Bernie Sanders news roundup 7/5-12 | #BernieSanders on Blog#42

This week’s roundup in Bernie news is about the same as last week, when it comes to the bad and the ugly. Anthony Weiner apparently weighed in, negatively, on Sanders. I am not reposting that story.

It looks like the most Bernie-friendly media outlets are the ones that cater to millenials.

Here are four pieces that caught my eye, not necessarily for a good reason.

Sanders seeks to draw distinctions from Clinton

Bernie Sanders is casting himself as the most populist of the Democratic presidential contenders.

The independent senator from Vermont said that while he has plenty of admiration for front-runner Hillary Clinton, there are a number of issues that distinguish him as the true candidate for the middle class.

He singled out his vote against an Iraq War that Clinton, as a New York senator, supported, as well as his staunch opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline and President Obama’s trade agenda –– two issues which Clinton has largely side-stepped.

“I like Hillary Clinton and I respect Hillary Clinton. And I’m not going to engage in personal attacks against Hillary Clinton. But there are differences of opinion that we have which should be the basis for a serious discussion,” Sanders said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” program.

“On issue after issue, whether it’s raising minimum wage to $15 an hour, whether it is the trade agreement –– … she has not been clear on it — there are very significant differences of opinion that we have.”

Sanders has emerged as a surprisingly strong candidate since launching his campaign two months ago, raising $15 million and making huge gains on Clinton recently among Democratic voters in Iowa, which will host the country’s first presidential nomination vote.

The liberal icon attributes his success to a populist message that seeks to empower the middle class and erode the influence of Wall Street and other well-heeled interests.

“People are saying, enough is enough. That is not what this country is supposed to be about,” he said. We want to be able to send our kids to college. We want to be able to have decent child care. We don’t want to be the only major nation on earth that doesn’t guarantee family and medical leave, paid sick time, paid vacation time. We want a government that starts representing working families and not just wealthy campaign donors, which is what we have right now.

“I think that is the message that is resonating all across the country.” […]

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Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a  Democratic presidential candidate, at a rally in Portland, Me., last week.
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a  Democratic presidential candidate, at a rally in Portland, Me., last week.Credit Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press
Bernie Sanders Courts Martha’s Vineyard Donors

By Jonathan Martin


Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has risen in the polls thanks in part to his denunciations of the forces of concentrated wealth, drawing thousands of liberals to hear his jeremiads against corporate power in early nominating states and liberal hubs such as Madison, Wis.

But Mr. Sanders quietly stepped off the campaign trail this weekend to visit Martha’s Vineyard, a favorite summer destination of the country’s elite, in order to mix with representatives of some of the same interests he inveighs against in his stump speech.

Mr. Sanders attended the annual Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee fund-raiser on the Massachusetts island, a popular gathering that draws some of the most prominent business lobbyists and fund-raisers in the Democratic Party.

One prominent attendee, a supporter of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign, suggested Mr. Sanders’s appearance suggested he was more pragmatic than his rhetoric would let on.

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In 1988, Bernie Sanders Condemned Israeli Attacks On Palestinians As “Reprehensible

Sanders was once a strong critic of the Israeli policies towards Palestinians.

This incident has created a rift between some progressives and Sanders, who is widely viewed as the most progressive member of the Senate. Many have questioned whether he can truly stand up for progressive values against a country that appears dead-set on maintaining an indefinite disenfranchisement of Palestinians. Scholar Cornel West has raised the Palestinian issue as one reason he is hesitant to endorse Sanders.

Yet what many may not know is that Sanders was once a strong critic of the Israeli policies towards Palestinians – going further than any major presidential candidate ever has in terms of excoriating that country’s policies.

In 1988, Sanders was an independent mayor of Burlington, Vermont, and running for the U.S. Congress; he took the unusual step of deciding to rally his supporters in favor of Jesse Jackson’s Democratic primary campaign. Sanders had never participated in any Democratic Party activity before, so he was inundated with questions about his support for Jackson at a press event.

At this very same event on March 10th, 1988, Sanders was asked about Jackson’s support for the Palestinians – Al Gore had just attacked him on the issue for the first time. Jackson was explicitly calling for a Palestinian state, thirteen years before President Bill Clinton became the first U.S. President to do the same in his last year in office. This was controversial in quarters of the Democratic Party, where some pro-Israel factions were totally opposed to the idea of Palestinian sovereignty.

Last summer, during the fighting between Israel and Gaza, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was confronted by an angry town hall that objected to Senate votes supporting Israel. Sanders insisted that he did not put his name on the pro-Israel resolution in question, but did offer qualified support to Israeli self-defense, while accusing the country of going too far in bombing UN facilities.

The Bernie Sanders Moment

THE white-haired politician stands before 10,000 cheering supporters in Madison, Wis., and calls for “political revolution,” denouncing a “rigged economy” that produces “a grotesque level of inequality,” returning to a theme that ’60s radicals have long been trumpeting.

It may have seemed, only a few years ago, that the ’60s radical moment was consigned to documentaries on Woodstock, pushed out of the spotlight for Occupy Wall Street and a new generation of activists to enter stage left. But here it is again. And it is perfectly timed to crusade against what Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, calls an “oligarchy.”

In Mr. Sanders’s run — and in the absence of a White House bid from Senator Elizabeth Warren — progressives have found a candidate they can support wholeheartedly. To understand the moment that the 73-year-old Mr. Sanders is enjoying, we have to see how he got here, waiting for national politics to catch up.

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