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Clinton Can't Count on Union Backing in Iowa, Despite Endorsements (report from Patrick Caldwell)

From Mother Jones
Bolding Mine

When Bill Clinton swings by the Machinists Union hall in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Sunday night, he'll be flanked by a bevy of national labor leaders. It will be a fitting scene for the final night before the first votes of the Democratic presidential nomination contest, a campaign in which Hillary Clinton has wrapped up the vast majority of national union endorsements. She's received the support of 24 unions, she bragged at an event last week, representing more than 10 million of the 14.6 million unionized workers in the country.

Organized labor has been a major push for her campaign as she closes out Iowa. Last week, Hillary Clinton hosted a "Hard Hats for Hillary" event that included the presidents of the Carpenters, Ironworkers, and Federation of Government Employees, among others. She released a gauzy video on her support for unions, in which she tells their members, "A lot of the work you do may not be as well understood and appreciated as it should be."

On the ground here in Iowa, however, Clinton's labor advantage isn't quite so clear cut. There aren't polls measuring statewide union support for the two candidates, and it's notoriously difficult to forecast caucus results anyway, given how much they come down to turnout and organization. But mounting anecdotal evidence from Iowa suggests that notwithstanding the endorsements of the people atop the unions, Clinton might not be able to count on the same level of support from actual union members in Monday's caucuses.

"I know there's a lot of rank-and-file people that like Bernie Sanders," says Ken Sager, president of the Iowa AFL-CIO. Sager, a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which has yet to endorse, says he's been getting about equal volumes of pro-Sanders and pro-Clinton mail—about seven piece of mail per day from the campaigns and various unions in the final days of the race—despite the fact that his wife is a member of the pro-Clinton AFSCME.

"The people that I have talked to think that he is very genuine in terms of supporting the issues that are important to workers and their families," Sager says, noting that other local chapters of the electrical union in other parts of the country have endorsed Sanders. "He talks about the things that will work in making a difference. Getting everybody to be involved."

Lance Coles, the communications director for the state's AFL-CIO, predicts that ample union support could propel Sanders to a statewide victory on Monday. "I've said that for a long time," he says. "I think Bernie's going to squeak it out here, I think he's going to pull it."

Coles' union, the American Postal Workers Union, has endorsed Sanders, and he's been active in boosting Sanders' efforts. "Come Monday night, there's going to be a lot of Bernie support," he says. "Probably a lot more than what people think."

"The Bernie [events] are like pep rallies," he adds. "They’re much more, I don't want to say agitated, but excited, there's a lot more energy in their events. Most of the stuff I see for Hillary is: one, she's always late, which pisses a lot of people off. And I understand that with Secret Service, I get it, I understand that. But a lot of people are really frustrated with that."

Last fall, when Clinton skipped the state's AFL-CIO convention while Sanders and other candidates attended, local labor leaders groused to Bloomberg Businessweek's Josh Eidelson that they were wary of Clinton, primarily over her shifting positions on free trade. "I would love to have her be the first female president," Stacey Andersen, a representative of the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics & Allied Workers International Union, told Eidelson, "but she’s going to have to come out a little bit stronger than what I’ve been seeing when it comes to labor-friendly issues." And as the Intercept recently noted, Clinton's union endorsements have been the decisions of the group's leadership, while the handful of unions backing Sanders have done so after directly polling their members.

On Monday afternoon, Sanders appeared at the local hall of the United Steelworkers in Des Moines (showing up on time) to assure the crowd—whose national union has yet to endorse—that he's the better candidate for organized labor. Parked outside was a red campaign bus from the National Nurses United emblazoned with an endorsement for Sanders. "The most trusted profession trusts Bernie," the side of the bus read. The Sanders staff distributed signs to the crowd reading, "Vote Labor Values, Labor for Bernie."

"I like his views and his opinions," Josh Fleenor, a 35-year-old tire builder in the local union, told me before the event. "Bring America back."

Throughout his speech, Sanders touted his record of fighting for low-wage workers, defending efforts to block trade agreements—a veiled dig at Clinton—and to expand union membership through measures such as card check. "I don't get any money, and I don't want any money, from corporations," he said. "Never got a nickel. Don't want any money from the billionaire class. But I am very grateful for the support that I've received from the Steelworkers throughout my entire political career. Thank you guys, very, very much."

"Initially I didn't think he could win," said Jerry Addy, a retired operating engineer at the event. "Now I think he can win. I just think Bernie's a better person, a better candidate. Bernie's doing retail. Hillary's doing wholesale."

Bernie Crushing it - "Bernie Sanders' Small Donor Fundraising Continues To Set Records"


WASHINGTON -- Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign raised $33.6 million in the last three months of 2015 and another $20 million in January alone, the campaign announced Sunday. The campaign further stated that 1.3 million people have made 3.25 million donations to Sanders' run -- a record number of donors at this stage in a presidential campaign.

“The numbers we’ve seen since Jan. 1 put our campaign on pace to beat Secretary Clinton’s goal of $50 million in the first quarter of 2016,” Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager, said in a statement. “Working Americans chipping in a few dollars each month are not only challenging but beating the greatest fundraising machine ever assembled.”

The vast majority of Sanders' money has come from donors giving under $200. This contrasts with Hillary Clinton's campaign, which has raised the majority of its funds from donors giving maximum contributions of $2,700. Clinton’s campaign has also raised substantial sums from small donors, but Sanders’ ability to remain competitive with Clinton’s fundraising by relying solely on small contributions is unprecedented.

The Sanders camp said that the fourth quarter total will show 70 percent of the campaign's donations came from small donors. Further, the $20 million it reports to have raised in January came almost exclusively from online donations averaging $27 a piece.

Overall, Sanders raised $75 million in 2015 compared to an anticipated $114 million for Clinton.

*bolding mine

This is My Candidate, Bernie Sanders - Consistent and Real for 30 years

This is from an August show of Rachel Maddow's. It was probably posted back then - but now, on the eve of the Iowa caucus - I found it inspiring to watch again. It's over 10 minutes - but worth it to see Bernie back in the 1980s talking with the same passionate honesty about the greatness we could achieve. There's some great clips from national media (young Tom Brokow) about Bernie's success as Mayor of Burlington and the many times he was reelected as Mayor, Congressman and Senator with large margins against Republicans.


JFK On Universal Healthcare & How Behind European Countries America Is

That damn Socialist.

Letter: Rep. Gilliard of SC endorses Bernie Sanders

Another State Rep in SC. Not sure if this has been posts yet.

As a former member of Charleston City Council and a proud representative of S.C. District 111 in the state Legislature, I have dedicated my career to advancing basic principles of racial equality and economic justice for all South Carolinians.

At a time when many Americans feel voiceless in the political process, there is one candidate running for president who embodies the same values of equal opportunity and fairness that I have fought to protect. His name is Bernie Sanders.

Bernie is fighting to address the issues that matter most to African-Americans. He is a leading voice in the movement to end the failed “War on Drugs” that has crippled communities of color and has proposed the most substantive solutions of any candidate in the race to end the disastrous era of mass incarceration.

Bernie consistently affirms the importance of black lives by insisting that police forces reflect the diversity of their communities and advocating for body cameras to ensure greater officer accountability.

Bernie also understands that civil rights and economic rights are inextricably linked. As president, he would implement a living wage of $15 an hour to guarantee that no American who works 40 hours a week will be forced to live in poverty.

Instead of investing in jails and incarceration, he will invest in education and jobs for our local communities. He will enact tuition-free public colleges and universities so that every student who works hard can achieve his college dream. And he plans to create 13 million fair-paying jobs by rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure.

I am proud to pledge my support for a candidate who recognizes that we live in a rigged economy that is stacked against America’s working and middle class. Bernie has built his campaign around tackling income inequality and rescuing America’s disappearing middle class.

I am committed to joining him in that fight because establishment politics will not address problems that have festered for decades.

There is only one candidate in the race who will reinvigorate America’s working class and stand up to Wall Street and special interests. His name is Bernie Sanders, and I’m proud to join his political revolution.

Rep. Wendell Gilliard

House District 111

Marvin Avenue


Clinton Iowa Volunteers Train When To Push Backers To O’Malley — To Block Bernie

More sneaky "tactics" from Clinton campaign. E crepes below but whole article is worth reading. FYI Clinton denounced this in 2008 when it was being done to her.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president is instructing its Iowa caucus leaders to — in certain cases — throw support to former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, with the goal blocking her main opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, from securing additional delegates.

The tactical move is rooted in the complex math of the Iowa caucuses Monday night, where the campaign is looking to defeat Sanders in a state whose caucus-goers have historically backed progressive challengers.

A precinct captain, Jerome Lehtola, confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the campaign has trained precinct captains to release supporters to O’Malley if the move can make him “viable” without hurting Clinton. A Clinton aide said the campaign has trained more than 4,000 volunteer precinct captains to handle a host of different scenarios, including ones where caucus-goers are released to or recruited from another camp.

“Our precinct leadership teams have worked hard to get to know as many people in their precincts as possible and they’ll use those relationships to maximize Hillary Clinton’s delegate count depending on which groups are viable on caucus night,” the aide said.
The goal, in the caucuses’ complex terms, is to cost Clinton no delegates in the state’s 1,681 caucuses while ensuring stray O’Malley supporters don’t defect to Sanders.

This kind of tactical maneuvering is an old Iowa pattern, part of what a former Iowa aide to John Kerry in 2004, Addisu Demissie, described as being part of the state’s “brilliantly, gloriously, esoterically small-d democratic” tradition. (Demissie describes the caucus math in excruciating detail in his piece.) The Clinton and Obama campaigns played similar tactical games in 2008, and a deal between Obama’s and Bill Richardson’s campaigns was controversial enough to be kept top secret at the time. At the time, outraged Clinton aides called reporters to denounce the deal.
This time around, there is no indication that an agreement is involved.

It’s sad and telling that their campaign doesn’t think they can win without these kinds of tactics,” said Rania Batrice, Sanders’s Iowa spokesperson. “At the end of the day though, we believe in the caucus process and know it’s in the very capable hands of Iowans.”

That’s what they told us in the training sessions — I’m not sure how well it’s going to work,” said Lehtola, 69, a retired hospital worker who is a Clinton’s precinct captain in Iowa Falls, and who showed off the app’s ease of use to a BuzzFeed News reporter.


Clinton Gets $13 Million From Health Industry, Now Says Single-Payer Will "Never, Ever Come "

Hillary Clinton Gets $13 Million From Health Industry, Now Says Single-Payer Will "Never, Ever Come To Pass"

Closing out her Iowa campaign, Hillary Clinton on Friday declared that the Medicare-for-all proposal pushed by her Democratic primary opponent and many liberal groups will “never, ever come to pass.” The statement came weeks after a new poll showed most Americans support the idea. Her declaration was a reversal of her position two decades ago — which came before she received millions of dollars of campaign cash from the health industry.

Clinton’s comments, which were made during an appearance at Grand View University in Iowa, were aimed at Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who has long championed the kind of government administered health care system used by many major industrialized nations. Of Sanders’ proposal, Clinton said on Friday: "People who have health emergencies can't wait for us to have a theoretical debate about some better idea that will never, ever come to pass." The Kaiser Family Foundation’s December 2015 tracking poll found that 58 percent of Americans support expanding Medicare to cover everyone.

Clinton's slammed the push for single-payer even though some of the major labor unions supporting her campaign have long cited that goal as a top legislative priority. Her comments also contrast with what she herself said in 1994 during remarks to the Lehman Brothers Health Corporation. As CBS News notes, back then she declared that a single-payer system was all but inevitable, saying: “I believe that by the year 2000 we will have a single payer system. I don’t think it’s — I don’t even think it’s a close call politically ... it will be such a huge popular issue in the sense of populist issue that even if it’s not successful the first time, it will eventually be.”

Between that declaration and her now saying single-payer can never pass, Clinton has vacuumed in roughly $13.2 million from sources in the health sector, according to data compiled by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. That includes $11.2 million from the sector when Clinton was a senator and $2 million from health industry sources during her 2016 presidential campaign. In a 2006 story about her relationship with the health industry, the New York Times noted that during her Senate reelection campaign, she was "receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from doctors, hospitals, drug manufacturers and insurers" and had become "the No. 2 recipient of donations from the industry."

Clinton and her daughter Chelsea have suggested that Sanders plan would dismantle the Affordable Care Act, which Sanders voted for. Sanders has disputed that and has also disputed that passing a single-payer system is impossible if a president pushes it.

In 2014, that view got a boost from then-Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin. He told the Hill newspaper that year that when it came to creating a Medicare-for-all system or a government-run health care option in the Affordable Care Act, “We had the votes in ’09. We had a huge majority in the House, we had 60 votes in the Senate.”

Democrats, however, are not expected to have such numbers in Congress after the 2016

Two Iowa rallies explain why Hillary may be about to blow a Sure Thing

My Day with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton: Two Iowa rallies explain why Hillary may be about to blow a sure thing from Salon.

By Edward McClelland

(bolding mine)

The Iowa Caucuses are the Coachella of politics. There’s nowhere else you can catch so many big names in one afternoon.

On Sunday morning, I sat in a coffee shop in Cedar Rapids, eating one of Iowa’s famous boxing-glove-sized cinnamon rolls, and scanning the Des Moines Register, which was cover-to-cover rally reviews. (“Glenn Beck Comes to Iowa to Endorse Cruz”; “Trump: I Could ‘Shoot Somebody’ and Keep Voters.”) Hillary Clinton was in Marion at 12:30, Marco Rubio in Cedar Rapids at 2, Bernie Sanders in Independence at 5:30. I decided to hit all three events.

I had woken up as an undecided voter, and I would go to sleep as one, too, but in between, I saw that Clinton and Sanders are appealing to two diametrically opposed impulses in Democratic voters. Clinton’s campaign is based on fear – fear that Republicans will return to power and undo all the progress Obama has made since 2009, just as they undid everything her husband achieved in the 1990s. Sanders, on the other hand, is running on hope – hope for what he calls a “political revolution” that will take power out of the hands of billionaires and restore it to the middle class.

When Hillary Clinton’s campaign bus arrived at Vernon Middle School, nearly an hour after her speech’s scheduled start time, the few hundred supporters in the school cafeteria gathered at the windows to see if their candidate would step out into the snow. They only saw a bomb-sniffing dog patrolling the playground. As a former first lady, Clinton is protected by the Secret Service, which is why we’d all had to pass through a metal detector to get into this room.

After an introduction by New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker – whose grandmother, he mentioned twice, grew up in Des Moines – Clinton got down to her business of scaring people with stories about Republican misrule. It was a message she took across the state, to Marion, West Des Moines and North Liberty.

You listen to the Republicans, they want to go right back to failed economic policies,” she said that day. “Honest to goodness, it’s as though evidence, facts, history, mean nothing to them. Back to what wrecked our economy in the George W. Bush administration, and they make no apologies. They want to cut taxes even more on wealthy people; they want to literally turn the clock back.”

The last time a Clinton was in the White House, she pointed out, incomes went up, and the budget was balanced. Then, a Republican president screwed it all up.

“One of the first things they did was to defang the regulators who were supposed to keep an eye on Wall Street and the financial markets,” Clinton said. “They took their eyes off the financial markets, they took their eyes off the mortgage markets, and we had the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. We lost 9 million jobs, 5 million homes, $13 trillion in family wealth.”

Clinton does have plans for her presidency: she wants to install 500 million new solar panels by the end of her first term, and supply half the country’s power with clean energy by the end of her second. She wants a Fair Share Surcharge of 4 percent on incomes over $5 million, to pay for parental leave and early childhood education. She wants to raise the minimum wage and guarantee equal pay for women. But those are incremental proposals of a candidate running to extend Democratic leadership for another four years. Her campaign is not about moving the country forward; it’s about preventing the country from slipping backward. That impulse inspired her attack on Sanders’s proposal for a single-payer health care system.

“I think we should build on the progress we’ve made,” Clinton said. Under the Affordable Care Act, “we now have 90 percent of Americans covered, and we have the chance to get the costs down, which will be my primary focus. I want to cut out-of-pocket costs and cap prescription drug costs. I don’t want to start over. I don’t want to plunge our country into another contentious debate. I feel if we’re at 90 percent coverage, that it’s a lot easier to get to 100 percent coverage and fix what needs to be fixed than to start all over again and try to go from zero to 100 percent; I just don’t think that’s achievable.”

Before taking questions, Clinton gave the microphone to her celebrity endorser: John “Bowzer” Bauman of the neo-doo-wop group Sha Na Na. Bowzer boomed the intro to the Marcels’ “Blue Moon,” and promised to flex his arms and open his mouth reeeeal wide if Hillary wins the caucus.

(At her next stop, in North Liberty, Clinton ended her “booga-booga” show by promising to stop “the onslaught of our rights: women’s rights, gay rights, civil rights, worker’s rights. We gotta stand up against what the Republicans would do. We have to defend Social Security from their continuing efforts to privatize it, hand all that money over to Wall Street.”)

North of Marion, past 40 miles of snow-covered corn and soybean fields is the pop. 6,000 village of Independence, where Sanders spoke at the Heartland Acres Agribition Center. It was a smaller town, but a bigger crowd; they stood around the edge of the exhibition hall to hear Sanders, who was five minutes late – shockingly punctual for a presidential candidate.

Even though he’s been in Washington since 1991, two years longer than Clinton, and in public office for 33 years, longer than anyone ever elected to the White House, Sanders expends a lot of verbiage trying to convince people he’s not a crank economics professor running a fringe campaign only an alternative weekly would endorse. Disclaimers are necessary when you start your speeches, “By the way, are you guys interested in a political revolution?”

Right off the bat, Sanders hit the audience with statistics: the Walton family, heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune, owns more wealth than the poorest 40 percent of Americans; Americans work the longest hours of any country on Earth; 58 percent of all new income is going to the top 1 percent; there are more Americans in prison than Chinese, even though China is “an authoritarian state four times our size.”

Yet the dour New England socialist is the sunny one in this race. Clinton looks back, and is frightened. Sanders looks ahead, and sees the America he’s been trying to build since he moved from Brooklyn to Vermont in the 1960s: an America in which new mothers and fathers will be guaranteed three months of parental leave, the minimum wage will pay $15 an hour, free college tuition will be funded by a tax on financial speculation, and every citizen will be insured by a single-payer health care system.

“What this campaign is about is transforming America,” Sanders said. “Nothing that I said to you today is utopian; nothing is radical. Nothing that I have said does not exist in other countries, and nothing I have said to you today is not wanted and supported by the American people. The American people want to raise the minimum wage, they want pay equity, they want to create jobs by building our infrastructure, they want to make colleges and universities tuition free, they want to expand Social Security, not cut Social Security. They want us to deal effectively with climate change. They want to end a corrupt campaign finance system. None of this is radical. None of it is pie in the sky, and I told you how we could pay for each of these programs. The issue is not whether the American people want it; the issue is whether or not we have the courage to take on the greed of the billionaire class, who want it all for themselves. That is what this campaign is about.”

Sanders’s kicker reminded me of a quote from Tommy Douglas, who achieved for Canada what Sanders is trying to achieve for the U.S. – a single-payer health care system: “Courage, my friends; ’tis not too late to build a better world.”

I agreed with everything Sanders said, but still have reservations about his candidacy. Not once did he mention foreign policy, where the president has the most latitude to act. A Republican Congress would reject all his economic proposals. He’d be a symbolic president, whose achievement would be moving the Overton window to the left, introducing radical ideas to public discourse, perhaps to be fulfilled by future administrations. Also, he’s from Vermont, which vies with Utah for Least Typical State. Vermont is America’s version of The Shire, the Hobbit-populated land in “The Lord of the Rings”: a green liberal Zion with no cities, no minorities and no urban problems.

Yet Sanders is running a better campaign than Clinton, because he understands that liberals are motivated by hope; fear is a conservative thing. Barack Obama understood that, too, which is why he out-hoped Clinton in 2008. Clinton is running the same campaign against Sanders she ran against Obama, right down to the “3 a.m. phone call” trope: she talked extensively about her role in plotting to kill Osama bin Laden, to demonstrate she’s ready to be commander in chief.

The latest CNN Poll of Polls shows Sanders leading Clinton in Iowa, 46 percent to 44 percent. The caucuses favor true-believing ideologues with motivated followers. Advantage: Sanders. A win in Iowa, followed by a certain victory in New Hampshire, would give Sanders the credibility to pitch himself to Southern voters. Once again, Hillary Clinton may be on the verge of blowing a sure nomination. Even if she wins, her pessimistic message would not sound appealing against Marco Rubio, who gave his Cedar Rapids audience a sunny vision of capitalism as “the only system that can make poor people richer without making rich people poorer.”

The Clinton dynasty began in a town called Hope, Arkansas. Maybe Bill needs to take Hillary back home, to remind her of the message that brought the family to Washington in the first place.

Edited to add link in original post - Sorry: http://www.salon.com/2016/01/30/my_day_with_bernie_sanders_and_hillary_clinton_two_iowa_rallies_explain_why_hillary_may_be_about_to_blow_a_sure_thing/

A Revolution is Starting NOW

In the words of Robert Kennedy


We've got your back, Senator Sanders. Let The Revolution Start NOW.

Paul Krugman Misunderstands Bernie Sanders by Mark Weisbrot, Center for Economic and Politics

A very even-handed article expressing disappointment and puzzlement over Krugman's recent writings against Bernie Sanders.

I have to say it is puzzling to see Paul Krugman supporting Hillary Clinton against Bernie Sanders, at least to people who read his writings. Krugman has repeatedly expressed more actual contempt for what Sanders calls "the billionaire class" than Sanders himself has, citing research showing that rich people are "less likely to exhibit empathy, less likely to respect norms and even laws, more likely to cheat, than those occupying lower rungs on the economic ladder." Krugman's positions on fiscal policy, Wall Street, the Federal Reserve, and most economic issues that he writes and cares about are considerably closer to those of Sanders than of Clinton. Most journalists covering the campaign also recognize that Sanders has pushed Clinton to adopt more progressive positions such as a surtax on incomes over $5 million; or her opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership, which the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce just forecast will likely disappear sometime between now and her presidency if she gets there.

Furthermore, Krugman is smart enough to know that someone who gets millions of dollars from Wall Street and the plutocracy is less likely to implement policies that these donors don't like, than someone who owes them nothing.

Even on foreign policy, which Krugman does not write about that often, he is much closer to Sanders and the left of the Democratic party than he is to Clinton. Krugman was the only writer at the New York Times to point out, correctly in my view, that part of the motivation for the build-up to the Iraq war was to help the Republicans win the 2002 congressional elections. In his book, "The Conscience of a Liberal," he explains how this kind of U.S. foreign policy hurts Americans by allowing the right to move the political debate away from domestic issues in which the majority have a big stake. And yet he gives Hillary Clinton a pass for voting for the Iraq War (and defending her vote for 12 years).

As others have noted, members of Congress had access to U.S. intelligence files that contradicted the Bush administration's justifications for the war, and some of them looked at the intelligence and voted "no." Twenty-one of 50 Democratic senators voted no. This was a war that took thousands of American lives and killed about a million Iraqis, and as President Obama has noted, was responsible for the creation of ISIS. It has destabilized the Middle East into a state of permanent warfare. But Clinton has also shown by her recent bellicose speech on Iran that she is more than ready for another unnecessary war. Her foreign policy leanings are considerably to the right of many mainstream Democratic leaders, including President Obama himself and Secretary of State John Kerry.

In his latest New York Times column, Krugman argues that Sanders has a flawed analysis of American politics, and contrasts it to that of Clinton:

To oversimplify a bit -- but only, I think, a bit -- the Sanders view is that money is the root of all evil. Or more specifically, the corrupting influence of big money, of the 1 percent and the corporate elite, is the overarching source of the political ugliness we see all around us.

The Clinton view, on the other hand, seems to be that money is the root of some evil, maybe a lot of evil, but it isn't the whole story. Instead, racism, sexism and other forms of prejudice are powerful forces in their own right. This may not seem like a very big difference -- both candidates oppose prejudice, both want to reduce economic inequality. But it matters for political strategy.

I don't question Krugman's sincerity, but I think this is a serious misunderstanding of Sanders' views as compared to Clinton's. Sanders is quite intelligent and has been involved in politics for more than 40 years. He understands very well the roles of "racism, sexism, and other forms of prejudice" in American society and politics. Here is what he said Thursday on MSNBC:

I think there is not widespread understanding in the white community of what it is like to be Black in America today, especially a Black male; when we know that something like one out of four African-American males born today stand a likelihood of ending up in prison. That is a tragedy that is beyond comprehension. When we know that our jails - we have more people in jail than any other country - are disproportionately Black and Latino, that is a major crisis. When we know that the Black and white communities do marijuana at about equal rates, and yet four times more Blacks are arrested for marijuana, what does that tell you? What does it tell you that Blacks are much more likely to be stopped by police officers for traffic violations than whites? So we got some serious problems in this country with institutional racism, and a broken criminal justice system, and that will be a major priority for a Sanders administration.

I have never heard anything like this from Hillary Clinton and I doubt that we will hear something like it on the campaign trail.

I raise these points with great respect for Krugman, who has contributed more than anyone in the United States to improving the debate over some crucial economic issues, and also helped advance the political debate. I am sorry that some on the left have attacked him and his motivation. I am quite sure that he is not looking for any political gain; when more than 250,000 people signed a petition for him to be appointed Treasury Secretary, he immediately and flatly refused. He is also one of the few prominent writers on economic and political issues who has, on a number of occasions, admitted when he was mistaken, and forthrightly changed his position. I hope that he will reconsider his ideas in this case.

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