her, not their MEMBERS.

    But the Times also notes: "Mrs. Clinton’s backers, including the teachers union, went to court in an unsuccessful effort to throw out a central part of the Democratic voting process intended to accommodate culinary workers: setting up caucus sites at casino workplaces so culinary workers could vote.

    The Culinary union's political director said that her union had not polled its members, but CLAIMED that both candidates seemed to enjoy support among them. That's total B.S. -- because they support Bernie and the leadership supports Hillary; and that's why they didn't put it to a vote to it's members. (The political director was the one who complained to the Sanders campaign when some if it's workers went in the back of the house in some casinos...but yet, Hillary was allowed.)

    Latino members refer to him as “El Viejito,” an affectionate Spanish term meaning “sweet old man.”


  2. During the Telemundo sponsored Clinton-Sanders Town Hall forum that was aired LIVE from Las Vegas on MSNBC last night, Hillary Clinton pledged to repeal the immigration provision in a 1996 bill that Bill Clinton signed that blocks undocumented immigrants from returning to the United States legally for a waiting period of either three or ten years. But Hillary would need Congress to do that, and she said she doesn't make promises that she can't keep. Bernie Sanders had said: “My own view is that our policy as a nation and what I believe is, you should unite families not divide families. You should not be sending people back to a country that you can barely remember.” Undoing the provision would require an act of Congress, Clinton reluctantly acknowledged.

    Great ad on this subject...

    Please re-Tweet this

  3. In recent days, Clinton campaign officials have been playing down their candidate’s prospects in Nevada; campaign manager Robby Mook, the architect of Clinton’s Nevada victory in 2008, and Brian Fallon, the campaign spokesman, both caused eyebrows to raise when they suggested the state was “80% white”.

    The claim was quickly batted back by the state’s Democratic senator Harry Reid, who was instrumental in securing Nevada’s “first in the west” position as an early-nominating state, in large part to ensure a more diverse state has a say early on in the primaries.

    Jon Ralston, the most influential pundit in the state, pointing out that around half of the state’s population are minorities. “Both Mook and Fallon know that 80% figure is ludicrous, and the attempt to make Nevada seem like Iowa and New Hampshire is a spin too far. "I don’t smell a rat. I smell something much more pungent from the Clinton campaign: fear.”

  4. Clinton’s Lead Has Evaporated in Nevada and Her Supporters Are Panicking

    Poll: Clinton, Sanders in a dead heat for Nevada

    Why a Bernie Sanders Victory in Nevada Would Be Bigger Than His New Hampshire Landslide

    Bernie Sanders wins backing of African American group in Nevada’s largest count

  5. For Clinton to be victorious in the Nevada caucuses, she needs blacks and Latinos to turn out in numbers like in the 2008 race.

    Las Vegas union electrician Forrest Darby, who is white, said he backs Sanders “because you never have to worry that the things he’s saying are true. He’s an absolute truth teller.” Darby predicted that “Bernie’s going to win the caucuses in Nevada by less than 1%.”

    Meanwhile, Katherine Newsom, a retired histology technician who is black, thinks Clinton, her favored candidate, will prevail. “God, I hope so,” she said. “Time to bring some estrogen up there in the White House.”

  6. My commentary: If Bernie wins in Nevada, it won't be JUST the Democratic party machine out to get Bernie. The GOP establishment will be after him too.

    The author Dana Milbank at the Washington Post (which is owned by Amazon CEO and libertarian Jeff Bezos) appears to want Bernie Sanders to lose to Hillary. Maybe that's because he thinks the Republicans have a better chance of beating her. Probabaly. On more than one occasion Donald Trump said he preferred to run against Hillary.

    Some articles by Dana Milbank:

    Why the Democratic establishment fears Bernie Sanders

    Donald Trump makes me miss George W. Bush

    The sexist double standards hurting Hillary Clinton

  7. I can't help feeling this nomination process is rigged via the "super delegates". In my state of Connecticut i heard on NPR on the ride home from work that all of CT's super delegates except for one are in the bag for HILLARY. This is one of the bluest states in the country.

    This is so completely undemocratic, with a small "d" i want to vomit.

    1. Congressional approval rating is at an all-time low, so it's no wonder the establishment politicians are endorsing Hillary.

  8. Bernie Sanders Releases All Zero Speeches He’s Given To Wall Street

    Hillary Clinton challenged him to release the transcripts. It was not a heavy lift.

    The fact is, there weren’t any. Bernie gave no speeches to Wall Street firms.

  9. Hillary Clinton is a Loyal Democrat and all Democrats know it. Apparently you are not.

    1. Hillary is loyal to "moderate" Democrats who perpetuate the interests of large banks and large corporations over the interests of ordinary working yes, I am NOT a "loyal Democrat". I am an Independent progressive ... a "REAL" progressive. The Clintons' first concern is for themselves.

    2. Sure she's a loyal Democrat. And the Democratic party sold out the american worker over 22 or 25 years ago. They decided to become republican lite so they could remain viable and win elections. Her husband signed NAFTA, Paul Krugman supported NAFTA. Have you seen the video of a UTC executive telling all the workers in a plant in Indianapolis they were losing their jobs because they were moving the plant to Mexico?

      I'm an engineer in CT, i've lived that video over the past 25 years and let me tell you it's one of the biggest middle/working class screw jobs ever... 3 of the plants I either interned at or worked at in CT have been KNOCKED TO THE FUCKING GROUND!

      thats what loyal democrats have done. Those plants had been in existence in some cases for 60+ or more years. Thats what loyal democrats have done.

      It's time for change. THe status quo is no longer viable... sorry but the DEMOCRATIC party needs to be re-made to what it was after FDR was elected.

    3. Yes, Bill Clinton signed NAFTA and gave PNTR to China, but it was a GOP majority in the House and Senate that passed the bills first. Republicans AND Democrats have screwed us, and why I support Bernie Sanders.