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Proserpina

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Member since: Fri Nov 6, 2015, 07:20 AM
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More Than 300 Juvenile Lifers In Michigan Could Get A Shot At Parole

http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2016/01/25/more-than-300-juvenile-lifers-in-michigan-could-get-a-shot-at-parole/

More than 300 Michigan prisoners serving no-parole sentences will likely have an opportunity for release after a major decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court says prisoners who have been locked up for years must benefit from a 2012 ruling that outlawed automatic no-parole sentences as cruel punishment for first-degree murder.

It applies to people convicted of murder when they were teenagers.

Ann Arbor attorney Deborah LaBelle says the reaction Monday has been “tears of joy” in Michigan prisons. At 71, Sheldry Topp is the oldest state inmate serving a no-parole sentence for murder as a teen. He’s been in prison for 53 years.

Roughly 350 prisoners are affected. It’s unclear whether they will get parole hearings or new sentences. Attorney General Bill Schuette is reviewing the decision.

Wow! The fur is flying, over the hill and far away!

I've never seen such language, such implausible arguments and unsupported, purported "facts" in my life. Now granted, I am rather young, but really!

I click, read in amazement, then hit the back arrow. There is no other way to deal with a population that is having a nervous breakdown online. It's painful to watch.

I think I'll just post one of my favorite Broadway tunes to cheer us all up:

Sanders, Clinton, Their Ads, and the Politics of Trench Warfare By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/01/sanders-clinton-their-ads-and-the-politics-of-trench-warfare.html

Both the Sanders and the Clinton campaigns have issued their “closing” TV ads for the Iowa caucuses (which may be repurposed for the New Hampsire primary; I don’t know). Both are sixty seconds long and obviously produced by highly professional campaign teams. The Sanders ad is titled “America”; the Clinton ad, “Stand Up.” First, I’m going to present both ads, along with a “census” of the people who appear in each, for reasons I’ll get to. Next, I”ll compare and contrast the two. Finally, I’ll look very briefly at the “theories of change” that both ads embody. (This is the trench warfare part.)
(Both ads were covered in the New York Times....links at OP)
I encourage you to view both ads; sixty-seconds exposure can’t possibly be toxic...Oh, and turn up the volume; the soundtracks are important. So, to the ads!


Sanders Ad: “America”



Here is the “census” of the Sanders ad; I’ve included the time codes so you can check me. SEE LINK


Clinton Ad: “Stand Up”

SEE LINK FOR VIDEO--IT'S NOT AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE! (Bad move, Hillary!)

) Here is the “census” of the Clinton ad, also with time codes (see link)

The Sanders and Clinton Ads Compared

1. Identity Politics


To give credit to Clinton, campaign chair Podesta yanked attack puppy David Brock’s choke collar when Brock proposed (suicidally) to go after Sanders on his personal health. But here’s what Brock had to say about the Sanders ad:

David Brock, a longtime Clinton supporter who founded the “super PAC” backing her, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the advertising presented a “bizarre” image of America focused on white voters. Mr. Brock also said the ad was a “significant slight to the Democratic base,” according to the news agency.

“From this ad it seems black lives don’t matter much to Bernie Sanders,” Mr. Brock told The Associated Press.


To determine Brock’s “focus on white voters,” let’s look at the census for each candidate’s ad[1]: Black adults shown for Sanders: 3. For Clinton: 2. Crowds/rallies (with distinguishable faces) that are not all white: Sanders 6/11; Clinton: 3/9. More importantly, look at the adult social relations: The Sanders volunteer (0:21) clearly has agency, and the older black woman (0:42) is being embraced by Sanders (to be fair, Clinton also embraces a woman at 0:54, albeit a white one). More centrally, all blacks portrayed in the Clinton ad are in subordinate positions: A white woman coordinator and an almost out-of-frame black worker (0:33), not to mention the single, centered, dominant white woman and the many black children (0:10). I could wish that both ads were better, but the Sanders ad is, if anything, less “bizarre” than the Clinton ad.

Apparently Podesta didn’t direct Brock not to lie, or to be vile (or, to be fair, Podesta and Brock failed to coordinate properly). All that money, and the Clinton campaign can’t come up with a competent surrogate? Smarter attack puppies, please.

2. Candidate Focus

Here again we can turn to the census: Sanders appears 13 times; Clinton, 26. “From this ad,” as David Brck usefully phrases it, and these metrics, as well as the montage of supporters in “America” — nothing remotely like it appears in “Stand Up” — it would be fair to say that the Clinton campaign is about Clinton; the Sanders campaign, by contrast, is about his supporters.

3. Candidate Spouses

Here again we have metrics from the census: Appearances with spouse, Sanders: 2 (0:30 and 0:42). Appearances with spouse, Clinton: 0. One can only wonder why.

4. Sound Track and Dominant Emotions

The Clinton soundtrack is a doomy rapid-fire voiceover spoken one of those dominance-hormone-soaked male announcers. So scary! And very old-fashioned. The Sanders soundtrack, by contrast, is not spoken but sung: Simon and Garfunkel’s America. To veer into policy for a moment, here’s why Garfunkel authorized the Sanders campaign to use the song:

I believe the monied interests have gone too far and have rigged the system.


The dominant emotion is Clinton’s ad is clearly fear: As the Times puts it:

It feels as if it’s much longer than 60 seconds, and that is a good thing: The ad seeks to give Mrs. Clinton’s strengths the feeling of overwhelming force while conveying that only she has what it takes to meet the demands of the presidency and to defend what Democrats hold dear.


“Defend.” That’s fear. Or, as Greg Sargent puts it:

Clinton has reverted to a hard-boiled message about the need for experience and toughness to confront a dangerous, complicated world.


Again, fear. Sargent goes on to contrast Clinton’s message to Sanders. The headline reads: “Bernie Sanders wants to be this year’s hope and change candidate,” but I don’t think that’s quite right; I think the the dominant emotion in the Sanders ad is not hope, but wonder. Garfunkel again, on what he sought to convey musically:

I wanted my arrangement to be urgent, reaching, yearning, shining, and full of glory, full of my love for this country.


And wonder is what the last shot of “America” conveys to me: Sanders looking out over the crowd, amazed at what has (finally?) come into being (and with 70% small contributors, too, none of whom, by definition, are maxed out). The Times writes:

The ad actually said plenty about how Mr. Sanders views the Democratic presidential contest. As politicians often say but seldom get across so viscerally, the election is ultimately about the voters. By turning over the microphone to Simon and Garfunkel, and aiming the camera not at Mr. Sanders so much as at Iowans generally and his admirers specifically, the ad tries to convey that “what Bernie Sanders is building is a movement in America,” explained Tad Devine, his senior strategist.


Well, Mr. Devine, I hope so because that’s what it will take. But I haven’t seen any institutional signs of it. When is that happening?

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Debunking the Case Against Bernie By Ben Norton / Salon

http://www.alternet.org/media/debunking-case-against-bernie?akid=13899.227380.lbKGzD&rd=1&src=newsletter1049249&t=9

As Sanders catches up to Hillary in the polls, corporate media circles the wagons as expected.

Argumentum ad nauseam refers to the logical fallacy that an argument is correct by virtue of it constantly being repeated. Argumentum ad hominem is the fallacy that a point is wrong because of personal critiques of the person making it. A new logical fallacy should be added to the list: Argumentum ad centrum, or the flawed claim that an assertion is accurate because it is from the ideological center.

The argumentum ad centrum is increasingly popular in politics today, as working-class people all around the world become more and more frustrated with the status quo. The rapid rise of left-wing alternatives to an increasingly right-wing political modus operandi — with Bernie Sanders in the U.S., Jeremy Corbyn in the U.K.,Podemos in Spain, Syriza in Greece and more — has apologists for power on the ropes, desperately clutching for any argument that can beat back the dissent and discontent. Nowhere is this more evident than in the incessant liberal attacks on Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose unexpected presidential campaign has, in mere months, taken U.S. politics by storm.

Columnist Jonathan Chait lobbed a series of argumenta ad centrum at the Vermont senator in “The Case Against Bernie Sanders.” The article, published this week in New York magazine, went viral with tens of thousands of shares. The crux of Chait’s argument is that Sanders is too extreme of a candidate, and that U.S. politics is too far to the right, for him to get anything done. It is not until the final paragraph of his piece that Chait, an unabashed Clinton aficionado, makes it clear that he does not endorse “Sanders’s policy vision.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, his points perilously teeter-totter back and forth between vapid political tea-leaf reading and baseless condemnation.

“What the next president won’t accomplish is to increase taxes, expand social programs, or do anything to reduce inequality, given the House Republicans’ fanatically pro-inequality positions across the board,” Chait argues. “The next Democratic presidential term will be mostly defensive, a bulwark against the enactment of the radical Ryan plan. What little progress liberals can expect will be concentrated in the non-Sanders realm.”


In other words, Chait is essentially telling the American left to simply give up, because the cards are stacked in the interest of power. His entire article is a defense of fatalism and political resignation, covered with a thin veneer of liberal analysis. “It seems bizarre for Democrats to risk losing the presidency by embracing a politically radical doctrine that stands zero chance of enactment even if they win,” Chait adds.

One could imagine similar pieces written in the early 19th century, with respectable pundits haughtily chiding abolitionists for being too extreme and unrealistic, insisting that slavery is reforming and getting progressively less brutal; or in the late 19th century, with popular columnists chastising suffragists for taking such clearly outlandish and utopian positions. Chait further confirmed these suspicions in a tweet, writing, “Even if you agree with Sanders’ ideas, which I don’t, they’re badly mismatched with the powers he would have.” The New York magazine columnist’s piece is, in essence, an extended argument from the center. In painting Sanders’ candidacy as a dangerous and extreme political gamble, Chait tries to graft a superficially attractive sheen onto the asinine axiom that the truth necessarily lies somewhere in the middle...We have all heard the argument before: The truth lies not on the right or the left, but rather safely in the middle. It has become increasingly popular in U.S. politics, as the Republican Party has veered into the far right, and the Democratic Party has retreated to the center, since the rise of neoliberalism in the 1980s.

******************************

What Chait and fellow pundits fail to acknowledge, nevertheless, is that Sanders’ supposedly extreme policies are in fact supported by a majority of Americans.


A takedown of Chait, to be sure...not so much a supporter of Bernie!

Is Sanders' Striking Success in New Hampshire a Sign of a National Political Shocker in the Making?

Polling continues to show the more people get to know Bernie, the more popular he becomes; and he whips Trump....By Eric Zuesse

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/sanders-striking-success-new-hampshire-sign-national-political-shocker-making?akid=13911.227380.CSdqB3&rd=1&src=newsletter1049468&t=3

The latest New Hampshire Democratic primary poll indicates not only a current reality in that state, but an underlying and far more important national trend, a trend exhibited in N.H. that has bearing more broadly throughout the country, and that shows U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders already well on the road toward locking up the Democratic nomination, barring any future game-changing disclosures about one or both candidates, which are always possibilities in any political contest, and can never be ruled out. The same poll also shows Sanders performing more strongly against any Republican than Hillary Clinton would....

The CNN/WMUR New Hampshire Primary Poll, sponsored by WMUR-TV and CNN, and conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, randomly surveyed New Hampshire adults and found 420 who indicated that they intended to vote in the Democratic Presidential primary on February 9th. Here are the results:

More than nine in ten (91%) likely Democratic Primary voters have a favorable opinion of Sanders, only 7% have an unfavorable opinion of him, 2% are neutral, and 1% don’t know enough about him to say. Sanders’ net favorability rating is an almost unheard of +84%.

Former Secretary of State and 2008 New Hampshire Primary winner Hillary Clinton also continues to be popular in the state – 65% of likely Democratic Primary voters have a favorable opinion of Clinton, 26% have an unfavorable opinion of her, 9% are neutral, and 1% don’t know enough about her to say. Clinton’s net favorability rating is +39%.

Sanders’ net favorability rating has steadily increased over 2015 from +34% in February to +67% in September to +84% in the most recent poll. Clinton’s has eroded through the same period, from +74% in February to +44% in September, and remaining at +39% in the latest CNN/WMUR poll.


...What this crucial fact means is: the more that voters get to know about Sanders, the more they approve of him, whereas the more that they get to know about Clinton, the less they approve of her. (As regards O’Malley, voters still can’t see any reason for him to be running, other than self-aggrandizement.)

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Elizabeth Warren’s dilemma: Should she endorse Clinton, or Sanders?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2016/01/15/elizabeth-warrens-dilemma-should-she-endorse-clinton-or-sanders/

With Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders locked in an intensifying struggle over Iowa and New Hampshire, the chatter among Democrats is turning to a big unknown: Which candidate will Elizabeth Warren endorse?

A Warren endorsement of Clinton before Iowa could help her stave off the Sanders challenge by signaling to more liberal voters who are intrigued by Sanders’ candidacy that she should be seen as sufficiently progressive on Warren’s core issues, such as Wall Street oversight and accountability. On the other hand, a Warren endorsement of Sanders before Iowa could help Sanders pull off an upset there, which would likely be followed by a New Hampshire victory, possibly shifting the dynamic in later contests, though she’d still be the favorite. It’s hard to know how much influence a Warren endorsement would have. But it might have some.

Which candidate will Warren endorse, if either? If she does endorse, when will she do it? My conversations with a number of Democrats about this decision suggest it may prove more complicated for Warren than it might seem at first glance. On the one hand, it would seem to make sense that Warren might endorse Sanders. The Vermont Senator backs a similar agenda to Warren’s — such as breaking up the big banks and reinstating a new Glass Steagall that builds a wall between commercial and investment banking, and a $15-per-hour minimum wage. Clinton doesn’t support those things. What’s more, Warren and Sanders both share an emphasis on the notion that financial institutions have too much power, and have been able to rig the rules of the market in their favor — rules that need a fundamental overhaul, along with a substantial stiffening of oversight and accountability. Clinton stresses this, too, but it’s not as fundamental and central to her vision as it is to that of Warren and Sanders.

On the other hand, Politico reported this the other day:

People close to Warren’s political advisers in Boston say an endorsement of Clinton is far more likely than one of Sanders at this point. Clinton allies have long pointed to a 2013 letter that Warren signed with other female Democratic senators urging the former secretary of state to get into the race.


It turns out that a Warren endorsement of Clinton would not be all that surprising, either, even though Clinton is widely described by progressives as too close to Wall Street. As Mike Konczal has detailed, there is actually substantial overlap between Warren’s agenda and Clinton’s Wall Street plan, too...a Warren endorsement of Clinton could hardly be dismissed as a sellout of her own priorities. Still, Warren is also surely mindful that a Clinton endorsement would disappoint a lot of Sanders supporters — who make up her own national base, too — as well as progressive groups that have backed the Vermont Senator.

**********************************************

Also, if Warren were to wait until Clinton looks like she’s on her way to wrapping up the nomination before backing her, it might not be as disappointing to Sanders backers, since Warren would not have played any direct role in arresting the Sanders surge. Or if she were to wait that long before backing Sanders (which seems less likely at this point), she would not have played a role in complicating the establishment pick’s march to the nomination.

So, you see, it’s complicated.

What the Liberal Attacks on Bernie Sanders Are Really About By David Dayen

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2016/01/22/What-Liberal-Attacks-Bernie-Sanders-Are-Really-About

Self-styled liberal wonks and opinion writers decided to turn their guns on Bernie Sanders this week, deriding him as myopic, unrealistic and even wrong on the merits of his arguments on behalf of single-payer healthcare and systemic financial reform. But at least on financial reform, they weren’t actually attacking Bernie. They were attacking Elizabeth Warren.

It’s Warren, not Sanders, who represents the leftward pole in the intra-Democratic debate over how deeply to reform the financial sector. Warren, not Sanders, manifests part of her vision in the bill she wrote — the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act, named for the two Depression-era lawmakers who initially separated commercial and investment banking. When Hillary Clinton and her supporters in the media dismiss Glass-Steagall as unnecessary and dangerous, they dismiss a consensus in most developed nations about the need to break interconnections in finance. The radicals in this debate, in other words, are those protecting the deregulatory status quo.

Here’s one such radical: Paul Krugman, who derided the restoration of Glass-Steagall as “nowhere near solving the real problems.” As many commentators do, Krugman takes a detour into identifying whether the investment/commercial bank firewall caused the 2008 crisis, an irrelevant parlour game, unless you think the next financial crash will occur in precisely the same way. He is wedded to the idea that the rise of shadow banking — non-bank institutions performing bank-like activities outside the regulatory perimeter — represents the real threat. This runs counter to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission’s report and a host of financial experts, all of whom list banks’ “too big to fail” status as a central factor. But beyond that, it’s clear to me that Krugman has never read the bill, Elizabeth Warren’s 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act, which he’s criticizing.

Here’s a one-page fact sheet, and the relatively longer 30-page bill text. The 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act restricts banks to a core set of activities: taking deposits, extending credit to individuals and businesses, processing payments, buying and selling “coin and bullion,” and investing in securities for customers — and only for customers, “in no case for its own account.” Banks fitting this description get access to cheap Federal Reserve loans, deposit insurance from the FDIC and other government perks. Banks trying to do anything else — stock underwriting, bond issuance, market-making, investment advisory services, management consulting, hedge fund or private equity activity, investments in “structured or synthetic products” like asset-backed securities or derivatives, repurchase agreements, interest-rate or currency swaps, or even affiliating with or creating a subsidiary of firms engaged in any of this — will be cited with violations of the law and prosecuted (bank executives must sign a form attesting to this under penalty of perjury). Members of bank boards couldn’t even serve on the boards of non-bank financial firms. These are often the activities of shadow banking. And Warren’s goal is to restrict shadow banks from government subsidies...

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I don't know whether the author (a valued blogger in economics issues) has the right of it, but if so, the obvious fear is that Elizabeth Warren will be running as Bernie's VP. I think that would be something to fear, if you are a bankster...but I don't think she has any intention of doing so.

How Taxes Have Kept Wealth White

http://toomuchonline.org/how-taxes-have-kept-wealth-white/


From the days of slavery to the 21st century rebirth of the poll tax, our tax system has been concentrating wealth at African-American expense, as legal scholar Andre Smith details in a timely new book. The concept of institutional racism, thanks to the Black Lives Matter movement, is moving right onto America’s political center stage. The institution under the brightest spotlight? That has to be America’s criminal justice system. But considerable attention has also focused on other institutions as well, most notably education and the financial industry. But one institution hardly ever comes to mind when talk turns to institutional racism: our tax system. Most of us simply do not think about racism when we think about taxes. Andre Smith does. Smith currently teaches at the Delaware Law School, and he has a new book out — Essays on the Relationship Between Tax Law and Racial Economic Justice: Black Tax — that just may redefine what we mean by institutional racism. Smith shared his perspectives last month with Too Much editor Sam Pizzigati.

Too Much: At its core, American slavery before the Civil War operated as a system of forced labor that expropriated the wealth that people of African descent created. But that expropriation, your new book relates, had a powerful tax component as well. How did taxes intensify the exploitation that slavery represented?

Andre Smith: Suppose we play Monopoly and one of us isn’t allowed to move around the board while everybody else can make money and buy up the best properties. Then, after twenty rolls of the dice, the other players allow the excluded player fully into the game. Is the game suddenly fair? Of course not. The privileged players would have, by then, more wealth and property at their disposal. The disadvantaged player would have to somehow make do with low-value properties like Baltic and Mediterranean — and will likely end up bankrupt and out of the game.

Slavery and Jim Crow-style peonage after the Civil War essentially represented a 100 percent tax on black labor, the proceeds of which were redistributed to every corner of American society. Then, after segregation, blacks were finally allowed to play the game under substantially the same rules as everyone else, but without the financial, intellectual, and social capital whites in the United States had accumulated over the previous several hundred years.
Slavery as a 100 percent tax on labor remains a principal reason why blacks in America remain disproportionately without wealth to this day. The billions of dollars extracted from slave labor represent tons of missing wealth from the black balance sheet. Those billions of dollars did not disappear. Local, county, and state taxes on the profits from slavery redistributed those billions throughout American society. The proceeds were spent on schools, roads, and other programs that, of course, excluded blacks from their benefits. Even the federal tariff on foreign goods before the Civil War had a racial component. With this tax on imports in place, New York manufacturers could “overcharge” the South for the goods the region needed. Slave-owners complained bitterly that at least half of the profits from slavery were ending up in the North.

Remember, slaveowners had the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision in their pocket, as well as the Fugitive Slave Act, and Congress had not actually threatened to end slavery in the South. Therefore, the federal tariff was perhaps the only significant reason for the Confederate states to secede.

Free blacks before the Civil War, meanwhile, faced prohibitive and oppressive taxation. Whites feared that free blacks like Denmark Vescey and Nat Turner would inspire slaves to revolt. And poorer whites considered free blacks labor competition. So whites taxed them heavily and often called for special taxes dedicated to shipping free blacks back to Africa. Many abolitionists, for their part, wanted to tax slavery out of business, and they petitioned state legislatures for such tax laws. But almost uniformly they also wanted to use the proceeds from such taxes to return freed slaves to Africa.

Those free blacks who couldn’t pay their taxes were often re-enslaved. Many impoverished free blacks in that position sought out another free black or a friendly white person to “buy” them at auction. But most states had laws prohibiting free blacks from owning slaves, else that ownership would put them on the same social status as whites... Taxes reflected the new social, racial order. Discriminatory state poll or head taxes, for instance, imposed the highest flat rates on black men, with black women second and white men next. America’s first instances of affirmative action, in fact, involved exemptions from tax laws designed to attract white men to the South to serve as overseers, vigilante patrolmen, and the like. There were other laws that required a certain number of white men to be hired per certain number of slaves purchased or utilized.

much more--must read!

Sam Pizzigati edits Too Much, the Institute for Policy Studies online monthly on excess and inequality. His latest book: The Rich Don’t Always Win: The Forgotten Triumph over Plutocracy that Created the American Middle Class, 1900-1970 (Seven Stories Press).


- See more at: http://toomuchonline.org/how-taxes-have-kept-wealth-white/#sthash.sjSENXS9.dpuf

Fairytales much older than previously thought, say researchers

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jan/20/fairytales-much-older-than-previously-thought-say-researchers?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Tweet

Fairy stories such as Beauty and the Beast and Rumpelstiltskin can be traced back thousands of years to prehistoric times, with one tale originating from the bronze age, academics have revealed.

Using techniques normally employed by biologists, they studied common links between 275 Indo-European fairy tales from around the world and found some have roots that are far older than previously known, and “long before the emergence of the literary record”.

While stories such as Beauty and the Beast and Rumplestiltskin were first written down in the 17th and 18th century, the researchers found they originated “significantly earlier”. “Both tales can be securely traced back to the emergence of the major western Indo-European subfamilies as distinct lineages between 2,500 and 6,000 years ago,” they write...

Robert Reich: The Bernie skeptics are wrong — here are 6 reasons why

http://www.salon.com/2016/01/20/robert_reich_the_bernie_skeptics_are_wrong_here_are_6_reasons_why_partner/


1. “He’d never beat Trump or Cruz in a general election.”

Wrong. According to the latest polls, Bernie is the strongest Democratic candidate in the general election, defeating both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in hypothetical matchups. (The latest Real Clear Politics averages of all polls shows Bernie beating Trump by a larger margin than Hillary beats Trump, and Bernie beating Cruz while Hillary loses to Cruz.)

2. “He couldn’t get any of his ideas implemented because Congress would reject them.”

If both house of Congress remain in Republican hands, no Democrat will be able to get much legislation through Congress, and will have to rely instead on executive orders and regulations. But there’s a higher likelihood of kicking Republicans out if Bernie’s “political revolution” continues to surge around America, bringing with it millions of young people and other voters, and keeping them politically engaged.

3. “America would never elect a socialist.”

P-l-e-a-s-e. America’s most successful and beloved government programs are social insurance – Social Security and Medicare. A highway is a shared social expenditure, as is the military and public parks and schools. The problem is we now have excessive socialism for the rich (bailouts of Wall Street, subsidies for Big Ag and Big Pharma, monopolization by cable companies and giant health insurers, giant tax-deductible CEO pay packages) – all of which Bernie wants to end or prevent.

4. “His single-payer healthcare proposal would cost so much it would require raising taxes on the middle class.”

This is a duplicitous argument. Studies show that a single-payer system would be far cheaper than our current system, which relies on private for-profit health insurers, because a single-payer system wouldn’t spend huge sums on advertising, marketing, executive pay, and billing. So even if the Sanders single-payer plan did require some higher taxes, Americans would come out way ahead because they’d save far more than that on health insurance.

5. “His plan for paying for college with a tax on Wall Street trades would mean colleges would run by government rules.”

Baloney. Three-quarters of college students today already attend public universities financed largely by state governments, and they’re not run by government rules. The real problem is too many young people still can’t afford a college education. The move toward free public higher education that began in the 1950s with the G.I. Bill and extended into the 1960s came to an abrupt stop in the 1980s. We must restart it.

6. “He’s too old.”


Untrue. He’s in great health. Have you seen how agile and forceful he is as he campaigns around the country? These days, 70s are the new 60s. (He’s younger than four of the nine Supreme Court justices.) In any event, the issue isn’t age; it’s having the right values. FDR was paralyzed, and JFK had both Addison’s and Crohn’s diseases, but they were great presidents because they fought adamantly for social and economic justice.
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