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KoKo

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Bernie Sanders brings his campaign to Baltimore with Ben Jealous and Danny Glover


BALTIMORE (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders brings his campaign to Baltimore.

Sanders will host a rally Saturday afternoon at Royal Farms Arena. The event was originally planned for Druid Hill Park, but predictions of rain prompted the change.

Ben Jealous, the former head of the NAACP, and actor Danny Glover will also appear.

Then on Saturday evening, Sanders will take part in a “Community Conversation on Young Men of Color.” Jealous, Glover and the Rev. Jamal Bryant will also participate in the event at the Memorial Church of God in Christ in Baltimore.

He’ll also campaign Saturday afternoon in Wilmington, Delaware. Both Maryland and Delaware have presidential primaries Tuesday.

Entering Uncharted Territory in Washington...Are We in a New American World?

Entering Uncharted Territory in Washington
Are We in a New American World?

By Tom Engelhardt

Let me mention here the almost random piece of news that recently made me wonder just what planet I was actually on. And I know you won’t believe it, but it had absolutely nothing to do with Donald Trump.

Given the carnage of America’s wars and conflicts across the Greater Middle East and Africa, which I’ve been following closely these last years, I’m unsure why this particular moment even got to me. Best guess? Maybe that, of all the once-obscure places -- from Afghanistan to Yemen to Libya -- in which the U.S. has been fighting recently, Somalia, where this particular little slaughter took place, seems to me like the most obscure of all. Yes, I’ve been half-attending to events there from the 1993 Blackhawk Down moment to the disastrous U.S.-backed Ethiopian invasion of 2006 to the hardly less disastrous invasion of that country by Kenyan and other African forces. Still, Somalia?

Recently, U.S. Reaper drones and manned aircraft launched a set of strikes against what the Pentagon claimed was a graduation ceremony for "low-level" foot soldiers in the Somali terror group al-Shabab. It was proudly announced that more than 150 Somalis had died in this attack. In a country where, in recent years, U.S. drones and special ops forces had carried out a modest number of strikes against individual al-Shabab leaders, this might be thought of as a distinct escalation of Washington’s endless low-level conflict there (with a raid involving U.S. special ops forces following soon after).

Now, let me try to put this in some personal context. Since I was a kid, I’ve always liked globes and maps. I have a reasonable sense of where most countries on this planet are. Still, Somalia? I have to stop and give that one some thought to truly locate it on a mental map of eastern Africa. Most Americans? Honestly, I doubt they’d have a clue. So the other day, when this news came out, I stopped a moment to take it in. If accurate, we killed 150 more or less nobodies (except to those who knew them) and maybe even a top leader or two in a country most Americans couldn’t locate on a map.

I mean, don’t you find that just a little odd, no matter how horrible the organization they were preparing to fight for? 150 Somalis? Blam!

Remind me: On just what basis was this modest massacre carried out? After all, the U.S. isn’t at war with Somalia or with al-Shabab. Of course, Congress no longer plays any real role in decisions about American war making. It no longer declares war on any group or country we fight. (Paralysis!) War is now purely a matter of executive power or, in reality, the collective power of the national security state and the White House.

The essential explanation offered for the Somali strike, for instance, is that the U.S. had a small set of advisers stationed with African Union forces in that country and it was just faintly possible that those guerrilla graduates might soon prepare to attack some of those forces (and hence U.S. military personnel). It seems that if the U.S. puts advisers in place anywhere on the planet -- and any day of any year they are now in scores of countries -- that’s excuse enough to validate acts of war based on the “imminent” threat of their attack.

Or just think of it this way: a new, informal constitution is being written in these years in Washington. No need for a convention or a new bill of rights. It’s a constitution focused on the use of power, especially military power, and it’s being written in blood.

These days, our government (the unparalyzed one) acts regularly on the basis of that informal constitution-in-the-making, committing Somalia-like acts across significant swathes of the planet. In these years, we’ve been marrying the latest in wonder technology, our Hellfire-missile-armed drones, to executive power and slaughtering people we don’t much like in majority Muslim countries with a certain alacrity. By now, it’s simply accepted that any commander-in-chief is also our assassin-in-chief, and that all of this is part of a wartime-that-isn’t-wartime system, spreading the principle of chaos and dissolution to whole areas of the planet, leaving failed states and terror movements in its wake.

When was it, by the way, that “the people” agreed that the president could appoint himself assassin-in-chief, muster his legal beagles to write new "law" that covered any future acts of his (including the killing of American citizens), and year after year dispatch what essentially is his own private fleet of killer drones to knock off thousands of people across the Greater Middle East and parts of Africa? Weirdly enough, after almost 14 years of this sort of behavior, with ample evidence that such strikes don’t suppress the movements Washington loathes (and often only fan the flames of resentment and revenge that help them spread), neither the current president and his top officials, nor any of the candidates for his office have the slightest intention of ever grounding those drones.

And when exactly did the people say that, within the country’s vast standing military, which now garrisons much of the planet, a force of nearly 70,000 Special Operations personnel should be birthed, or that it should conduct covert missions globally, essentially accountable only to the president (if him)? And what I find strangest of all is that few in our world find such developments strange at all./div]

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176120/tomgram%3A_engelhardt%2C_don't_blame_it_all_on_donald_trump/

Thomas Frank: Listen, Liberal! Whatever Happened to the Party of the People?

Thomas Frank: Listen, Liberal

Published on Apr 14, 2016

It is a widespread belief among liberals that if only Democrats can continue to dominate national elections, if only those awful Republicans are beaten into submission, the country will be on the right course.

But this is to fundamentally misunderstand the modern Democratic Party. Drawing on years of research and first-hand reporting, Frank points out that the Democrats have done little to advance traditional liberal goals: expanding opportunity, fighting for social justice, and ensuring that workers get a fair deal. Indeed, they have scarcely dented the free-market consensus at all. This is not for lack of opportunity: Democrats have occupied the White House for sixteen of the last twenty-four years, and yet the decline of the middle class has only accelerated. Wall Street gets its bailouts, wages keep falling, and the free-trade deals keep coming.
With his trademark sardonic wit and lacerating logic, Frank lays bare the essence of the Democratic Party's philosophy and how it has changed over the years. A form of corporate and cultural elitism has largely eclipsed the party's old working-class commitment, he finds. For certain favored groups, this has meant prosperity. But for the nation as a whole, it is a one-way ticket into the abyss of inequality. In this critical election year, Frank recalls the Democrats to their historic goals-the only way to reverse the ever-deepening rift between the rich and the poor in America.




Trump Addicted America!

Keiser Report: Trump-Addicted America (E889)


Published on Mar 17, 2016
Check Keiser Report website for more: http://www.maxkeiser.com/

In this episode of the Keiser Report Max and Stacy ask what’s the matter with Kansas? North Carolina? Florida? Alabama? Michigan and Massachusetts and Virginia? Are voters flocking to Donald Trump because they’re racist? Or, is it the economy and so-called ‘free trade’ deals, stupid? Thomas Frank, Rise of Bernie Sanders ,Trump and More, along with how GB and Eurozone are dealing with the Aftermath..after the 2008 Banking Crash and the Financial Instruments put in place to correct the situation that to this day have Not Worked as the behavior went back to the same as Before the Crash!


In the second half Max continues his interview with Satyajit Das, author of Extreme Money and A Banquet of Consequences about the coming market collapse."Growth has Come to an End." Peoples Wages didn't improve ...so they went back to the Old Policies that Didn't Work


Thomas Frank, Rise of Bernie Sanders and Trump and More at........


Amy Goodman & Ari Berman: Millions of New Yorkers Were Disenfranchised from the Primaries!

Millions of New Yorkers Disenfranchised from Primaries Thanks to State's Restrictive Voting Laws
April 19, 2016
Story
"Democracy Now's" Amy Goodman speaks with Ari Berman of "The Nation:"

Published on Apr 19, 2016

http://democracynow.org - Voters head to the polls today in New York for both the Democratic and Republican primary in one of the most closely watched races of the election. But millions of New Yorkers won’t be able to vote, thanks to the state’s restrictive voting laws. The state has no early voting, no Election Day registration, and excuse-only absentee balloting. The voter registration deadline for the primary closed 25 days ago, before any candidate had even campaigned in New York.

Meanwhile, independent or unaffiliated voters had to change their party registrations back in October—over 190 days ago—to vote in today’s closed Democratic or Republican primaries. Meanwhile, WNYC is reporting there are 60,000 fewer registered Democrats in Brooklyn and no clear reason why. This comes as a group of New Yorkers who saw their party affiliations mysteriously switched filed a lawsuit seeking to open the state’s closed primary so that they can cast a ballot. We speak to The Nation’s Ari Berman, author of "Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America."


Partial Transcript Below the "You Tube."



AMY GOODMAN: While Hillary Clinton urged everyone to come out and vote today, that’s not an option for millions of New Yorkers, thanks to the state’s restrictive voting laws. Last week, Bernie Sanders admitted New York will be a tough primary, thanks to those voting rules.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: We have a system here in New York where independents can’t get involved in the Democratic primary, where young people who have not previously registered and want to register today just can’t do it. So this is going to be a tough primary for us.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s Senator Sanders speaking last week in front of 27,000 people in New York’s Washington Square Park. While Sanders has held a series of massive rallies in New York, many of his supporters can’t vote today in the state’s closed primary. Voting rights activists say New York has some of the most restrictive voting laws in the country. The state has no early voting, no Election Day registration, and excuse-only absentee balloting. The voter registration deadline for the primary closed 25 days ago, before any candidate had even campaigned in New York. Meanwhile, independent or unaffiliated voters had to change their party registrations back in October—over 190 days ago, before any debate or any primary or caucus—to vote in today’s closed Democratic or Republican primaries. This will reportedly disenfranchise nearly 30 percent of New Yorkers. Donald Trump’s own children did not manage to change their party registrations from independent to Republican in time to vote for their father.

Meanwhile, WNYC is reporting the number of registered Democrats in Brooklyn dropped by 60,000 since November, and there’s no clear reason why. During that same period, most counties in New York saw an increase in registered Democrats. This comes as a group of New Yorkers who saw their party affiliations mysteriously switched filed a lawsuit seeking to open New York’s closed primaries so that they can cast a ballot. The lawsuit is asking for an emergency declaratory judgment that would make today’s New York primary open, meaning any registered New York voter could cast a ballot in either party’s primary.

Well, for all this and more, we’re joined by Ari Berman, senior contributing writer for The Nation, where he covers voting rights. His latest book, Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America.

------------

Welcome to Democracy Now!, Ari. You wrote a piece in The Nation, "27 Percent of New York’s Registered Voters Won’t Be Able to Vote in the State’s Primary." Can you explain this?

ARI BERMAN: Yes. Thanks for having me back, Amy. So, nearly a third of New Yorkers can’t participate in the primary because they are not registered with the Democratic or Republican Party, and New York has some of the most restrictive voter registration laws in the country, as you mentioned. People had to change their party affiliations back in October, when no one was paying attention to the New York primary. People had to register to vote 25 days before the election, before any candidate had campaigned in New York. And beyond that, New York has some of the worst voting laws in the country. Unlike 37 states, we don’t have early voting. Unlike 15 states, we don’t have Election Day registration. Our Constitution doesn’t even allow Election Day registration, because you have to register no later than 10 days before an election. We have excuse-only absentee ballots, meaning you have to prove you’re out of town and—or you to prove you have a disability to get an absentee ballot.

I think it’s sad that we are the fourth bluest state in the country but have some of the worst voting laws. We rank below Texas, below North Carolina, behind all of these states with new voting restrictions, in terms of voter turnout. We ranked 44th in voter turnout in 2012. We got a D-minus from the Center for American Progress on accessibility to the ballot. So, regardless of which candidate you’re for, regardless of whether you’re for open or closed primaries, we should be for making it much easier to vote in New York.

AMY GOODMAN: Why is this, Ari? Why are these laws so restrictive in New York? Who passed these laws, and when did they do it?

ARI BERMAN: Both parties want to protect the status quo in New York, Amy. Democrats, by and large, are happy with the system. Republicans, by and large, are happy with the system. They just want their slice of the pie, and they what to protect it. Incumbents who are in power want to stay that way. So, unlike states like Oregon and California, which have embraced reform, passing policies like automatic voter registration and Election Day registration, New York has not followed this trend for progressive reform. And I think that’s really unfortunate. The one good thing that could come out of this primary, with the Trump kids not being able to register, with so many Bernie supporters not being able to register, is that finally people are paying attention to just how bad New York’s voting laws really are, how many people are shut out of the democratic process here.

AMY GOODMAN: So, can you talk about this piece in the New York Daily News, which recently ran an article, "Hundreds of New York state voters to file suit calling the closed primary 'a threat to our democratic system' after claiming their party affiliation mysteriously changed." The article quotes Joanna Viscuso, a 19-year-old from Long Island. She said she registered to vote as a Democrat during her college orientation at Adelphi University in 2014. Then, she noticed last week that now her voter registration online says she’s not affiliated with a party. Viscuso reportedly called the Nassau Board of Elections, and they told her that she had filled out a form in September to change her party affiliation, and sent it in October. But she claims she never did that. She says she’s a first-time voter. She told the New York Daily News, "As soon as I noticed it was changed I was infuriated, and then when they said there was nothing I could do I was still infuriated. All of a sudden we can’t vote? That’s ridiculous!" she said. How is this possible?

ARI BERMAN: It’s a very mysterious situation. We’ve seen similar things happen in other states. In Arizona, where there were five-hour lines at the polls because they reduced so many polling places, a lot of people also had their voter registration switched without them knowing. So people waited in five-hour lines and still weren’t able to cast a ballot, because they were not registered. In New York, what these voters should do is cast a provisional ballot and try to have that ballot counted after the election. There is going to be a lawsuit this morning to try to open up New York’s primary. Regardless of whether or not that succeeds, people should go to the polls. They should vote today. They should cast a provisional ballot and try to get that counted afterwards.

AMY GOODMAN: A WNYC analysis of New York state voter enrollment statistics found that the number of active registered Democrats dropped there [in Brooklyn] by 63,558 voters between November 2015 and now, April 2016. That translates into a 7 percent drop in registered Democrats in the borough. According to the NPR station in New York, WNYC, no other borough in New York City nor county in the rest of the state saw such a significant decline in active registered Democrats. In fact, only seven of the state’s 62 counties saw a drop in the number of Democrats. Everywhere else saw the numbers increase. Can you explain what’s going on in Brooklyn?

ARI BERMAN: What the Board of Elections in Brooklyn said is that they had changed the number of voters from active to inactive, and that’s why there was such a big drop-off. But 60,000 people are a lot of voters to shift from active to inactive. So, it’s very possible that some active voters are going to be wrongly purged from the polls, and some people are going to show up to vote in Brooklyn, think they’re registered, think they’re active, and not be on the voting rolls. We have seen this in many other states, in Florida in 2000, in Ohio in 2004. I hope—

AMY GOODMAN: Ari, how do you become inactive?

ARI BERMAN: You become inactive—

AMY GOODMAN: What determines this?

ARI BERMAN: —by not voting in the past few elections. That’s how you become inactive. But sometimes people don’t vote for whatever reason and want to vote now. Other times, people are wrongly labeled inactive and wrongly purged from the voting rolls. So, we don’t know enough to say what happened here, but it’s disturbing that some people may have been put on inactive status if they are not in fact inactive.

AMY GOODMAN: Ari Berman, I want to thank you for being with us, senior contributing writer for The Nation, where he covers voting rights. His book is titled Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America. And we’ll link to your piece in The Nation magazine, "27 Percent of New York’s Registered Voters Won’t Be Able to Vote in the State’s Primary." We’ll link at democracynow.org.


Obama's Big Damage-Control Tour: Saudi Arabia, Britain, Germany

Obama's big damage-control tour

Visiting three major allies, the president is likely to face as many jeers as cheers.

By Michael Crowley

04/18/16 07:08 PM EDT

President Barack Obama will drop in on three of America's most important allies this week, possibly for the last time. But he isn't expecting an adoring reception in any of them.

The U.S. relationship with all three nations is distressed, and Obama will be doing more than a little damage control.

In Saudi Arabia, where he lands on Wednesday, Obama will try to soothe anger over his nuclear deal with Iran and his increasingly public complaints about the Saudi kingdom. In London, he’ll make amends for comments about British foreign policy that rattled the teacups at 10 Downing Street. And in Germany, he’ll confront one of Europe's most anti-American moods and lingering bitterness over NSA spying in Berlin.

U.S. officials say Obama’s agenda will be proactive, bolstering efforts against the Islamic State, helping Europe deal with its refugee crisis and shoring up NATO — “a very consequential series of engagements,” as deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes put it last week.

But Obama will also spend much of his time on the defensive.

The tensions will be highest during Obama’s first stop, in Saudi Arabia. Obama's relationship with the Saudis has been rocky since his first, awkward visit to Riyadh in mid-2009. Things have only deteriorated since over Obama's policy in Syria and his nuclear deal with Iran, which Saudi leaders see as the first step towards a larger U.S. thaw with their country’s mortal enemy.

People who have recently spoken to Saudi officials say that Riyadh’s annoyance with Obama has spiked since last month’s publication of a much-discussed Atlantic magazine article on Obama's worldview, which described the president as “clearly irritated that foreign-policy orthodoxy compels him to treat Saudi Arabia as an ally.”

Obama also told the magazine that Saudis will need to learn to "share" the Middle East with their archrival Iran.

"This is kind of an awkward visit for Obama in the wake of his confessions in The Atlantic," said David Ottoway, a Middle East scholar at the Wilson Center in Washington. "These are fighting words back in Riyadh, so I’m sure they’re going to ask him about what he means by these comments — and they will defend themselves."

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/04/obama-saudi-arabia-britain-germany-222106

How Hillary Clinton Bought the Loyalty of 33 State Democratic Parties


How Hillary Clinton Bought the Loyalty of 33 State Democratic Parties
April 1, 2016
by Margot Kidder

Collusion between the Clinton campaign and the DNC allowed Hillary Clinton to buy the loyalty of 33 state Democratic parties last summer. Montana was one of those states. It sold itself for $64,100.

The Super Delegates now defying democracy with their insistent refusal to change their votes to Sanders in spite of a handful of overwhelming Clinton primary losses in their own states, were arguably part of that deal.


In August 2015, at the Democratic Party convention in Minneapolis, 33 democratic state parties made deals with the Hillary Clinton campaign and a joint fundraising entity called The Hillary Victory Fund. The deal allowed many of her core billionaire and inner circle individual donors to run the maximum amounts of money allowed through those state parties to the Hillary Victory Fund in New York and the DNC in Washington.

The idea was to increase how much one could personally donate to Hillary by taking advantage of the Supreme Court ruling 2014, McCutcheon v FEC, that knocked down a cap on aggregate limits as to how much a donor could give to a federal campaign in a year. It thus eliminated the ceiling on amounts spent by a single donor to a presidential candidate.

In other words, a single donor, by giving $10,000 a year to each signatory state could legally give an extra $330,000 a year for two years to the Hillary Victory Fund. For each donor, this raised their individual legal cap on the Presidential campaign to $660,000 if given in both 2015 and 2016. And to one million, three hundred and 20 thousand dollars if an equal amount were also donated in their spouse’s name.

From these large amounts of money being transferred from state coffers to the Hillary Victory Fund in Washington, the Clinton campaign got the first $2,700, the DNC was to get the next $33,400, and the remainder was to be split among the 33 signatory states. With this scheme, the Hillary Victory Fund raised over $26 million for the Clinton Campaign by the end of 2015.

The money was either transferred to the Hillary for America or Forward Hillary PACs and spent directly on the Hillary Clinton Campaign, often paying the salaries and expenses within those groups, or it was moved into the DNC or another Clinton PAC. Some of it was spent towards managing the Hillary merchandise store, where you can buy Hillary T shirts and hats and buttons.


The fund is administered by treasurer Elizabeth Jones, the Clinton Campaign’s chief operating officer. Ms. Jones has the exclusive right to decide when transfers of money to and from the Hillary Victory Fund would be made to the state parties.

One could reasonably infer that the tacit agreement between the signatories was that the state parties and the Hillary Clinton Campaign would act in unity and mutual support. And that the Super Delegates of these various partner states would either pledge loyalty to Clinton, or, at the least, not endorse Senator Sanders. Not only did Hillary’s multi-millionaire and billionaire supporters get to bypass individual campaign donation limits to state parties by using several state parties apparatus, but the Clinton campaign got the added bonus of buying that state’s Super Delegates with the promise of contributions to that Democratic organization’s re-election fund.

If a presidential campaign from either party can convince various state parties to partner with it in such a way as to route around any existing rules on personal donor limits and at the same time promise money to that state’s potential candidates, then the deal can be sold as a way of making large monetary promises to candidates and Super Delegates respectable.

Continued ...Buying of the Dem Delegates at:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/04/01/how-hillary-clinton-bought-the-loyalty-of-33-state-democratic-parties/

On the Eve of the NY Primary......It Ain't Over Yet...Message of the Bird!

Bernie Sanders Bird Scene: (with emotional music)

Published on Mar 29, 2016

The good Bernie Sanders is heading for president, fighting against his big rival Donald Trump. While Donald exploits nature, Bernie attracts it. The birds are singing for Bernie. Will enough humans listen? We will see. One day.

Music by Thomas Leypoldt: https://www.youtube.com/user/leypoldt...


A Heated Debate on Sanders vs. Clinton with Two Longtime Progressives: Robert Scheer v. Torie Osborn

This is an incredible watch!
-------------
Robert Scheer v. Torie Osborn: A Heated Debate on Sanders vs. Clinton with Two Longtime Progressives
Published on Apr 15, 2016
http://democracynow.org - We host a debate on the 2016 election between two longtime progressives: Robert Scheer, a veteran journalist, and Torie Osborn, a progressive activist. Scheer worked for almost 30 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he interviewed several former U.S. presidents, including Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. Osborn has served as Northern California director for the National Organization for Women and was the first female executive director of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.

FULL TRANSCRIPT FOLLOWS if you can't watch the Video:



TRANSCRIPT
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: I’m Amy Goodman in Los Angeles. Juan González is in New York. And our guests are here in Los Angeles. We’re joined by Robert Scheer, longtime journalist based in California who’s editor-in-chief of Truthdig. His most recent book, They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy. And Torie Osborn joins us, longtime progressive activist based in Los Angeles. She’s served as Northern California director for the National Organization for Women and was the first female executive director of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.

We welcome you both to Democracy Now! It’s great to have you with us. Juan?


JUAN GONZÁLEZ: I’d like to start with Bob Scheer. You’ve written a lot about our financial system and the banks, and, of course, this is a central issue between Hillary Clinton and Senator Sanders in this campaign. Your response to the controversy around Senator Sanders’s stance and Hillary Clinton’s position on how to deal with the nation’s biggest banks?

ROBERT SCHEER: Well, I think Hillary Clinton was exposed last night as a serious demagogue on the banking issue. It was unbelievable to me. She knows. She raised the question—or she made the statement, "We can never let Wall Street wreck Main Street again." Well, who did it the first time? It was her husband, in alliance with Phil Gramm of the Republicans, who reversed Glass-Steagall and opened the door to the "too big to fail." It was her husband, by the way, who signed the bill into law, that she accuses Bernie Sanders of having somehow engineered. And that was the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which Bill Clinton and Lawrence Summers, his Treasury secretary, and Phil Gramm pushed through Congress. He did it as a lame-duck president. It’s that legislation, tucked into an omnibus bill, so only four people in the House voted against it. Ron Paul was one of them, on the libertarian side. Yes, Bernie Sanders went along with this threat that if you don’t vote for the omnibus bill, people don’t get paid, and so forth and so on. It was Bill Clinton’s bill.

She has done this now repeatedly, blaming Bernie Sanders for the failure to regulate credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations—all of this junk which was made legal by a bill pushed by Bill Clinton, signed into law by Bill Clinton, and, I believe, done to enhance her coming race for the Senate in New York, where she got an enormous amount of money from Wall Street. Bill Clinton’s first Treasury secretary, Robert Rubin, was at that point ensconced at Citibank—Citigroup, a bank allowed to form because of the reversal of Glass-Steagall, a merger of investment and commercial banks. So, she knows what’s been going on. And to blame Bernie Sanders—I covered this for the L.A. Times. I wrote a book on it called The Great American Stickup. I know the record very well. And she’s simply lying about it.

AMY GOODMAN: Torie Osborn?

TORIE OSBORN: Well, I’m not an expert on the economy, but I will tell you that Dodd-Frank is the law of the land. Hillary Clinton has been really clear. She stood up to Big Pharma back when Hillarycare was killed by Big Pharma and the insurance companies. She’s a fighter. She has positioned herself center-left. She’s going to be elected president of the United States. And I think the real issue is: How do we go forward? I like Paul Krugman. I agree with Paul Krugman, who is her economic guru. She’s definitely moved to the left from her husband’s positions. She’s not going to put Richard—Robert Rubin in as her Treasury secretary. I think that it’ll be fascinating to see how she incorporates the growing progressive economic equity part of the Democratic Party that Bernie has brilliantly organized and mobilized.

So, to me, what’s most important is that Hillary is—she’s progressive. She’s a leader. She has a far better track record of actually getting things done than Bernie Sanders, who I knew very well in Vermont. He’s given the same speech now that he gave back in 1974. I lived there from '70 to ’76 in my early days of antiwar and feminist activism and sort of formative days, when he was working the Liberty Union Party. And I'll tell you, I don’t think he’s changed. Now, economic inequality has grown. His message has become more relevant. I’m glad he’s raising it.

You know, to me, the most interesting thing about the debate last night, the most interesting thing, besides the Israeli-Palestinian issue, which I do want to say was astonishing and a thing of beauty, that he had the courage to say what he did. But it was that there was a—that he—that we were fighting about $12 or $15-an-hour minimum wage. I mean, I worked at the—on the county raising to $15 an hour. It was only two years ago here in Los Angeles that Mayor Garcetti put forward $13.25. It seemed radical at the time. Passed the baton over to the labor movement, the Fight for 15, you know, swept through, and now California—now Jerry Brown has signed the law. I’m telling you that what’s important here is that we’re having a debate about $12 to $15 an hour, not whether Hillary believes, as many progressive economists do, that it might be too much of a burden on some rural and small business economies if you move too quickly to $15. So, you know, I think the issue of Wall Street, I think there’s—you know, good progressives disagree. Is the shadow banking industry as important as breaking up the big banks? How do you break them up? What are the tools within Dodd-Frank? How can you make Dodd-Frank perhaps more progressive? Well, you’ve got to change Congress first.

AMY GOODMAN: I just wanted to clarify something, Torie Osborn. Had you ever been for Bernie Sanders or—

TORIE OSBORN: I was magnetized. Now, I am not—the way it works for me in a campaign, it was true in 2008, I was for John Edwards, actually, because the poverty and the war were my issues. Then I was for Hillary, and then I was magnetized and became a strong Obama supporter. I quit my job in City Hall working for Mayor Villaraigosa and joined the Bernie—joined the Obama campaign as a full-time super volunteer for two months. This time, Hillary declared last April, and I listened to every word of her. I was checking her out, and I was actually pleased to see she talked about Wall Street, she talked about Big Pharma, she talked about healthcare reform, she talked about universal healthcare, she talked about free tuition or making tuition more accessible. And I thought, "Wow, she’s really hitting the economic issues." Bernie then entered the race, and I thought, "Well, I’ve known him for many years. All my lefty friends are for him. I’m going to be for Bernie." And there was less there than met the eye, for me. I have tremendous respect for the movement he’s built, for the secular revival, the political social movement that he’s built. And I have lots of questions about how that energy can be captured on a going-forward basis.

AMY GOODMAN: Bob Scheer, you disagree with Torie Osborn.

ROBERT SCHEER: Come on, let’s look at what the Clintons represent: triangulation, ending the Roosevelt legacy in the party, reversing the—

TORIE OSBORN: That was then. This is now.

ROBERT SCHEER: Reverse—understand, that the—

TORIE OSBORN: That was the 1990s. We’re not in the ’90s, Bob.

ROBERT SCHEER: But the policies that were in place—

TORIE OSBORN: But the policies that Hillary Clinton is putting forward—

ROBERT SCHEER: Are you going to allow me to finish?

TORIE OSBORN: —is not the same.

ROBERT SCHEER: I know. I know. And look—

TORIE OSBORN: Don’t blame her for Bill Clinton.

ROBERT SCHEER: OK, you mentioned—

TORIE OSBORN: It’s not fair.

ROBERT SCHEER: —you worked for Antonio Villaraigosa, a fellow I know well. You obviously work for Sheila Kuehl now, a supervisor. They’re nice people. The fact is, it was Mayor Villaraigosa that ordered the police to smash the Occupy movement in Los Angeles. I was there that night. I was out in the street. It was barbaric. It was brutal. And yes, progressive mayors in every city, most of whom were Democrat—I guess one in New York who claimed to be a Republican—and they smashed this movement. It’s because of that movement, which addressed a problem that has accelerated since the Clintons came to office—you could guess, Ronald Reagan was not able to put through the kind of radical deregulation he was speaking about. Bill Clinton did the triangulation. And that income gap in America, that Bernie Sanders was warning about, has mushroomed.

And let me just say something. You say you followed Hillary Clinton’s career. I interviewed Hillary Clinton. I interviewed her husband when I was working for the L.A. Times down in Arkansas. They championed the slogan—both of them—championed the slogan, "Let’s end welfare as we know it." And what they did is they ended the main federal anti-poverty program, the aid to families with dependent children. Seventy percent of the people on that program were children. Seventy percent were children. They claimed they had a program in Arkansas called Project Success that was helping people get off of that. It was a nonsense program. It never happened. It never worked. OK? Peter Edelman—she always says, "I work with the Children’s Defense Fund, Marian Wright Edelman." Peter Edelman was in the Clinton administration. He broke over this question of so-called welfare reform. He’s written a devastating book. Robert Reich was the secretary of labor in the Clinton administration. He is supporting Bernie Sanders. Why? Because he saw the inside of Clinton triangulation. On domestic policy, it’s been a total caving in to Wall Street. And this income disparity, which Bernie Sanders was warning about, you say, back in the '70s, has become an uglier reality now. And you're saying we should trust the very people who opened the door to Wall Street to now solve the problem. I think it’s utter nonsense.

And let me say something about Israel, as a Jewish person, by the way. I am so proud that the first Jewish candidate that has a chance of being president has unmasked this terrible policy of ignoring the human rights of Palestinians, their aspiration, and backing Netanyahu, a guy who just doesn’t even believe, in any serious way, in the two-state solution. And by the way, Hillary mentioned Mohamed Morsi, a graduate of the University of Southern California. He got his doctorate there. And she said, "I talked to him." Why doesn’t she mention that he’s in jail facing death? The first elected person to run Egypt is in jail facing death, and that Hillary Clinton was part of an administration, and after this administration, she has supported an accommodation with the military rulers of Egypt that have totally reversed that Democratic experiment. So, this is utter nonsense. The woman is a Margaret Thatcher hawk on foreign policy.

She carries water for Wall Street. You talk about the shadow economy. My god, her sun was set in business with a hedge fund by Lloyd Blankfein from Goldman Sachs. You know, and, by the way, her top financial adviser, Gary Gensler, was a Goldman Sachs partner, went into the—was in the Clinton administration, was part of this whole deregulation of Wall Street. He’s calling the shots in her campaign on the economy.

TORIE OSBORN: Well—

ROBERT SCHEER: And she still turns to those very same people. So you can’t whitewash that record. It’s real.

TORIE OSBORN: I don’t—I agree.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: I want to—if I can, I’d like to ask both Bob Scheer and Torie Osborn about this whole issue—it’s true, I completely agree, that a political leader can change and can adopt more progressive or less progressive positions over time. But I’m wondering how much of the change in viewpoint of some of the centrist Democrats—and I would classify both Governor Cuomo right here in New York and Hillary Clinton in that camp of formerly centrist Democrats—have been affected by this enormous grassroots movement that has developed, from the DREAMers to the Fight for 15, to the Occupy movement, to the climate—the movement around climate change—these massive movements all around the country. How much of these centrist leaders have changed their positions in order to remain relevant to the changing nature of political thought among the masses of American people?

TORIE OSBORN: Well, I agree with you, and I think the reason that Hillary Clinton positioned herself center-left—and, by the way, you govern from the center-left. You do not govern from the left, as Bernie’s marginal status in Congress for 30 years shows. I mean, he has done nothing. He did nothing before he was elected mayor of Burlington, and he has done very, very little. Seventeen amendments and two Post Office bills is not a track record that is substantive in Congress. But I agree with you, and I completely agree with you. And this is why I think rather than railing at the past, at the Clintons of the past, who carried the water for the right on criminal justice and on welfare reform—I completely agree with it—and set in motion a piece of what the right wing, starting, you know, in the '60s and coming to fruition in 1980 with Ronald Reagan and beyond, had continued to rig the system, to change the system, to, you know, not just mass incarceration and the, you know, racism and what we've seen in the growing prison-industrial complex, but, of course, the economic injustice—but here’s where I completely agree with you.

When Hillary gave her speech a year ago, and that I was—I listened to every word. I was hanging on every word, because I wanted to believe that a woman could be president. I want—I would have rather it was Elizabeth Warren, frankly, but it wasn’t. It was Hillary Clinton. And I wanted to see: Was she going to talk about issues that matter to me, as a 40-year progressive activist? And she did. And it’s because of the DREAMers, the DREAMers. It’s because of the marriage equality struggle. It’s because of Black Lives Matter. It’s because of—and I don’t know if I would agree with you characterizing them as mass movements, but I think that they’ve been effective and powerful and important movements. And I think they have changed the debate, as Occupy changed the debate, and forever, on 1 percent and 99 percent. But that’s really the question.

Guys, I mean, I hate to tell you, but Hillary Clinton is going to be the next president of the United States. Bernie Sanders, I think, has galvanized and unleashed young people. He’s not going to win. He’s not going to win New York, Pennsylvania or California. And so, the question really is: What happens next to those of us in the progressive movement?

AMY GOODMAN: Very quick comment from Robert Scheer, as we wrap up.

ROBERT SCHEER: Yeah, well, I think this is how we got into this mess. Jerry Brown, when he was running against Bill Clinton, said we’re always faced with the—by these people with the—not the lesser of two evils, but the evil of two lessers. That’s a line I’m taking from my wife’s book on California that’s coming out. But it’s a good statement. They helped get us into this mess. Let’s not miss what this election is all about on the Republican and Democratic side. On the Republican side, you have a neofascist person in Trump, in the form of Trump, and something of a religious fanatic in Ted Cruz. But they are addressing real discontent across the board. The economy is not working for most Americans. OK? And so, there’s a right-wing populist appeal that is wiping away the Republican Party. On the Democratic side, much to the amazement of everyone, Bernie Sanders has been able to register a populist progressive dissent. OK? He is a uniter. He doesn’t bait immigrants. You know, he understands the need for unity in the country. But the fact of the matter is, if you go for Hillary Clinton, you go for more of the same. I’ll tell you my takeaway from the debate—

TORIE OSBORN: She’s going to win.

ROBERT SCHEER: I want to tell you, my—

TORIE OSBORN: Facts.

ROBERT SCHEER: Yeah, but your winning—

TORIE OSBORN: Get real.

ROBERT SCHEER: Your—get real. Your winning got us—

TORIE OSBORN: The change happens—

ROBERT SCHEER: Your winning gets us into a war in Iraq—

TORIE OSBORN: No.

ROBERT SCHEER: —which Democrats supported, with Republicans—

TORIE OSBORN: Not if we do our work.

ROBERT SCHEER: —that has—well, you—if we do our work. The fact is, sellout politics have made the situation much more treacherous. And the reason—

TORIE OSBORN: And marginal lefties can’t govern.

ROBERT SCHEER: And the reason so many young people are against it is because they see it doesn’t work for them. And if you want to look at the record, if Hillary Clinton—these problems, what is she doing? You talk about deportation, yes, Obama has—

TORIE OSBORN: She’s not going to deport.

ROBERT SCHEER: —failed on immigration. He has been called the deporter-in-chief.

TORIE OSBORN: Yes.

ROBERT SCHEER: Hillary Clinton, as secretary of state, she supported that policy. She didn’t—no, take the minimum wage—

TORIE OSBORN: The president set—

ROBERT SCHEER: You keep telling me Hillary Clinton has evolved. The Clintons have been in power in the Democratic Party for so long. Why didn’t they move on the minimum wage? Why didn’t they move in a more peaceful area—

TORIE OSBORN: Because, as you know, it takes a movement from below to push the issue forward.

ROBERT SCHEER: No, they’re not pushable. They are sellouts. They are co-opted. They—

TORIE OSBORN: That’s not true. She’s clearly pushable.

ROBERT SCHEER: The record is so clear.

TORIE OSBORN: She supports $15 an hour.

ROBERT SCHEER: She supports it now because she’s going to lose the primary if she doesn’t come out for it.

TORIE OSBORN: No, that’s not true. She—

ROBERT SCHEER: And she supported it last night very halfheartedly. What you are talking—

TORIE OSBORN: That’s not true. She stood up there with Governor Cuomo.

ROBERT SCHEER: Look, let me tell you, if you go down the road with Hillary Clinton—

TORIE OSBORN: Don’t rewrite the record.

ROBERT SCHEER: If you go down the road with Hillary Clinton, the right wing will be stronger. That’s what happened in Europe—

TORIE OSBORN: No, that’s not true.

ROBERT SCHEER: —historically.

TORIE OSBORN: It’s not the worse, the better.

ROBERT SCHEER: It’s what’s happening in Europe now. The fact of the matter is—

TORIE OSBORN: No.

ROBERT SCHEER: —if you do not address the problems from a progressive side, which Bernie Sanders is proposing, you’re going to leave people hurting.

TORIE OSBORN: No.

ROBERT SCHEER: They’re hurting in this country. You may not be hurting working for—

TORIE OSBORN: No.

ROBERT SCHEER: —the county and the supervisor, part of the Democratic establishment. I know. I live downtown.

TORIE OSBORN: Right, I’m the Democratic establishment.

ROBERT SCHEER: It was the Democratic establishment.

TORIE OSBORN: Forty years of progressive activism, Bob. Come on.

ROBERT SCHEER: You work for the supervisor.

TORIE OSBORN: I work for the supervisor—

ROBERT SCHEER: Yes.

TORIE OSBORN: —who’s a progressive supervisor, who’s pushed more—

ROBERT SCHEER: And the Democratic establishment—the Democratic establishment in Los Angeles, by the way, has a racist—

TORIE OSBORN: Bob.

ROBERT SCHEER: —tolerated—the supervisors tolerated—

TORIE OSBORN: Bob.

ROBERT SCHEER: —a racist sheriff’s department, a racist police department—

TORIE OSBORN: Sheila was elected last year.

ROBERT SCHEER: —crushed Occupy—

TORIE OSBORN: Bob, that—

ROBERT SCHEER: —did not address any of these questions—

TORIE OSBORN: You’re missing—you’re missing the question.

ROBERT SCHEER: —whatsoever.

TORIE OSBORN: The question—

ROBERT SCHEER: And now you tell us we need more of the same.

TORIE OSBORN: The question—no.

ROBERT SCHEER: The voters are rejecting more of the same. That’s what’s going on.

TORIE OSBORN: No, they’re not.

ROBERT SCHEER: Yes. You represent more of the same.

TORIE OSBORN: Hillary has gotten—

ROBERT SCHEER: That’s what Hillary Clinton is.

TORIE OSBORN: —two-and-a-half million more votes.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to leave it there, but clearly there is a lot to talk about in these coming weeks and months. Robert Scheer, editor-in-chief of Truthdig; Torie Osborn, longtime progressive activist who’s served as Northern California director for the National Organization for Women and was executive director of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Liberty Health Foundation.

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AMY GOODMAN: "On the Road Again," Willie Nelson, and that’s just where we are, on the road again, on a 100-city tour. Check our website for where we’re headed next, here in Los Angeles, in Northern California, the Salt Lake City and Colorado. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman in Los Angeles. Juan González is in New York.
The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

A Heated Debate on Sanders vs. Clinton with Two Longtime Progressives: Robert Scheer v. Torie Osborn

This is an incredible watch!
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Robert Scheer v. Torie Osborn: A Heated Debate on Sanders vs. Clinton with Two Longtime Progressives
Published on Apr 15, 2016
http://democracynow.org - We host a debate on the 2016 election between two longtime progressives: Robert Scheer, a veteran journalist, and Torie Osborn, a progressive activist. Scheer worked for almost 30 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he interviewed several former U.S. presidents, including Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. Osborn has served as Northern California director for the National Organization for Women and was the first female executive director of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.

FULL TRANSCRIPT FOLLOWS if you can't watch the Video:



TRANSCRIPT
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: I’m Amy Goodman in Los Angeles. Juan González is in New York. And our guests are here in Los Angeles. We’re joined by Robert Scheer, longtime journalist based in California who’s editor-in-chief of Truthdig. His most recent book, They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy. And Torie Osborn joins us, longtime progressive activist based in Los Angeles. She’s served as Northern California director for the National Organization for Women and was the first female executive director of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.

We welcome you both to Democracy Now! It’s great to have you with us. Juan?


JUAN GONZÁLEZ: I’d like to start with Bob Scheer. You’ve written a lot about our financial system and the banks, and, of course, this is a central issue between Hillary Clinton and Senator Sanders in this campaign. Your response to the controversy around Senator Sanders’s stance and Hillary Clinton’s position on how to deal with the nation’s biggest banks?

ROBERT SCHEER: Well, I think Hillary Clinton was exposed last night as a serious demagogue on the banking issue. It was unbelievable to me. She knows. She raised the question—or she made the statement, "We can never let Wall Street wreck Main Street again." Well, who did it the first time? It was her husband, in alliance with Phil Gramm of the Republicans, who reversed Glass-Steagall and opened the door to the "too big to fail." It was her husband, by the way, who signed the bill into law, that she accuses Bernie Sanders of having somehow engineered. And that was the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which Bill Clinton and Lawrence Summers, his Treasury secretary, and Phil Gramm pushed through Congress. He did it as a lame-duck president. It’s that legislation, tucked into an omnibus bill, so only four people in the House voted against it. Ron Paul was one of them, on the libertarian side. Yes, Bernie Sanders went along with this threat that if you don’t vote for the omnibus bill, people don’t get paid, and so forth and so on. It was Bill Clinton’s bill.

She has done this now repeatedly, blaming Bernie Sanders for the failure to regulate credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations—all of this junk which was made legal by a bill pushed by Bill Clinton, signed into law by Bill Clinton, and, I believe, done to enhance her coming race for the Senate in New York, where she got an enormous amount of money from Wall Street. Bill Clinton’s first Treasury secretary, Robert Rubin, was at that point ensconced at Citibank—Citigroup, a bank allowed to form because of the reversal of Glass-Steagall, a merger of investment and commercial banks. So, she knows what’s been going on. And to blame Bernie Sanders—I covered this for the L.A. Times. I wrote a book on it called The Great American Stickup. I know the record very well. And she’s simply lying about it.

AMY GOODMAN: Torie Osborn?

TORIE OSBORN: Well, I’m not an expert on the economy, but I will tell you that Dodd-Frank is the law of the land. Hillary Clinton has been really clear. She stood up to Big Pharma back when Hillarycare was killed by Big Pharma and the insurance companies. She’s a fighter. She has positioned herself center-left. She’s going to be elected president of the United States. And I think the real issue is: How do we go forward? I like Paul Krugman. I agree with Paul Krugman, who is her economic guru. She’s definitely moved to the left from her husband’s positions. She’s not going to put Richard—Robert Rubin in as her Treasury secretary. I think that it’ll be fascinating to see how she incorporates the growing progressive economic equity part of the Democratic Party that Bernie has brilliantly organized and mobilized.

So, to me, what’s most important is that Hillary is—she’s progressive. She’s a leader. She has a far better track record of actually getting things done than Bernie Sanders, who I knew very well in Vermont. He’s given the same speech now that he gave back in 1974. I lived there from '70 to ’76 in my early days of antiwar and feminist activism and sort of formative days, when he was working the Liberty Union Party. And I'll tell you, I don’t think he’s changed. Now, economic inequality has grown. His message has become more relevant. I’m glad he’s raising it.

You know, to me, the most interesting thing about the debate last night, the most interesting thing, besides the Israeli-Palestinian issue, which I do want to say was astonishing and a thing of beauty, that he had the courage to say what he did. But it was that there was a—that he—that we were fighting about $12 or $15-an-hour minimum wage. I mean, I worked at the—on the county raising to $15 an hour. It was only two years ago here in Los Angeles that Mayor Garcetti put forward $13.25. It seemed radical at the time. Passed the baton over to the labor movement, the Fight for 15, you know, swept through, and now California—now Jerry Brown has signed the law. I’m telling you that what’s important here is that we’re having a debate about $12 to $15 an hour, not whether Hillary believes, as many progressive economists do, that it might be too much of a burden on some rural and small business economies if you move too quickly to $15. So, you know, I think the issue of Wall Street, I think there’s—you know, good progressives disagree. Is the shadow banking industry as important as breaking up the big banks? How do you break them up? What are the tools within Dodd-Frank? How can you make Dodd-Frank perhaps more progressive? Well, you’ve got to change Congress first.

AMY GOODMAN: I just wanted to clarify something, Torie Osborn. Had you ever been for Bernie Sanders or—

TORIE OSBORN: I was magnetized. Now, I am not—the way it works for me in a campaign, it was true in 2008, I was for John Edwards, actually, because the poverty and the war were my issues. Then I was for Hillary, and then I was magnetized and became a strong Obama supporter. I quit my job in City Hall working for Mayor Villaraigosa and joined the Bernie—joined the Obama campaign as a full-time super volunteer for two months. This time, Hillary declared last April, and I listened to every word of her. I was checking her out, and I was actually pleased to see she talked about Wall Street, she talked about Big Pharma, she talked about healthcare reform, she talked about universal healthcare, she talked about free tuition or making tuition more accessible. And I thought, "Wow, she’s really hitting the economic issues." Bernie then entered the race, and I thought, "Well, I’ve known him for many years. All my lefty friends are for him. I’m going to be for Bernie." And there was less there than met the eye, for me. I have tremendous respect for the movement he’s built, for the secular revival, the political social movement that he’s built. And I have lots of questions about how that energy can be captured on a going-forward basis.

AMY GOODMAN: Bob Scheer, you disagree with Torie Osborn.

ROBERT SCHEER: Come on, let’s look at what the Clintons represent: triangulation, ending the Roosevelt legacy in the party, reversing the—

TORIE OSBORN: That was then. This is now.

ROBERT SCHEER: Reverse—understand, that the—

TORIE OSBORN: That was the 1990s. We’re not in the ’90s, Bob.

ROBERT SCHEER: But the policies that were in place—

TORIE OSBORN: But the policies that Hillary Clinton is putting forward—

ROBERT SCHEER: Are you going to allow me to finish?

TORIE OSBORN: —is not the same.

ROBERT SCHEER: I know. I know. And look—

TORIE OSBORN: Don’t blame her for Bill Clinton.

ROBERT SCHEER: OK, you mentioned—

TORIE OSBORN: It’s not fair.

ROBERT SCHEER: —you worked for Antonio Villaraigosa, a fellow I know well. You obviously work for Sheila Kuehl now, a supervisor. They’re nice people. The fact is, it was Mayor Villaraigosa that ordered the police to smash the Occupy movement in Los Angeles. I was there that night. I was out in the street. It was barbaric. It was brutal. And yes, progressive mayors in every city, most of whom were Democrat—I guess one in New York who claimed to be a Republican—and they smashed this movement. It’s because of that movement, which addressed a problem that has accelerated since the Clintons came to office—you could guess, Ronald Reagan was not able to put through the kind of radical deregulation he was speaking about. Bill Clinton did the triangulation. And that income gap in America, that Bernie Sanders was warning about, has mushroomed.

And let me just say something. You say you followed Hillary Clinton’s career. I interviewed Hillary Clinton. I interviewed her husband when I was working for the L.A. Times down in Arkansas. They championed the slogan—both of them—championed the slogan, "Let’s end welfare as we know it." And what they did is they ended the main federal anti-poverty program, the aid to families with dependent children. Seventy percent of the people on that program were children. Seventy percent were children. They claimed they had a program in Arkansas called Project Success that was helping people get off of that. It was a nonsense program. It never happened. It never worked. OK? Peter Edelman—she always says, "I work with the Children’s Defense Fund, Marian Wright Edelman." Peter Edelman was in the Clinton administration. He broke over this question of so-called welfare reform. He’s written a devastating book. Robert Reich was the secretary of labor in the Clinton administration. He is supporting Bernie Sanders. Why? Because he saw the inside of Clinton triangulation. On domestic policy, it’s been a total caving in to Wall Street. And this income disparity, which Bernie Sanders was warning about, you say, back in the '70s, has become an uglier reality now. And you're saying we should trust the very people who opened the door to Wall Street to now solve the problem. I think it’s utter nonsense.

And let me say something about Israel, as a Jewish person, by the way. I am so proud that the first Jewish candidate that has a chance of being president has unmasked this terrible policy of ignoring the human rights of Palestinians, their aspiration, and backing Netanyahu, a guy who just doesn’t even believe, in any serious way, in the two-state solution. And by the way, Hillary mentioned Mohamed Morsi, a graduate of the University of Southern California. He got his doctorate there. And she said, "I talked to him." Why doesn’t she mention that he’s in jail facing death? The first elected person to run Egypt is in jail facing death, and that Hillary Clinton was part of an administration, and after this administration, she has supported an accommodation with the military rulers of Egypt that have totally reversed that Democratic experiment. So, this is utter nonsense. The woman is a Margaret Thatcher hawk on foreign policy.

She carries water for Wall Street. You talk about the shadow economy. My god, her sun was set in business with a hedge fund by Lloyd Blankfein from Goldman Sachs. You know, and, by the way, her top financial adviser, Gary Gensler, was a Goldman Sachs partner, went into the—was in the Clinton administration, was part of this whole deregulation of Wall Street. He’s calling the shots in her campaign on the economy.

TORIE OSBORN: Well—

ROBERT SCHEER: And she still turns to those very same people. So you can’t whitewash that record. It’s real.

TORIE OSBORN: I don’t—I agree.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: I want to—if I can, I’d like to ask both Bob Scheer and Torie Osborn about this whole issue—it’s true, I completely agree, that a political leader can change and can adopt more progressive or less progressive positions over time. But I’m wondering how much of the change in viewpoint of some of the centrist Democrats—and I would classify both Governor Cuomo right here in New York and Hillary Clinton in that camp of formerly centrist Democrats—have been affected by this enormous grassroots movement that has developed, from the DREAMers to the Fight for 15, to the Occupy movement, to the climate—the movement around climate change—these massive movements all around the country. How much of these centrist leaders have changed their positions in order to remain relevant to the changing nature of political thought among the masses of American people?

TORIE OSBORN: Well, I agree with you, and I think the reason that Hillary Clinton positioned herself center-left—and, by the way, you govern from the center-left. You do not govern from the left, as Bernie’s marginal status in Congress for 30 years shows. I mean, he has done nothing. He did nothing before he was elected mayor of Burlington, and he has done very, very little. Seventeen amendments and two Post Office bills is not a track record that is substantive in Congress. But I agree with you, and I completely agree with you. And this is why I think rather than railing at the past, at the Clintons of the past, who carried the water for the right on criminal justice and on welfare reform—I completely agree with it—and set in motion a piece of what the right wing, starting, you know, in the '60s and coming to fruition in 1980 with Ronald Reagan and beyond, had continued to rig the system, to change the system, to, you know, not just mass incarceration and the, you know, racism and what we've seen in the growing prison-industrial complex, but, of course, the economic injustice—but here’s where I completely agree with you.

When Hillary gave her speech a year ago, and that I was—I listened to every word. I was hanging on every word, because I wanted to believe that a woman could be president. I want—I would have rather it was Elizabeth Warren, frankly, but it wasn’t. It was Hillary Clinton. And I wanted to see: Was she going to talk about issues that matter to me, as a 40-year progressive activist? And she did. And it’s because of the DREAMers, the DREAMers. It’s because of the marriage equality struggle. It’s because of Black Lives Matter. It’s because of—and I don’t know if I would agree with you characterizing them as mass movements, but I think that they’ve been effective and powerful and important movements. And I think they have changed the debate, as Occupy changed the debate, and forever, on 1 percent and 99 percent. But that’s really the question.

Guys, I mean, I hate to tell you, but Hillary Clinton is going to be the next president of the United States. Bernie Sanders, I think, has galvanized and unleashed young people. He’s not going to win. He’s not going to win New York, Pennsylvania or California. And so, the question really is: What happens next to those of us in the progressive movement?

AMY GOODMAN: Very quick comment from Robert Scheer, as we wrap up.

ROBERT SCHEER: Yeah, well, I think this is how we got into this mess. Jerry Brown, when he was running against Bill Clinton, said we’re always faced with the—by these people with the—not the lesser of two evils, but the evil of two lessers. That’s a line I’m taking from my wife’s book on California that’s coming out. But it’s a good statement. They helped get us into this mess. Let’s not miss what this election is all about on the Republican and Democratic side. On the Republican side, you have a neofascist person in Trump, in the form of Trump, and something of a religious fanatic in Ted Cruz. But they are addressing real discontent across the board. The economy is not working for most Americans. OK? And so, there’s a right-wing populist appeal that is wiping away the Republican Party. On the Democratic side, much to the amazement of everyone, Bernie Sanders has been able to register a populist progressive dissent. OK? He is a uniter. He doesn’t bait immigrants. You know, he understands the need for unity in the country. But the fact of the matter is, if you go for Hillary Clinton, you go for more of the same. I’ll tell you my takeaway from the debate—

TORIE OSBORN: She’s going to win.

ROBERT SCHEER: I want to tell you, my—

TORIE OSBORN: Facts.

ROBERT SCHEER: Yeah, but your winning—

TORIE OSBORN: Get real.

ROBERT SCHEER: Your—get real. Your winning got us—

TORIE OSBORN: The change happens—

ROBERT SCHEER: Your winning gets us into a war in Iraq—

TORIE OSBORN: No.

ROBERT SCHEER: —which Democrats supported, with Republicans—

TORIE OSBORN: Not if we do our work.

ROBERT SCHEER: —that has—well, you—if we do our work. The fact is, sellout politics have made the situation much more treacherous. And the reason—

TORIE OSBORN: And marginal lefties can’t govern.

ROBERT SCHEER: And the reason so many young people are against it is because they see it doesn’t work for them. And if you want to look at the record, if Hillary Clinton—these problems, what is she doing? You talk about deportation, yes, Obama has—

TORIE OSBORN: She’s not going to deport.

ROBERT SCHEER: —failed on immigration. He has been called the deporter-in-chief.

TORIE OSBORN: Yes.

ROBERT SCHEER: Hillary Clinton, as secretary of state, she supported that policy. She didn’t—no, take the minimum wage—

TORIE OSBORN: The president set—

ROBERT SCHEER: You keep telling me Hillary Clinton has evolved. The Clintons have been in power in the Democratic Party for so long. Why didn’t they move on the minimum wage? Why didn’t they move in a more peaceful area—

TORIE OSBORN: Because, as you know, it takes a movement from below to push the issue forward.

ROBERT SCHEER: No, they’re not pushable. They are sellouts. They are co-opted. They—

TORIE OSBORN: That’s not true. She’s clearly pushable.

ROBERT SCHEER: The record is so clear.

TORIE OSBORN: She supports $15 an hour.

ROBERT SCHEER: She supports it now because she’s going to lose the primary if she doesn’t come out for it.

TORIE OSBORN: No, that’s not true. She—

ROBERT SCHEER: And she supported it last night very halfheartedly. What you are talking—

TORIE OSBORN: That’s not true. She stood up there with Governor Cuomo.

ROBERT SCHEER: Look, let me tell you, if you go down the road with Hillary Clinton—

TORIE OSBORN: Don’t rewrite the record.

ROBERT SCHEER: If you go down the road with Hillary Clinton, the right wing will be stronger. That’s what happened in Europe—

TORIE OSBORN: No, that’s not true.

ROBERT SCHEER: —historically.

TORIE OSBORN: It’s not the worse, the better.

ROBERT SCHEER: It’s what’s happening in Europe now. The fact of the matter is—

TORIE OSBORN: No.

ROBERT SCHEER: —if you do not address the problems from a progressive side, which Bernie Sanders is proposing, you’re going to leave people hurting.

TORIE OSBORN: No.

ROBERT SCHEER: They’re hurting in this country. You may not be hurting working for—

TORIE OSBORN: No.

ROBERT SCHEER: —the county and the supervisor, part of the Democratic establishment. I know. I live downtown.

TORIE OSBORN: Right, I’m the Democratic establishment.

ROBERT SCHEER: It was the Democratic establishment.

TORIE OSBORN: Forty years of progressive activism, Bob. Come on.

ROBERT SCHEER: You work for the supervisor.

TORIE OSBORN: I work for the supervisor—

ROBERT SCHEER: Yes.

TORIE OSBORN: —who’s a progressive supervisor, who’s pushed more—

ROBERT SCHEER: And the Democratic establishment—the Democratic establishment in Los Angeles, by the way, has a racist—

TORIE OSBORN: Bob.

ROBERT SCHEER: —tolerated—the supervisors tolerated—

TORIE OSBORN: Bob.

ROBERT SCHEER: —a racist sheriff’s department, a racist police department—

TORIE OSBORN: Sheila was elected last year.

ROBERT SCHEER: —crushed Occupy—

TORIE OSBORN: Bob, that—

ROBERT SCHEER: —did not address any of these questions—

TORIE OSBORN: You’re missing—you’re missing the question.

ROBERT SCHEER: —whatsoever.

TORIE OSBORN: The question—

ROBERT SCHEER: And now you tell us we need more of the same.

TORIE OSBORN: The question—no.

ROBERT SCHEER: The voters are rejecting more of the same. That’s what’s going on.

TORIE OSBORN: No, they’re not.

ROBERT SCHEER: Yes. You represent more of the same.

TORIE OSBORN: Hillary has gotten—

ROBERT SCHEER: That’s what Hillary Clinton is.

TORIE OSBORN: —two-and-a-half million more votes.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to leave it there, but clearly there is a lot to talk about in these coming weeks and months. Robert Scheer, editor-in-chief of Truthdig; Torie Osborn, longtime progressive activist who’s served as Northern California director for the National Organization for Women and was executive director of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Liberty Health Foundation.

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AMY GOODMAN: "On the Road Again," Willie Nelson, and that’s just where we are, on the road again, on a 100-city tour. Check our website for where we’re headed next, here in Los Angeles, in Northern California, the Salt Lake City and Colorado. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman in Los Angeles. Juan González is in New York.
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