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polarbear4

Benny

The unity network:

polarbear4

There’s a lot of left twitter that doesn’t believe these stories, but until he does something unreliable, Doctorow has a lot of cred in my eyes. He’s a researcher and a writer.

polarbear4
Benny

Sans mittens and insipid comments from deadenders in the Bay area.

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

Oh oh! The gloves are off. Lol

Benny

heh heh, that’s a good one!

polarbear4

credit where credit is due.

Benny

WaPo brief interview with Bernie:

Today we’re lunching with my fellow Vermonter Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). As the incoming Senate Budget Committee chairman, Sanders will help shepherd President Biden’s spending priorities through Congress, even as he works to shape them. The conversation has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Knox: Senator Sanders, some Democrats are warning the Biden White House not to let a quest for Republican votes slow down or water down their priorities. Is that a valid concern?

Sanders: I think the president has been very clear in saying what every Democrat believes. Of course we want Republican support. We want Republican support now and in the future. But the crises facing this country today are so extraordinary, so unprecedented, it is imperative that we move forward boldly and rapidly, right now. And if Republicans want to join us, that’s great. If they don’t, so be it.

In the last number of years, when Republicans had the majority, they used reconciliation to pass massive tax breaks for the rich and large corporations, used reconciliation to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act, used reconciliation to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wilderness Reserve. And all of those proposals were done on a 100 percent partisan basis. I didn’t hear a whole lot of talk of bipartisanship then. So right now, yeah, if Republicans want to join us, that’s great. But we have a proposal which is what the American people want — poll after poll shows us that the vast majority of people understand that we have a major pandemic crisis that must be addressed, that we have a major economic crisis that must be addressed, we have a major educational crisis that must be addressed. And that’s what we intend to do.


Knox:
As Senate Budget Committee chairman, you’ll be shepherding President Biden’s budget request, which is unusually important this year. What do you see as the potential obstacles or challenges? And how do you plan to overcome them?

Sanders: We’ve got 50 members of the caucus, and every one of them has a slightly different point of view. So I think what we’re going to have to do is make sure that we’re all on board. [When the budget resolution goes to the various committees of jurisdiction] the fine-tuning of these proposals will take place. I think we’ve got a pretty good blueprint. But there’s going to be a lot of folks wanting to make changes here, and make changes there. We’ve all got to work together and do what’s right for the American people.

Knox: Do you have any concerns about some Democrats, from either end of the spectrum, balking at the budget request or the $1.9 trillion rescue package?

Sanders: I don’t. As I said, Olivier, every Democrat, all 50 of us, will have different points of view. There’ll be differences on this proposal, or that proposal. I myself have some really strong feelings that in some ways we have not gone forward more aggressively. Others think it may be too aggressive.

I think that we have a new president who has come to power in a moment when the working class of this country is facing more desperation than at any time since the Great Depression. And he brought forth a proposal that he believes, and that I believe, and the American people believe is a step in the right direction to address these terrible crises.

I don’t believe that there’s any member of the Democratic caucus who’s going to turn his or her back on the president.

Second of all, we are the majority because we had two great candidates in Georgia who surprised everybody and won their elections. That’s why we’re in the majority. And it turns out that the election in Georgia was not just an election for the people of Georgia, it really became a national election. And we said to the people of Georgia and the people of America that, if Democrats gain control over the Senate we are going to bring forth a very ambitious agenda to protect the working class and the middle class of this country. And the people of Georgia responded, and that’s why we have the majority.

It is impossible for me to believe that there is any Democrat who would renege on the promises we made during that election. To do so would be, I think, to really make certain that we will not be the majority in two years. Promises were made to the American people and those promises must be kept.

Knox: You just mentioned your “very strong feelings” about the rescue package. Do you expect there to be a second rescue package this year, and what would you like it to include?

Sanders: I do. This package is essentially an emergency package. Children in America are going hungry, millions of families are facing eviction, in the midst of a pandemic, 90 million people are uninsured or underinsured. We are not getting the vaccine out to the American people as quickly and effectively as we should. We’re not producing enough vaccines. Our schools, millions of kids have had their education disrupted and schools are not opening up in a way that we would like them to. We got a huge set of emergency crises that must be dealt with, and that’s what we’re doing with this bill.

But the next bill will deal with some of the long-term structural problems that face this country, and the need to create many millions of good-paying jobs. And that means, as everybody understands, our infrastructure is crumbling, our roads and bridges. And I include affordable housing in infrastructure. We have an existential threat in terms of climate change. We’ve got to lead the world to transform our energy system. We have to deal with long-term educational problems, student debt, etc etc.

So there are a lot of long-term problems that we need to address in order to create an economy that works for all people and not just the very, very wealthy.

Knox: There have been news reports, both during the transition and now in the very young Biden presidency, about Democrats being unhappy at the communication to and from the White House. Is there room for improvement?

Sanders: I suppose there’s always room for improvement. But I’ve not been unhappy. It’s a new administration, I’m sure they’re going to have to work out various issues. But I would say that up to now, by and large the Biden administration is doing a very good job.

Knox: Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve seen you everywhere — on the beach with Chris Christie, in Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper,” at the Yalta Conference, in the crowd on the cover art of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Sanders: I get around, man!

Knox: I’m obviously talking about the mittens meme. I have a serious question and a less serious one: How have viral phenomena changed the way you think about political communication, if they have?

Sanders: Obviously, this whole mittens stuff has shocked me, the degree to which it has become an international phenomenon. What I’m happy about is that, among other things, we were able to utilize some of that Internet visibility to bring several million dollars into the state of Vermont to feed the hungry and make sure that our lowest-income people got some the help they need.

But it is no great secret I have worked very hard for many years with a team of young people to utilize social media in as effective a way as we can. It is terribly important for members of the Senate, and Congress, mayors, and governors …to be communicating directly with people about what they believe and what they are trying to do. I think the Internet and social media are tools that have to be utilized in as effective a way as we can.

Knox: Do you have a favorite?

Sanders: Oh God. Some of them are so hysterical. No, I don’t have one favorite. Really, my wife and I we would laugh and laugh. The creativity out there is really rather extraordinary.

polarbear4