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HerbChestnut

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Member since: Fri Jul 24, 2015, 12:17 AM
Number of posts: 3,649

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Bernie Sanders Plan to Address Racial Justice

https://berniesanders.com/issues/


We must pursue policies that transform this country into a nation that affirms the value of its people of color. That starts with addressing the four central types of violence waged against black and brown Americans: physical, political, legal and economic.

Physical Violence
Perpetrated by the State

Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Rekia Boyd, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice, Samuel DuBose. We know their names. Each of them died unarmed at the hands of police officers or in police custody. The chants are growing louder. People are angry and they have a right to be angry. We should not fool ourselves into thinking that this violence only affects those whose names have appeared on TV or in the newspaper. African Americans are twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police.
Perpetrated by Extremists

We are far from eradicating racism in this country. In June, nine of our fellow Americans were murdered while praying in a historic church because of the color of their skin. This violence fills us with outrage, disgust, and a deep, deep sadness. Today in America, if you are black, you can be killed for getting a pack of Skittles during a basketball game. These hateful acts of violence amount to acts of terror. They are perpetrated by extremists who want to intimidate and terrorize black and brown people in this country.
Addressing Physical Violence

It is an outrage that in these early years of the 21st century we are seeing intolerable acts of violence being perpetuated by police, and racist terrorism by white supremacists.

A growing number of communities do not trust the police and law enforcement officers have become disconnected from the communities they are sworn to protect. Violence and brutality of any kind, particularly at the hands of the police sworn to protect and serve our communities, is unacceptable and must not be tolerated. We need a societal transformation to make it clear that black lives matter, and racism cannot be accepted in a civilized country.

1. We must demilitarize our police forces so they don’t look and act like invading armies.

2. We must invest in community policing. Only when we get officers into the communities, working within neighborhoods before trouble arises, do we develop the relationships necessary to make our communities safer together. Among other things, that means increasing civilian oversight of police departments.

3. We need police forces that reflect the diversity of our communities.

4. At the federal level we need to establish a new model police training program that reorients the way we do law enforcement in this country. With input from a broad segment of the community including activists and leaders from organizations like Black Lives Matter we will reinvent how we police America.

5. We need to federally fund and require body cameras for law enforcement officers to make it easier to hold them accountable.

6. Our Justice Department must aggressively investigate and prosecute police officers who break the law and hold them accountable for their actions.

7. We need to require police departments and states to provide public reports on all police shootings and deaths that take place while in police custody.

8. We need new rules on the allowable use of force. Police officers need to be trained to de-escalate confrontations and to humanely interact with people who have mental illnesses.

9. States and localities that make progress in this area should get more federal justice grant money. Those that do not should get their funding slashed.

10. We need to make sure the federal resources are there to crack down on the illegal activities of hate groups.

Political Violence
Disenfranchisement

In the shameful days of open segregation, “literacy” laws were used to suppress minority voting. Today, through other laws and actions — such as requiring voters to show photo ID, discriminatory drawing of Congressional districts, not allowing early registration or voting, and purging voter rolls — states are taking steps which have a similar effect.

The patterns are unmistakable. An MIT paper found that African Americans waited twice as long to vote as whites. Wait times of as long as six or seven hours have been reported in some minority precincts, especially in “swing” states like Ohio and Florida. Thirteen percent of African-American men have lost the right to vote due to felony convictions.

This should offend the conscience of every American.

The fight for minority voting rights is a fight for justice. It is inseparable from the struggle for democracy itself.

We must work vigilantly to ensure that every American, regardless of skin color or national origin, is able to vote freely and easily.

Addressing Political Violence

1. We need to re-enfranchise the more than two million African Americans who have had their right to vote taken away by a felony conviction.

2. Congress must restore the Voting Rights Act’s “pre-clearance” provision, which extended protections to minority voters in states where they were clearly needed.

3. We must expand the Act’s scope so that every American, regardless of skin color or national origin, is able to vote freely.

4. We need to make Election Day a federal holiday to increase voters’ ability to participate.

5. We must make early voting an option for voters who work or study and need the flexibility to vote on evenings or weekends.

6. We must make no-fault absentee ballots an option for all Americans.

7. Every American over 18 must be registered to vote automatically, so that students and working people can make their voices heard at the ballot box.

8. We must put an end to discriminatory laws and the purging of minority-community names from voting rolls.

9. We need to make sure that there are sufficient polling places and poll workers to prevent long lines from forming at the polls anywhere.

Legal Violence

Millions of lives have been destroyed because people are in jail for nonviolent crimes. For decades, we have been engaged in a failed “War on Drugs” with racially-biased mandatory minimums that punish people of color unfairly.

It is an obscenity that we stigmatize so many young Americans with a criminal record for smoking marijuana, but not one major Wall Street executive has been prosecuted for causing the near collapse of our entire economy. This must change.

If current trends continue, one in four black males born today can expect to spend time in prison during their lifetime. Blacks are imprisoned at six times the rate of whites and a report by the Department of Justice found that blacks were three times more likely to be searched during a traffic stop, compared to white motorists. African-Americans are twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police. This is an unspeakable tragedy.

It is morally repugnant and a national tragedy that we have privatized prisons all over America. In my view, corporations should not be allowed to make a profit by building more jails and keeping more Americans behind bars. We have got to end the private-for-profit prison racket in America. I intend to introduce legislation that will end the private prison industry.

The measure of success for law enforcement should not be how many people get locked up. We need to invest in drug courts as well as medical and mental health interventions for people with substance abuse problems, so that people struggling with addiction do not end up in prison, they end up in treatment.

For people who have committed crimes that have landed them in jail, there needs to be a path back from prison. The federal system of parole needs to be reinstated. We need real education and real skills training for the incarcerated.

We must end the over incarceration of nonviolent young Americans who do not pose a serious threat to our society. It is an international embarrassment that we have more people locked up in jail than any other country on earth – more than even the Communist totalitarian state of China. That has got to end.

We must address the lingering unjust stereotypes that lead to the labeling of black youths as “thugs.” We know the truth that, like every community in this country, the vast majority of people of color are trying to work hard, play by the rules and raise their children. It’s time to stop demonizing minority communities.

In many cities all over our country, the incentives for policing are upside down. Departments are bringing in substantial sums of revenue by seizing the personal property of people who are suspected of criminal involvement. So-called civil asset forfeiture laws allow police to take property from people even before they are charged with a crime, much less convicted of one. Even worse, the system works in a way that make it nearly impossible for an innocent person to get her property back. We must end programs that not only permit, but actually reward officials for seizing assets without a criminal conviction or other lawful mandate. Departments and officers should not profit off of such seizures.

We must reform our criminal justice system to ensure fairness and justice for people of color.

Addressing Legal Violence

1. We need to ban prisons for profit, which result in an over-incentive to arrest, jail and detain, in order to keep prison beds full.

2. We need to turn back from the failed “War on Drugs” and eliminate mandatory minimums which result in sentencing disparities between black and white people.

3. We need to invest in drug courts and medical and mental health interventions for people with substance abuse problems, so that they do not end up in prison, they end up in treatment.

4. We need to boost investments for programs that help people who have gone to jail rebuild their lives with education and job training.

5. We must abolish civil asset forfeiture programs which allow police departments to seize property from people who have not been convicted of a crime and profit off of such seizures.

Economic Violence

Weeks before his death, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke to a union group in New York about what he called “the other America.”

“One America is flowing with the milk of prosperity and the honey of equality,” King said. “That America is the habitat of millions of people who have food and material necessities for their bodies, culture and education for their minds, freedom and human dignity for their spirits. . . . But as we assemble here tonight, I’m sure that each of us is painfully aware of the fact that there is another America, and that other America has a daily ugliness about it that transforms the buoyancy of hope into the fatigue of despair.”

The problem was structural, King said: “This country has socialism for the rich, rugged individualism for the poor.”

Eight days later, speaking in Memphis, King continued the theme. “Do you know that most of the poor people in our country are working every day?” he asked striking sanitation workers. “And they are making wages so low that they cannot begin to function in the mainstream of the economic life of our nation. These are facts which must be seen, and it is criminal to have people working on a full-time basis and a full-time job getting part-time income.”

King explained the shift in his focus: “Now our struggle is for genuine equality, which means economic equality. For we know that it isn’t enough to integrate lunch counters. What does it profit a man to be able to eat at an integrated lunch counter if he doesn’t earn enough money to buy a hamburger and a cup of coffee?”

But what King saw in 1968 — and what we all should recognize today — is that it is necessary to try to address the rampant economic inequality while also taking on the issue of societal racism. We must simultaneously address the structural and institutional racism which exists in this country, while at the same time we vigorously attack the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality which is making the very rich much richer while everyone else – especially those in our minority communities – are becoming poorer.

In addition to the physical violence faced by too many in our country we need look at the lives of black children and address a few other difficult facts. Black children, who make up just 18 percent of preschoolers, account for 48 percent of all out-of-school suspensions before kindergarten. We are failing our black children before kindergarten. Black students were expelled at three times the rate of white students. Black girls were suspended at higher rates than all other girls and most boys. According to the Department of Education, African American students are more likely to suffer harsh punishments – suspensions and arrests – at school.

We need to take a hard look at our education system. Black students attend schools with higher concentrations of first-year teachers, compared with white students. Black students were more than three times as likely to attend schools where fewer than 60 percent of teachers meet all state certification and licensure requirements.

Communities of color also face the violence of economic deprivation. Let’s be frank: neighborhoods like those in west Baltimore, where Freddie Gray resided, suffer the most. However, the problem of economic immobility isn’t just a problem for young men like Freddie Gray. It has become a problem for millions of Americans who, despite hard-work and the will to get ahead, can spend their entire lives struggling to survive on the economic treadmill.

We live at a time when most Americans don’t have $10,000 in savings, and millions of working adults have no idea how they will ever retire in dignity. God forbid, they are confronted with an unforeseen car accident, a medical emergency, or the loss of a job. It would literally send their lives into an economic tailspin. And the problems are even more serious when we consider race.

Let us not forget: It was the greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior on Wall Street that nearly drove the economy off of the cliff seven years ago. While millions of Americans lost their jobs, homes, life savings, and ability to send their kids to college, African Americans who were steered into expensive subprime mortgages were the hardest hit.

Most black and Latino households have less than $350 in savings. The black unemployment rate has remained roughly twice as high as the white rate over the last 40 years, regardless of education. Real African American youth unemployment is over 50 percent. This is unacceptable. The American people in general want change – they want a better deal. A fairer deal. A new deal. They want an America with laws and policies that truly reward hard work with economic mobility. They want an America that affords all of its citizens with the economic security to take risks and the opportunity to realize their full potential.
Addressing Economic Violence

1. We need to give our children, regardless of their race or their income, a fair shot at attending college. That’s why all public universities should be made tuition free.

2. We must invest $5.5 billion in a federally-funded youth employment program to employ young people of color who face disproportionately high unemployment rates.

3. Knowing that black women earn 64 cents on the dollar compared to white men, we must pass federal legislation to establish pay equity for women.

4. We must prevent employers from discriminating against applicants based on criminal history.

5. We need to ensure access to quality affordable childcare for working families.

Bernie Sanders Plan to Address Big Money in Politics

From the website: https://berniesanders.com/issues/

Freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to buy the United States government. Oil companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, Wall Street bankers and other powerful special interests have poured money into our political system for years. In 2010, a bad situation turned worse. In a 5-4 decision in the Citizens United case, the Supreme Court opened the floodgates for corporations and the wealthy to spend unlimited and undisclosed money to buy our elected officials. The Supreme Court essentially declared that corporations have the same rights as natural-born human beings.

Our democracy is under fierce attack. Billionaire families are now able to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to buy the candidates of their choice. These people own most of the economy. Now they want to own our government as well. The Koch brothers, the second wealthiest family in America, plan to spend some $900 million in the coming 2016 election — more money than either of our major parties spent in the last election. That is not democracy. That is oligarchy. To restore our one person-one vote democracy, Congress must pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and move toward public funding of elections.

Bernie Sanders Plan to Address College Tuition

https://berniesanders.com/issues/

1. MAKE TUITION FREE AT PUBLIC COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES.

This is not a radical idea. Last year, Germany eliminated tuition because they believed that charging students $1,300 per year was discouraging Germans from going to college. Next year, Chile will do the same. Finland, Norway, Sweden and many other countries around the world also offer free college to all of their citizens. If other countries can take this action, so can the United States of America.

In fact, it’s what many of our colleges and universities used to do. The University of California system offered free tuition at its schools until the 1980s. In 1965, average tuition at a four-year public university was just $243 and many of the best colleges – including the City University of New York – did not charge any tuition at all. The Sanders plan would make tuition free at public colleges and universities throughout the country.

2. STOP THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FROM MAKING A PROFIT ON STUDENT LOANS.

Over the next decade, it has been estimated that the federal government will make a profit of over $110 billion on student loan programs. This is morally wrong and it is bad economics. As President, Sen. Sanders will prevent the federal government from profiteering on the backs of college students and use this money instead to significantly lower student loan interest rates.

3. SUBSTANTIALLY CUT STUDENT LOAN INTEREST RATES.

Under the Sanders plan, the formula for setting student loan interest rates would go back to where it was in 2006. If this plan were in effect today, interest rates on undergraduate loans would drop from 4.29% to just 2.37%.

4. ALLOW AMERICANS TO REFINANCE STUDENT LOANS AT TODAY’S LOW INTEREST RATES.

It makes no sense that you can get an auto loan today with an interest rate of 2.5%, but millions of college graduates are forced to pay interest rates of 5-7% or more for decades. Under the Sanders plan, Americans would be able to refinance their student loans at today’s low interest rates.

5. ALLOW STUDENTS TO USE NEED-BASED FINANCIAL AID AND WORK STUDY PROGRAMS TO MAKE COLLEGE DEBT FREE.

The Sanders plan would require public colleges and universities to meet 100% of the financial needs of the lowest-income students. Low-income students would be able to use federal, state and college financial aid to cover room and board, books and living expenses. And Sanders would more than triple the federal work study program to build valuable career experience that will help them after they graduate.

6. FULLY PAID FOR BY IMPOSING A TAX ON WALL STREET SPECULATORS.

The cost of this plan is fully paid for by imposing a tax of a fraction of a percent on Wall Street speculators who nearly destroyed the economy seven years ago. More than 1,000 economists have endorsed a tax on Wall Street speculation and today some 40 countries throughout the world have imposed a similar tax including Britain, Germany, France, Switzerland, and China. If the taxpayers of this country could bailout Wall Street in 2008, we can make public colleges and universities tuition free and debt free throughout the country.

Bernie Sanders Plan to Address Wealth and Income Inequality.

This series of threads is dedicated to a certain Hillary supporter.

https://berniesanders.com/issues/



As president, Senator Bernie Sanders will reduce income and wealth inequality by:

1. Demanding that the wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share in taxes. As president, Sen. Sanders will stop corporations from shifting their profits and jobs overseas to avoid paying U.S. income taxes. He will create a progressive estate tax on the top 0.3 percent of Americans who inherit more than $3.5 million. He will also enact a tax on Wall Street speculators who caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs, homes, and life savings.

2. Increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour by 2020. In the year 2015, no one who works 40 hours a week should be living in poverty.

3. Putting at least 13 million Americans to work by investing $1 trillion over five years towards rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, railways, airports, public transit systems, ports, dams, wastewater plants, and other infrastructure needs.

4. Reversing trade policies like NAFTA, CAFTA, and PNTR with China that have driven down wages and caused the loss of millions of jobs. If corporate America wants us to buy their products they need to manufacture those products in this country, not in China or other low-wage countries.

5. Creating 1 million jobs for disadvantaged young Americans by investing $5.5 billion in a youth jobs program. Today, the youth unemployment rate is off the charts. We have got to end this tragedy by making sure teenagers and young adults have the jobs they need to move up the economic ladder.

6. Fighting for pay equity by signing the Paycheck Fairness Act into law. It is an outrage that women earn just 78 cents for every dollar a man earns.

7. Making tuition free at public colleges and universities throughout America. Everyone in this country who studies hard should be able to go to college regardless of income.

8. Expanding Social Security by lifting the cap on taxable income above $250,000. At a time when the senior poverty rate is going up, we have got to make sure that every American can retire with dignity and respect.

9. Guaranteeing healthcare as a right of citizenship by enacting a Medicare for all single-payer healthcare system. It’s time for the U.S. to join every major industrialized country on earth and provide universal healthcare to all.

10. Requiring employers to provide at least 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave; two weeks of paid vacation; and 7 days of paid sick days. Real family values are about making sure that parents have the time they need to bond with their babies and take care of their children and relatives when they get ill.

11. Enacting a universal childcare and prekindergarten program. Every psychologist understands that the most formative years for a human being is from the ages 0-3. We have got to make sure every family in America has the opportunity to send their kids to a high quality childcare and pre-K program.

12. Making it easier for workers to join unions by fighting for the Employee Free Choice Act. One of the most significant reasons for the 40-year decline in the middle class is that the rights of workers to collectively bargain for better wages and benefits have been severely undermined.

13. Breaking up huge financial institutions so that they are no longer too big to fail. Seven years ago, the taxpayers of this country bailed out Wall Street because they were too big to fail. Yet, 3 out of the 4 largest financial institutions are 80 percent bigger today than before we bailed them out. Sen. Sanders has introduced legislation to break these banks up. As president, he will fight to sign this legislation into law.

Ronda Rousey endorses Bernie Sanders

Very popular athlete. Should make a few waves.

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/11/ronda-rousey-just-endorsed-bernie-sanders-for-president

Bernie and the Fight for 15.

Kudos to all those who showed up in the rain.



Senate passes Defense bill on Guantanamo Bay

http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/10/politics/senate-passes-defense-bill/index.html

(CNN)The Senate on Tuesday passed and will send to the White House a broad defense policy bill that would block the President from bringing terrorism suspects held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the United States.

Unknown is whether President Barack Obama -- who made closing the detention center a key campaign promise -- will veto the bill or sign it despite the Gitmo restrictions.

The overwhelming and bipartisan vote was 91 to 3, which means it has more than enough supporters to override a presidential veto.


Why am I posting this in GDP? It's simple. This is establishment politics at its worst. This is what Bernie is campaigning against, and when he calls for a Political Revolution, it's to get rid of representatives who vote to keep Guantanamo open. It's to vote *for* candidates who want real progressive change in this country.

This campaign isn't just about Hillary vs. Bernie. It's about The Establishment vs. Bernie and the rest of us.

New McClatchy/Marist poll, Bernie vs. The Republicans

Sanders would lose to Carson by 2 percentage points and defeat Rubio by 3, Bush by 10, Cruz or Trump by 12, and Fiorina by 14.


These results weren't posted in the other handful of threads so I thought I'd create one.
Posted by HerbChestnut | Mon Nov 9, 2015, 05:49 PM (4 replies)

When you can't win on the issues, make up your own issues.

Seems to be what some of the Hillary camp are doing on this site. Bernie was a racist, now he's a sexist. He also wants guns in the hands of everybody and has an eye on Hillary's rear end. Did I mention he's a sexist? Make that a sexist racist.

Here's a list of issues that will actually matter once the election is over:

TPP
Income Inequality
Healthcare
Gun Control
Racial Justice
College Tuition
Climate Change
The Middle East
International Relations
Clean Energy
The Drug War
Immigration
Taxes


There's plenty more. Feel free to name any that I missed.

Bernie 2016.

Good and Bad News from the latest national Quinnipiac poll.

Good news first: Bernie is at 35% nationally. Around 40% of Clinton's supports are willing to change their minds on who they support. His favorability rating is positive. People believe he is honest and trustworthy and that he cares the most about the issues. Against Republicans, he performs at the same level as Clinton, which leads to the bad news.

Bad news: Both Hillary and Bernie are losing to most of the Republicans (other polls say differently, so it's probably a toss up). Hillary is viewed as the stronger leader with more experience, which are two areas people deemed important when making their choice. Despite people liking Bernie more than Hillary and arguably viewing him as the better candidate, he's still losing.

Here's one more interesting tidbit.

Question 90. If you honestly assessed yourself, thinking in general about - a democratic socialist president of the United States, is that something you'd be entirely comfortable with, somewhat comfortable, somewhat uncomfortable or entirely uncomfortable with?

COLLEGE DEG
Tot Rep Dem Ind Men Wom Yes No

Entrly comfortable 22% 5% 41% 19% 22% 21% 28% 19%
Smwht comfortable 17 4 29 16 15 19 16 17
Smwht uncomfortable 17 13 15 21 16 17 15 17
Entrly uncomfortable 40 77 8 39 44 37 37 42
DK/NA 5 2 7 5 3 6 4 5

AGE IN YRS.............. WHITE.....
18-34 35-49 50-64 65+ Men Wom Wht Blk

Entrly comfortable 37% 23% 16% 17% 23% 20% 22% 20%
Smwht comfortable 29 15 14 15 11 14 12 35
Smwht uncomfortable 12 17 19 16 13 18 16 15
Entrly uncomfortable 20 39 48 46 50 43 46 19
DK/NA 3 6 3 6 3 5 4 12


To put those numbers in perspective, they're about the same as the question that asked if people would be comfortable electing a Muslim. This is what we're up against. I think the Sanders campaign saw this coming, which is why they are finally going to address it by Bernie giving his speech before the next debate.
Posted by HerbChestnut | Wed Nov 4, 2015, 09:52 AM (2 replies)
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