HUFFINGTON POST

Oligarchy: Rise of the Super PAC Megadonors

From Paul Blumenthal of the Huffington Post: “A new oligarchic era of American politics came into full view on Friday, as super PACs disclosed fundraising details showing billionaires bankrolling the 2016 presidential race to an unprecedented degree … For the first time in more than a century, the majority of funding for a presidential election is coming in six-figure or larger checks from corporations and the wealthiest Americans. ” … The dramatic shift to a campaign finance system built upon outsized contributions of the wealthy and their businesses comes five years after the Supreme Court’s 5-4 Citizens United decision opened the door …

Read More

THE NATION

Bernie Sanders Explains Why You Should Care About What’s Happening to Greece

Noted economics journalist William Greider writes in The Nation: “Far as I know, Greeks don’t get to vote in US primaries, but never mind. Bernie wanted to address their sorrows. “‘I am expressing solidarity with the people of Greece in a time of cruel and counter-productive policies,’ he declared at a conference he arranged on Capitol Hill. Sanders called it a full-blown ‘humanitarian crisis’ that other nations, including America, must not ignore; 26 percent unemployment, 30 percent in poverty, 50-60 percent of young people without jobs. Yet the financial masters of Europe (the bankers who lent Greece all the money in the …

Read More

POLITICAL REVOLUTION

Despair is Not an Option

I heard Senator Sanders speak in Los Angeles this past March. He had my vote with his opening statement: “Despair is not an option.” When he says those words at rallies across the country now, Sanders taps into an underground river of emotion felt by Americans across the political spectrum, a seething realization that our government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” has been replaced by a government “of a few of the people, by a few of the people, and for a few of the people.” Incremental efforts have not been enough to stem the …

Read More

TRADE

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is Bad News

Officials from the United States and 11 other nations will meet in Hawaii this week to try to finalize the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or “TPP”– a trade agreement that brings together a dozen countries along the Pacific Rim. Member countries will constitute the world’s largest free trade area if the treaty is enacted, accounting for 40 percent of the global economy. President Obama has positioned the TPP as one of his Administration’s signature achievements. During his 2015 State of the Union address he stressed the importance of being economically dominant in the Asia Pacific, promising that the TPP would create more and better …

Read More

SOCIAL SECURITY

We Can Afford to Expand Social Security

Every year, the Social Security Board of Trustees releases an annual report to Congress, assessing the health of the Social Security trust fund. In spite of what is often repeated by the media, every year the Trustees Report shows the Social Security trust fund growing—and this year’s report was no exception. Social Security is projected to run a surplus again this year. And next year. And the year after that. And the year after that. Once again, it’s clear that there is no crisis in Social Security’s financing. The fact is that, as the richest nation in the world at …

Read More

WALL STREET

Bank Reform Five Years Later: Still Incomplete

Reprinted with permission from the Campaign for America’s Future. Today marks the fifth anniversary of Dodd-Frank, the complicated legislation designed to reform Wall Street after the financial crisis. Five years later, the debate still rages. Republicans denounce the reforms as a failure: “the big banks are bigger, the small banks are fewer and the economy remains moribund,” says Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, a leader in the unrelenting effort of Republicans to weaken or repeal the act. The administration hails the reform as a grand success. The Treasury Department report card concludes that “our …

Read More

ISSUES

5 Reasons We Need Medicare For All

The passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was fraught with partisan resistance from the right. To hear Republican politicians tell it, you’d never know that the ACA’s basic design was crafted by a conservative think tank – or that a very similar plan was implemented in Massachusetts under Republican Governor Mitt Romney. The ACA is a definite improvement over the status quo. It extended health insurance to millions of people, a move which will save lives and improve the quality of life for many people. But it is not enough. Medicare For All is an urgently-needed next step, leading to amore humane and efficient …

Read More

INEQUALITY

Money Cannot Be the God of Life

A year ago this August, a 32-year old woman named Maria Fernandes was found dead in her car in a Wawa parking lot. She had asphyxiated on carbon monoxide and gasoline fumes while napping between around-the-clock shifts at three different Dunkin’ Donuts locations. Her co-workers said she would sometimes go days without sleeping and often had trouble paying the rent. They also said she earned just over $8.25 an hour – the required minimum in the state of New Jersey. The minimum wage was established in the late 1930s to set a baseline for fair wages and establish a decent quality …

Read More

Alternet

Bernie Sanders Takes His Populism to the Red States, Draws Huge Crowds

This article originally appeared in Alternet and is reproduced here with permission. Today, Bernie Sanders took his Southwestern tour to Dallas and Houston. In Dallas, he spoke to nearly 10,000 people. The senator condemned the Democratic Party’s political strategy in the South, saying that it has “conceded half of the states in the national level.” He said that when “childhood poverty in Texas is 27 percent, we’ve gotta take it on. When 34 percent of people living in Texas have no health insurance, we’ve gotta take it on.” The people sitting in the bleachers behind him took to their feet …

Read More

INEQUALITY

Some Important — and Shocking — Facts About Inequality

The following excerpts are from a longer article which originally appeared in Alternet. They are reproduced here with permission. The amount of money that was given out in bonuses on Wall Street last year is twice the amount all minimum-wage workers earned in the country combined … The average wealth of an American adult is in the range of $250,000-$300,000. But that average number includes incomprehensibly wealthy people … The median per adult number is only about $39,000, placing the U.S. about 27th among the world’s nations, behind Australia, most of Europe and even small countries like New Zealand, Ireland and Kuwait. Italians, Belgians …

Read More

News

Announcing “Democracy Daily,” An Online Journal for Political Change

As of this week, visitors to BernieSanders.com will notice something new. We are introducing “Democracy Daily,” a new online “newspaper” covering the major issues of importance to our country. I see Democracy Daily as a place people can visit regularly to stay informed about the challenges we face – and what can be done about them. In my view, if we are to successfully address the many crises facing the working families of this country, it is absolutely imperative that our people engage in serious analysis and discussion of those crises.  Democracy is not a spectator sport.  At this moment …

Read More

New York Times

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders Meet Again — in the Senate

Hillary and Bernie. It could be a buddy sitcom if the two weren’t in a battle for the soul — and presidential nomination — of the Democratic Party. On Tuesday, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont ran into each other in Washington at a meeting of the Senate Democratic Caucus, of which Mrs. Clinton used to be a member. The two candidates were warm and friendly. Mrs. Clinton praised Mr. Sanders for the enthusiasm his campaign has brought to the race. He returned the compliments. The meeting prompted Mr. Sanders, whose big crowds and soaring poll numbers …

Read More