Sen. Bernie Sanders told MSNBC on Thursday that his strategy for defeating Donald Trump in 2020 will be to speak to his working-class base and “expose him as the fraud that he is.”
“Trump essentially lied to the American people,” Sanders said. “Who were hurting, and for too many years the Democratic leadership ignored that pain and ignored the midwest and the flyover states.”
STEPHANIE RUHLE, MSNBC: Can your ambitious, progressive plans pull in all Democrats? Nancy Pelosi has said the number one priority for the Democratic Party should be to defeat Donald Trump. Do you believe your plans can pull the party together? Since Joe Biden officially entered the race we’ve seen you drop in the polls.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Absolutely. Look, what I believe is the way you beat Trump, who is the most dangerous president I expect in modern history if not the history of our country, is bringing more people into the political process. That means speaking to working people who out of frustration in some cases voted for Trump. It means getting young people involved in the political process and voting. What we saw in 2018 was a good step forward, and as more young people voted than in previous years but we have to do a lot better than that.
So you expand the base, talking to working people and young people, and we expose Trump for the fraud that he is when he said that he — when he campaigned on being a friend of the working people. You do that, I think I can win. I can defeat Trump and every poll that I have seen suggests we are ahead of Trump, and I think that is the correct way to go forward.
STEPHANIE RUHLE: Can you swipe his base? President trump believes — and many do — that his base is bulletproof. But you and he had a similar message in the last election that it was economic populism. He hasn’t delivered for those voters. Can you take them from him?
BERNIE SANDERS: Absolutely. Look, Trump essentially lied to the American people who were hurting, and for too many years the Democratic leadership ignored that pain and ignored the midwest and the flyover states. So when Trump tells the American people during his campaign that he is going to provide health care to everybody — remember that? Everybody. Well, then he fights to throw 32 million people off of the health insurance they have.
He said, hey, I’m a different type of Republican. I will not cut Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security. Look at his budget. Massive cuts to Medicaid and Medicare, billions in cuts to Social Security. So I think that we can expose him for the fraud that he is and provide an alternative progressive agenda, which really does speak to the needs of working families.
Democratic presidential hopefuls clambered to showcase their labor credentials this week in a bid to wow members of an influential union whose endorsement could offer a critical boost in their party’s 2020 nominating contest.
Over the course of two days at the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) legislative conference, seven contenders recalled personal ties to organized labor, railed against international trade agreements and decried right-to-work laws that they said had gutted organized labor protections across the country.
The appearances underscore just how eager Democrats are to court members of major trade unions at a time when many labor groups are reluctant to wade in early to the 2020 presidential race.
So far, only the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) has backed a candidate in the Democratic primary, announcing late last month that it would endorse former Vice President Joe Biden.
Among the candidates who spoke at the IAM conference were Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Klobuchar and Booker, as well as Reps. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) and former Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.).
The IAM announced earlier this week that it had reformed its presidential endorsement process to include a vote by its full membership, a change spurred by lingering frustration among many members with the group’s early endorsement of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential primary contest. The union has nearly 600,000 active and retired members.
“It might be easier to do it the old way. We could sit down with the candidates and negotiate in a private meeting, asking them to make promises they may or may not keep,” Bob Martinez, the machinist union’s international president, wrote in a letter to members this week.
“Or we could really make them work for our endorsement.”
Each candidate that took the stage on Tuesday and Wednesday appeared intent on doing just that.
Sanders touted that he had “walked on more picket lines all over this country than I can remember,” all the while vowing to put an “immediate moratorium” on cuts to pension benefits overseen by the federal government if elected next year, a pledge that drew lingering applause from conferencegoers.
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Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., slammed the Trump administration’s approach to trade policy in a PBS NewsHour interview Tuesday, arguing that the U.S. needs to do more to protect workers but “not the way Trump is dealing with it.”
The remarks come in a week when President Donald Trump threatened the harshest tariffs on China yet, causing stocks to plummet Tuesday.
“I think we do need new trade policies that are fair to the working people of this country not just to the CEOs, but as usual, I think Trump gets it wrong in terms of implementation,” Sanders told the NewsHour’s anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff.
Sanders, who has opposed many of the same trade deals Trump has, including the Trans Pacific Partnership and the North American Free Trade Agreement, said his policies are aimed at stopping companies from sending jobs overseas.
On “Medicare for All”: The 2020 presidential candidate pushed back on a recent Congressional Budget Office report that said moving to a single-payer health care system “could be complicated, challenging, and potentially disruptive” and could deter people from entering the medical field.
Sanders called the nation’s current health care system “dysfunctional,” and said most of the pushback for his Medicare for All plan is coming from insurance and pharmaceutical companies.
When asked whether Americans would be able to choose their doctors under his plan, Sanders argued that Americans do not have true “freedom of choice” right now because insurance companies decide which doctors are included in their networks.
Sanders also dismissed concerns among some Democrats that former Vice President Joe Biden could win more support among moderate, middle-class voters. Biden, who entered the presidential race last month, is already polling above Sanders, who was the front-runner before Biden entered the race. Sanders has slipped to second place in most polls in recent weeks.
“At the end of the day, we are going to be fine because I think our message is going to appeal to working people,” Sanders said.
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Today in America, we have more than 27 million people without any health insurance. Millions more who have employer-based insurance are being fleeced by skyrocketing premiums and prescription drug prices, and they are often thrown off those private plans when they change or lose jobs.
This is great for the 64 health care CEOs who were paid $1.7 billion in 2017. But this is an economic and medical emergency for millions of Americans. The good news is that we have a very straightforward solution that draws from our own country’s past success: We can guarantee health care as a right to all by expanding Medicare, the most popular and successful program in American history.
Medicare is the country’s most popular and cost-effective health care program. Americans who are covered by Medicare report significantly higher satisfaction rates than those with private insurance. That is not surprising: Unlike private insurance, Medicare does not threaten to bankrupt people in order to enrich greedy CEOs. Instead, it guarantees coverage.
Now here’s more good news: By expanding that coverage to everyone, we will save Americans money. Under a Medicare for All system, we will no longer be paying those exorbitant CEO compensation packages, or the absurdly high administrative costs in the private insurance system. We will also be able to negotiate lower drug prices.
Just as America did in the lead up to the passage of Medicare, we are building a national movement for Medicare for All. Polls now show that a majority of Americans support the idea. That is because of our grassroots organizing work, but also because of the crushing reality more and more Americans face.
No 30-second television ad from a dark money group will convince a person that the huge health care bill they are looking at from their insurance company is acceptable. No radio ad from a corporate lobbying group will convince a person that their inability to pay exorbitant prices for medicines is acceptable.
To be sure, as we gain momentum, the health care industry will shift tactics and try to persuade us to accept incremental changes. But the health care crisis is so intense, we must not accept any substitute. Medicare is a successful model for American health care; we can, we must and we will expand it to cover everyone.
The “Partnership for America’s Health Care Future" is running large ad campaigns against Medicare for All.
So who do they represent? The insurance companies and drug companies.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders announced his plan to support rural America on Sunday, promising to hold factory farms and corporate agribusiness accountable by strengthening regulations to protect smaller family farms.
“I come from one of the most rural and the most beautiful states in the United States, I will not write off rural America,” the Vermont senator told a cheering crowd in Osage, Iowa. “Maybe I’m kind of radical here, but I think a farmer who produces the food that we eat is maybe almost as important as some crook on Wall Street who destroys the economy,” he added.
In his remarks, Sanders lamented how many small farmers are often at the financial mercy of a single buyer or supplier setting prices.
“Agribusiness conglomerates extract as much wealth out of small communities as they possibly can while family farmers are going bankrupt and in many ways are being treated like modern day indentured servants,” he said.
Sanders promised “an immediate moratorium on agribusiness mergers” should he be elected and an attorney general willing to “break up large agribusiness corporations.”
He committed to sweeping anti-trust protections for family farmers from “corporate middle men” and seed companies, as well as new laws that protect small farmers from “predatory patent lawsuits,” and allow them to sue companies that contaminate neighboring farms with genetically altered crops.
Sanders also vowed to restore the agency that enforced anti-trust laws in the meatpacking industry — which Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue slashed as a stand-alone agency in 2017.
On pollution emissions, Sanders said he would hold factory farms accountable for such pollution by strictly enforcing the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act.
He also slammed corporate agricultural lobbyists, promising to combat their efforts funneling Agriculture Department subsidies toward a handful of powerful farmers or landowners.
“We will cap those subsidies coming from Washington and make sure they are targeted to the farmers who need that help, not to these profitable agribusiness corporations,” he said.
The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus, a Mardi Gras parading organization inspired by the Star Wars movie franchise, plans a memorial procession for the late Peter Mayhew who died April 30. Mahew was the towering British actor who played Chewbacca, Han Solo’s curmudgeonly canine sidekick in the original 1970s-80s film series. Mahew rode in the annual Chewbacchus Carnival parade in 2013, thereby becoming particularly beloved to Crescent City fans.
The Mayhew memorial march is planned for May the 4th, a date embraced by Star Wars fans because of the films’ tag line: “May the force be with you.”
A post on the Chewbacchus Twitter feed outlined the memorial plan: “We will gather at Dat Dog (601 Frenchmen St.) at 7 p.m. and toast Peter between 7:50 – 8 p.m. Our procession will begin at 8:30 p.m. We will travel down Frenchmen Street led by the Browncoat Brass Band to Dragon’s Den (435 Esplanade Ave.) to begin our May the Fourth celebrations. Come in costume or come from Jazz Fest and celebrate with Chewbacchus the life and legacy of Peter Mayhew.”
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Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is ready to roll out a major agriculture policy Sunday in Iowa.
“I come from a small rural state, and what’s happening in Vermont is happening in Iowa,” Sanders said.
The Vermont senator said he has a plan to make life better here by investing in rural communities and supporting family farms. That includes a moratorium on mergers in the ag industry and breaking up large processors.
“We need a policy that says we need to grow enough food in the U.S. on a regular basis. That means strengthening family ag, making sure people from other countries don’t own too much land, make sure young people can do farming for generations,” Sanders said.
As for trade wars, Sanders recently accused opponent Joe Biden for downplaying China’s economic threat, but he said they’re friends.
“Joe and I have different opinions. That’s why we’ll talk about it,” Sanders said. “Joe voted for NAFTA, permanent trade relations with China. I lead the effort against trade agreements. I think it’s an area that needs discussion.”
Sanders supports Medicare for all, which he said addresses everyone’s health care needs.
“There are people who want to keep their private insurance. Is that possible under the plan? No. I think we need to consider right now how many people lost their health insurance because they leave their jobs. Medicare is a very strong program. It is a popular program,” Sanders said.
Sanders also told me he supports the House calling on Attorney General William Barr to release the full Mueller report to Congress or face contempt.
“If he does not testify, I think Barr should be held in contempt,” Sanders said. “I could add my voice to the other 80 voices. That’s not going to matter. I think holding him in contempt, that means Barr has got to testify and give Congress the information it requires.”
The Trump administration is threatening a disastrous military intervention in Venezuela. Under our Constitution, only Congress can authorize the use of force. We must make sure the United States does not get involved in yet another war and destabilize another region. https://t.co/UxHLljIyKf
Demanding an end to austerity measures that have kept classrooms overcrowded and educators underpaid, about 10,000 teachers, students, and supporters staged one of the largest protests in recent years at the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia on Wednesday.
Led by the grassroots group SC for Ed, teachers from across the traditionally deep red state took personal days to stage the walkout. The protest is aimed at forcing the Republican-controlled legislature to fund higher wages and more hiring in order to reduce class sizes and staff schools with support staff.
“For too long we have allowed our schools to go underfunded while taking the blame for the host of issues that come with that,” SC for Ed said in a statement Wednesday. “We hope the state of South Carolina will commit to starting over the process of reform with current classroom teachers at the table.”
Many of the teachers chanted, “We teach, we vote” as they marched to the Statehouse Wednesday morning.
Former educator Sariah McCall, who cited a chronic lack of resources when she resigned from her job at Charleston County School District in November, was among the speakers at the rally.
McCall’s resignation letter was printed in the Washington Post last month.
“The public has to demand that they receive the time, funding, and resources they require,” McCall wrote. “We need to prioritize education, not just offer it lip-service. Until enough people decide that this is worth making a fuss over, those that are in power have no reason to listen to our hurt, pleas, and fears to make any changes.”
Wednesday’s protest marked the second time this year that South Carolina teachers have walked out of their classrooms to decry their chronically low pay and overcrowded schools. In January many teachers took a day off work to lobby at the Statehouse for a 10 percent pay raise.
South Carolina teachers are paid an average of $50,000 per year, with entry-level teachers earning as little as $32,000. The state ranks 38th in the nation for teacher salaries.
Teachers don't have basic resources they need while billionaires get massive tax breaks. That's a disgrace.@NinaTurner and I stand with South Carolina teachers who are striking to change our priorities. pic.twitter.com/NnPILx92Xs
Have you watched the Showtime series House of Lies? It’s worth watching the first episode if nothing else. The series follows a small team of management consultants at a fictional firm that in the industry rankings is second only to McKinsey. The team is led by Marty Kaan, a partner at the fictional firm who happens to be black. He also has a bi-racial child who may be transgender. In the first episode, Marty and his team fly into New York to pitch to the fictional Metro Capital, a financial firm on Park Avenue that sold a lot of mortgages during the …Continue reading →