Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who sought the Democratic presidential nomination in the 2016 election but lost out to Hillary Clinton, on Monday criticized Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his policies.
“As someone who believes absolutely and unequivocally in Israel’s right to exist… we must say loudly and clearly, that to oppose the reactionary policies of Prime Minister Netanyahu does not make us anti-Israel,” Sanders told the annual conference of the J Street organization.
He took issue with Israel’s response to the recent riots along the border with Gaza, claiming Israel “massively overreacted” to the protests.
“The presence of Hamas members among a crowd of tens of thousands does not justify the level of violence we saw, and frankly it’s amazing to me that anyone would find that point controversial,” Sanders said.
“I have condemned Hamas’s use of terrorist violence and will continue to do so. But that violence cannot excuse shooting at unarmed protesters, and it cannot excuse trapping almost two million people inside Gaza,” he charged.
Sanders also said that the United States “must play a much more aggressive and even-handed role in ending the Gaza blockade and helping Palestinians and Israelis build a future that works for all.” He added that, If the White House does not do that, Congress must take the lead.
“Too often, our foreign policy debate here in Washington is dominated by those whose answer to complicated international situations seems always to involve dropping more bombs, rather than engage in the hard work of diplomacy and negotiation,” said Sanders, who opined that the best way to achieve peace between Israelis and Arabs is the “two-state solution”.
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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Monday that he will oppose Mike Pompeo to lead the State Department days before his nomination hearing.
“Mike Pompeo is absolutely the wrong choice to serve as the United States’ top diplomat, and I will vote against him,” Sanders said in a statement.
Pompeo, who is currently CIA director, is slated to testify before the Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday.
Sanders isn’t a member of the panel and previously opposed Pompeo’s nomination to lead the CIA.
He added on Monday that “we need a secretary of State who will represent the best principles of the United States to the rest of the world.”
Sanders pointed to Pompeo’s position on climate change, “longstanding relationship with anti-Muslim extremists” and “hawkish” foreign policy views.
Mike Pompeo is absolutely the wrong choice for secretary of state. He is a supporter of the Global Gag Rule. He opposes LGBTQ rights. And as the top recipient of money from the Koch brothers, he's stymied action on one of our most serious security threats: global climate change.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) April 9, 2018
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Participants in Ann Arbor’s 47th annual Hash Bash found themselves under the influence of more than just cannabis Saturday afternoon, as thousands gathered at the University of Michigan’s Diag: several politicians also found their way to the city’s popular weed festival, all hoping to convince voters they were biggest supporters of legalizing it. Many participants and organizers came hoping this year’s Hash Bash will be the last before marijuana is legalized in the state of Michigan. Many believe state Congress will approve ballot proposal in November to legalize the use of recreational marijuana for those 21 and older.
Speakers at this year’s event included many notable marijuana legalization activists and professional athletes, such as Detroit Lions running back Mike James, former Detroit Red Wings hockey player Darren McCarty and former NFL player Eugene Monroe. Local political figures addressed the crowd, including Ann Arbor City Councilmember Jack Eaton, D-Ward 4; Councilmember Anne Bannister, D-Ward 1; and state Rep. Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor. State politicians such as gubernatorial candidates Abdul El-Sayed and Gretchen Whitmer also made appearances.
El-Sayed spoke on his support to legalize marijuana, stating the current law unjustly incarcerates youth.
“I’m here as a doctor and I’m here as a young servant, and I’m here because I’m done waiting while young people get arrested for something that should not be illegal,” El-Sayed said, according to MLive. “We’ve got to stand up and demand that we expunge records for marijuana possession and use … For too long we’ve watched as corporations have bought and sold our politics.”
LSA junior Amal Alzendani, the U-M campus field team leader for the El-Sayed campaign, came to the Diag to hear the candidate speak.
“It was great to see Abdul El-Sayed at Hash Bash engaging with voters to whom the issue of marijuana legalization is important,” she wrote in an email interview. “It seems clear that Abdul’s stances regarding marijuana, which include expunging the records of people who have previously been arrested for marijuana-related charges once it is legalized, should be the standard among democrats, as should the open and vocal support of its legalization that Abdul showed by having such a presence at Hash Bash.”
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Sen. Bernie Sanders returned to Lansing on Sunday as part of a tour aimed at energizing his base from the 2016 Democratic primary, urging progressives to get involved.
“If I said it once, I’ve said it a million times, and that is real change never, ever takes place from the top on down,” Sanders told a crowd of more than 1,600 at the Lansing Center. “It is always from the bottom up.”
Change can happen only when “millions of people look around them and say loudly and clearly, ‘the status quo is not good enough, we demand change,'” Sanders said.
The rally was part of a 100-day “Repeal the Trump Tax” tour organized by Not One Penny, a coalition opposing President Donald Trump’s tax plan.
In a wide-ranging speech that mirrored his messaging in 2016, Sanders pointedly criticized Trump and the Republican president’s agenda, calling Trump “a pathological liar” and “the least-qualified president” in the nation’s history.
The independent senator from Vermont touched on health care reform, gun control, race and gender inequality, income inequality, immigration, climate change, tuition-free college, paid family and medical leave and other topics during his 45-minute speech.
Trump promised tax reform that benefited the middle class, he said. “Well, it turns out that the bill he supported and passed will provide 83 percent of the benefits at the end of 10 years to the top 1 percent. And at the end of 10 years, 93 million middle-class Americans will be paying more in taxes, not less.”
(Nina Turner speaks around the 37 minute mark and Bernie @ 45 minutes)
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A growing slate of Democratic operatives and young progressive organizers who made their bones on Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential primary campaign are lining up in 2018 behind another political insurgent, Michigan gubernatorial candidate Dr. Abdul El-Sayed.
Michigan was the site of what many in Berniecrat circles still consider their most emboldening 2016 victory. After trailing by double digits in most polls in the days and weeks leading up to the vote, Sanders narrowly defeated Hillary Clinton — a result that seemed to surprise him as much as anyone else — and reignited his flagging campaign.
The candidate profiles have changed, but a similar upset for El-Sayed — front-runner Gretchen Whitmer, a former state Senate minority leader, won a quick round of labor endorsements (though the United Auto Workers have remained notably uncommitted) and led heavily in early polling — would confirm to the Democratic left that its populist playbook for the upper Midwest, and possibly beyond, is a sustainable one.
Now, key members of the group that helped deliver Michigan to Sanders are returning, or hunkering down, to boost El-Sayed, the 33-year-old former Detroit Health Department leader described by activist and supporter Linda Sarsour as “our younger version of Bernie.”
Winnie Wong, co-founder of The People for Bernie Sanders — which has endorsed El-Sayed, as have a number of local Our Revolution chapters — and an outspoken progressive rabble-rouser, has been hired as a paid consultant to the campaign. She was introduced to El-Sayed, alongside Our Revolution President Nina Turner, by Sarsour in Detroit at the Women’s Convention.
“This is really a moment when we can test our ability to actually organize and put together the ‘A-team’ to get behind Abdul,” Wong said.
More information @ Abdul El-Sayed’s official campaign website.
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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) praised Iceland’s new equal pay law in a Facebook post on Tuesday and urged Americans to “not lose sight” expanding women’s rights.
“We must follow the example of our brothers and sisters in Iceland and demand equal pay for equal work now, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality or nationality,” Sanders wrote.
As we fight back Republican efforts to revert women’s rights to second-class, it is important to not lose sight that our real goal is to move forward and expand women’s rights,” he continued.
Iceland became the first country to enact an equal pay law on Monday.
The legislation requires companies employing at least 25 people to obtain government certification of their equal pay policies.
Not content on highlighting a single issue, Sanders also took to twitter on Tuesday to share this video in support of single payer:
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 2, 2018
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Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday ripped the Republican tax-reform plan as a “terrible proposal” being “paid for by the billionaire class who control the political process.”
“It’s a bad idea,” Sanders, the Vermont Independent and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, told Anderson Cooper on CNN.
It’s going to throw 13 million Americans off the health insurance they currently have, including about six million people on Medicaid.
“It’s going to raise premiums by about 10 percent for ordinary Americans.”
Sanders attributed both plans to GOP’s effort to “give huge tax breaks to corporations and make them permanent.
“What this whole business is about is the power that big money has in American politics, as a result of our corrupt campaign-finance system.
“Billionaires and millionaires have brought hundreds of millions of dollars into the political process, supporting Republican candidates — and today is payback time for them.
“Huge tax breaks for the rich, huge tax breaks for multinational corporations,” Sanders said. “Meanwhile, at the end of 10 years, tens of millions of American families in the middle class are going to be paying for more taxes.”
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This movement is about a politics of purpose. I am driven by a core belief in Michigan’s people – our potential and the promise of our future. I was born and raised in Michigan. I wore the winged helmet as a lacrosse player at the University of Michigan. There I met the love of my life, Sarah. At 30, I was appointed to rebuild the Detroit Health Department after it was shuttered when Detroit faced bankruptcy. As a doctor, an educator, and a public servant, my work and my life has always been about creating opportunities for real people.
I am running for Governor because I believe we will come together right now because of our shared future.
I appreciate you,
Paul Spencer teaches politics and government to high school students in Little Rock and for the past several years led a group that’s pushed for stricter ethics rules and campaign finance limits. He’s never held elected office or appeared on the ballot, but he’s now hoping to retake a central Arkansas congressional seat in what had been a reliably Democratic district.
Spencer faces a steep challenge in trying to win the 2nd Congressional District seat, as does a nonprofit executive running for the 3rd District seat in northwest Arkansas as well as a “semi-retired” rancher and farmer campaigning for the 1st District in the eastern part of the state. None of the three Democratic congressional hopefuls have ever held elected office before. It shows the difficulty Democrats may have in finding well-known candidates in a state where Republicans hold a firm grip on the top offices, but also is a sign that dissatisfaction with President Donald Trump’s agenda could draw candidates from outside the party’s traditional bench.
“This is going to be the great litmus test of American democracy,” Spencer said. “If the people are ready for a change from the status quo, maybe they are ready to start choosing people from their community. That’s the way the system was set up in the first place under our constitution.”
From Spencer’s Official Website:
CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND ETHICS
Elections that reflect the will of the people are paramount to upholding the integrity of a representative democracy. We must begin by acknowledging some basic truths:
Although non-human entities such as corporations, labor unions, etc., enjoy certain protections under law, they do not possess the same rights that are Constitutionally guaranteed to actual human persons in our electoral system.
Money spent on campaigns should not be equated with the political speech rights of actual humans.
This campaign operates under these core values and as such will only accept contributions from actual people.
Healthcare is a human right, not a privilege. Despite their divisions, Americans agree we need to fix our broken healthcare system. Compared to the other major nations of the world, we spend the most money on healthcare, yet we have a shorter average life expectancy to show for it. We must join the rest of the developed world and expand access to high quality healthcare to every citizen regardless of age or income. Universal coverage through a Medicare For All program will guarantee cost-effective healthcare to all citizens. We owe it to our future generations and to our country’s economic stability to fight for healthcare for all Americans.
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