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Ferd Berfel

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Member since: Sat Jan 3, 2015, 12:39 PM
Number of posts: 3,687

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5 Top Reasons Why Bernie Sanders Would Be Best President for Peace


Why Peace Action PAC is endorsing Bernie Sanders for President

After 15 years of war, the next president of the United States will inherit daunting foreign policy challenges. Sadly, many of those challenges were fueled by an “act first, think later” U.S. military policy in places like Iraq and Libya that has backfired. At the same time, the new president will need to sustain diplomatic initiatives started by President Obama including the Iranian nuclear deal and peace talks to end the Syria war.

We need a president that can cultivate diplomatic openings while turning the country away from an over-reliance on the blunt instrument military. Bernie Sanders has vocally opposed this military-first foreign policy and the sprawling quagmire the U.S. is enmeshed in. That’s why Peace Action PAC is endorsing Senator Bernie Sanders for President in the Democratic primary.
Sanders didn’t just get the Iraq war vote right. Then and now, he’s had the foresight to predict the dangers of a military-first foreign policy.

When You Ask Me To Vote For Hillary


I'm going to set aside all of the standard issues I might have with Hillary Clinton. This isn't about policies with which I disagree, or the fact that she's never met a war she didn't like, or that she has turned her back on her own policy goals for the sake of political expediency, or that I have the real sense she sold me out three times today before I even got out of bed.

Push all of those issues off to the side and focus on the ask  -- what are you asking me to do when you ask me to vote for her in the primaries over Bernie Sanders?

You are asking me to consciously give up on any hope I may have of living a sane life in our country. To vote for her in the primaries, I would need to believe that the establishment on both the right and the left have so thoroughly strangled the political system that it is no longer "reasonable" to even try for reform. I have to be so scared of political opponents gaining power that it is worth it to sacrifice even the hope of being able to get ahead, have a savings cushion, access healthcare, send our kids to college, retire, or just not feel like we're constantly living on a knife's edge, all because of fear of a potential future.

If this doesn't make sense to you  -- if you think it is reasonable to fear the opposition more than to hope for having a better life  --  then I'm guessing you live a fairly comfortable life and don't feel strong motivation to change it.

4 Reasons Sanders Can Win the General


The New Hampshire primaries, which Bernie Sanders is winning by seventeen points at the time of writing, are the first test of the Clinton campaign's signature attack on Sanders: that he can't win the general election, so a vote for him is a vote for Ted Cruz or Donald Trump. Sanders's large victory suggests that the Clinton strategy didn't work, at least not yet.

But are the Clintons right? Could Sanders win the general election?

Over the weekend, Paul Krugman continued his New York Times campaign against Sanders in a column (on his New York Times blog) citing a Vox article that quoted six academics expressing doubts about Sanders's prospects in a general election. It was part of Krugman's larger crusade to convince readers that voting for Sanders would be an irresponsible capitulation to the heart in a season when the head should be in charge.

I was one of those six "experts." I said that it's hard to realign a party ideologically in a single election: It took 16 years for the New Right to go from Barry Goldwater's loss in 1964 to Ronald Reagan's win in 1980. And I still think that. But I think there are some very sensible reasons weighing on the pro-Sanders side of the equation.

While Mega-Donors Average $1,950,000... Average Sanders Donation Still Just $27


Billionaires are dominating 2016 spending, but Bernie supporters are proving that small donors can fuel national campaign

As comedian Larry David reminded Saturday Night Live viewers over the weekend, many people by now know how proud the Bernie Sanders campaign is for having built its entire campaign through a record-breaking 3.5 million individual donations, mostly from small donors averaging gifts of about $27, while refusing the support of super PAC contributions.

Meanwhile, according to a new independent analysis of campaign finance data published Monday by Politico, the 100 biggest spenders during this campaign season—many of them individual billionaires—have donated a combined $195 million to super PACs supporting the other presidential candidates.

The math is easy, but compared to the average donation celebrated by Sanders, the contrast is stark: $27 vs. $1,950,000.

With Sanders as the only candidate to opt out of the super PAC system for 2016, his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and the numerous candidates in the Republican field have reaped the financial rewards of these mega-donors.


HIllary, playing the republican game.

On Eve of NH, Sanders Wins Women Voters, Trounces GOP


The senator from Vermont has 16-point lead on Clinton in New Hampshire, and other results show he'd win against any Republican nominee, which Clinton wouldn't

Bernie Sanders is not only ahead of Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, where the next U.S. presidential primary will take place on February 9, he is also leading her among female voters and proves more electable against Republican rivals, several new surveys show.

A tracking poll released Monday by UMass Lowell/7News shows that the senator from Vermont leads Clinton by 16 points among likely Democratic voters, claiming 56 percent support to Clinton's 40 percent support.

He would also beat any Republican nominee in a hypothetical face-off by double digits, while Clinton would beat Donald Trump and Ted Cruz by five-point margins and lose to Marco Rubio, the poll found.

Monday's poll comes on the heels of a CNN-WMUR survey released Sunday which found Sanders ahead of Clinton among women in New Hampshire by eight percentage points, a huge jump since last week's Iowa caucuses, where Clinton won among female voters by 11 points.

Half the Foreign Policy Experts Signing Clinton’s Anti-Sanders Letter Have Ties to Military Contract


Hillary Clinton’s campaign released a letter this week in which 10 foreign policy experts criticized her opponent Bernie Sanders’ call for closer engagement with Iran and said Sanders had “not thought through these crucial national security issues that can have profound consequences for our security.”

The missive from the Clinton campaign was covered widely in the press, but what wasn’t disclosed in the coverage is that fully half of the former State Department officials and ambassadors who signed the letter, and who are now backing Clinton, are now enmeshed in the military contracting establishment, which has benefited tremendously from escalating violence around the world, particularly in the Middle East.

Here are some of the letter signatories’ current employment positions that were not disclosed in the reporting of the letter:

Former Assistant Defense Secretary Derek Chollet, former Pentagon and CIA Chief of Staff Jeremy Bash, and former Deputy National Security Adviser Julianne Smith are now employed by the consulting firm Beacon Global Strategies, a firm we profiled last year. Beacon Global Strategies’ staff advises both Clinton and Republican candidates for president, including Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. The firm makes money by providing advice to a clientele that is primarily military contractors. Beacon Global Strategies, however, has refused to disclose the identity of its clients.


With Liberty And Justice For Sale.

One word, the core difference between Bernie Sanders' & Hillary Clinton's platform: "If"



A few people were asking where a video of February’s New Hampshire Democratic debate could be found and since I was already searching for online access including a full transcript to clear up something that struck me as an important point, i dug in and found both.

While watching the debate and listening to the discussions afterward something was bugging me big time. After sleeping on it, trying to figure if it was as important to others as it seemed to me, I now think it is the fundamental difference in our leading Dem candidates running for the nomination to the US presidency. It was also around the time of the most heated part of the debate.

The word “If”. That’s it. Just that word and what it actually means to each of the leading Dem presidential candidates platform
Link to a rushed transcript of Thursday's "MSNBC Democratic Candidates Debate" moderated by Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow live from Durham, New Hampshire.

Here are a few key excerpts that have been needling me:

Sanders on Wall Street and breaking up and ending the economic and political power of Big banks over the people:

I am running for president as a Democrat. And if elected, not only do I hope to bring forth a major change in national priorities, but let me be frank, I do want to see major changes in the Democratic Party


Let me just say this. Wall Street is perhaps the most powerful economic and political force in this country........



..........I have great respect for Senator Sanders's commitment to try to restore Glass-Steagall. But I do not believe that that is enough. And in fact, I don't believe it really addresses a lot of the biggest issues we have.

You know, we now have power under the Dodd-Frank legislation to break up banks. And I've said I will use that power if they pose a systemic risk.

And by the way, President Obama signed that, pushed it through, even though he took donations from Wall Street, because he's a responsible president. So we have a law in place. If the circumstances warrant it, I will certainly use it.


“.. if they pose a systemic risk.”

”.. If the circumstances warrant it..”

“.. if they ever try to use their economic power once again..”


They do pose a systematic risk right now. The circumstances have warranted it for many years. They have never stopped using the economic power.

Democracy is becoming a commodity and we the everyday people can’t afford even the opening price, much less have our voices heard at the volume that money can buy


Bernie does not need to ask "if" Wall Street "poses a systematic risk" or whether Big Banks will "ever try to use their economic power once again..” nor does he wait to see if "circumstances warrant" doing something about it.

Controversial Israel Supporter Funneling Millions Into Clinton Campaign


Massive donations from Haim Saban follow Clinton’s pledge to fight BDS.

Recent disclosures show media mogul and controversial Israel supporter Haim Saban is pouring millions of dollars into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid.

Haim Saban and his wife Cheryl together contributed $5 million to the Hillary Clinton Super PAC—Priorities USA Action—between 2015 and 2016 alone, according to disclosures available on OpenSecrets.org, affiliated with the Center for Responsive Politics.

While the contributions are not surprising from long-time Clinton-backers, $3 million of them notably poured in after the presidential hopeful authored a letter to Haim Saban in July of 2015, seeking advice on "how we can work together” to defeat the growing movement to Boycott, Divest from, and Sanction (BDS) Israel.

In the note, Clinton touted her record of defending Israel “at every turn,” including her obstruction of efforts to hold Israel accountable for war crimes

Hillary Is the Candidate of the War Machine


There's no doubt that Hillary is the candidate of Wall Street. Even more dangerous, though, is that she is the candidate of the military-industrial complex. The idea that she is bad on the corporate issues but good on national security has it wrong. Her so-called foreign policy "experience" has been to support every war demanded by the US deep security state run by the military and the CIA.

Hillary and Bill Clinton's close relations with Wall Street helped to stoke two financial bubbles (1999-2000 and 2005-8) and the Great Recession that followed Lehman's collapse. In the 1990s they pushed financial deregulation for their campaign backers that in turn let loose the worst demons of financial manipulation, toxic assets, financial fraud, and eventually collapse. In the process they won elections and got mighty rich.

Yet Hillary's connections with the military-industrial complex are also alarming. It is often believed that the Republicans are the neocons and the Democrats act as restraints on the warmongering. This is not correct. Both parties are divided between neocon hawks and cautious realists who don't want the US in unending war. Hillary is a staunch neocon whose record of favoring American war adventures explains much of our current security danger.

The Leader Our Foreign Policy Deserves


As president, Bernie Sanders might tweak the Pentagon budget by eliminating a few billion dollars of waste. He might scale back on U.S. interventions. But he would more likely continue in the direction in which he has started moving as candidate: demonstrating that he can wield power just like the big boys

It’s often said that, in democracies, we get the leaders that we deserve. In the current slugfest masquerading as a presidential race, it looks as though we’re getting the leader that our foreign policy deserves. The results of the first round of the 2016 presidential election in Iowa, with narrow victories by Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton, only underscore this point.

Let me explain.

The Obama administration has engaged in several successful ventures in diplomacy, from negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran and reestablishing relations with Cuba to working with the international community to address climate change. As presidents go, Obama has acted with aplomb as the diplomat-in-chief.

But still, U.S. foreign policy is predicated on violence. We can measure this violence in a variety of ways:

The United States spends over $600 billion on the military. That’s three times more than what China spends. That’s also as much as the next seven spenders combined.
The U.S. military conducted operations in 147 countries in 2015.
The Obama administration is still directly engaged in active wars in Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
Outside these war zones, the United States engages in drone attacks and targeted assassinations in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia that have killed nearly 2,500 people since Obama took office.
The United States remains the leading arms merchant in the world. It controls roughly half the market. In 2014 alone, it boosted sales by 35 percent.
The United States has 7,200 nuclear weapons in its arsenal. It is spending $1 trillion over the next 30 years on modernizing a force that President Obama, in a celebrated speech in Prague in 2009, pledged to eliminate (though obviously not in the next 30 years).

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