bernie sanders

MSNBC’s Joy Ann Reid Invites Quack Body Language Expert on to Trash Sanders

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 21/01/2020 - 2:01am in

MSNBC anchor Joy Ann Reid invited Jeanine Driver, a self-styled expert in the highly contentious field of body language analysis on her show, AM Joy, to assess the recent spat between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders at the seventh Democratic presidential debate. Warren accused the Vermont Senator of dismissing her chances, claiming he said that a woman could not become president, something he vehemently denies.

“First of all I think Bernie’s lying,” Driver told Reid’s weekend audience of around 1.1 million, claiming, “his shoulders come up like a little kid getting caught,” adding that Sanders was “trying to hide in plain sight.” Driver offered up more questionable expertise in why she agrees with Warren: “He starts with ‘well.’ Liars like to start with ‘well,’” she said, claiming that Sanders’ “weirdy” posture is proof of his dishonesty. Reid strongly agreed: “scandals hurt you more when they seem plausible,” she said. The idea that Sanders’ posture might be slightly hunched because he is 78 years old was not considered.

In the short segment, Driver also suggested that Bernie was “coached” to laugh at hard questions, a tactic she claimed liars use to shrug off inconvenient truths. She did not explain or even acknowledge why even the audience laughed at CNN moderator Abby Phillip’s childish attempts to frame the question that drew criticism across the corporate media landscape as a textbook example of bad journalism. Even Warren herself could not help but hold back a smile at the loaded question Phillip asked.

Driver’s credibility on any subject is in doubt; as The Nation’s Ken Klippenstein found, she claims that flu shots impregnate American women and has spread other vaccine myths. Perhaps more importantly, however, neither MSNBC nor Driver disclosed that she is personal friends with former Vice President Joe Biden – something that seems relevant given that Sanders is Biden’s closest challenger in the race to become the Democrats’ choice for president of the United States.

Reid herself is also a controversial figure, with a history of strongly racist and homophobic remarks. She was one of the chief proponents of the RussiaGate narrative; the theory that Donald Trump worked with Vladimir Putin to overthrow American democracy. 

In her hostility towards Trump and all things Slavic, she managed to make multiple errors in one infamous statement when she claimed Ivana Trump was from “Soviet Yugoslavia.” In reality, Ivana is from Slovakia, which was never part of Yugoslavia. And neither Slovakia nor Yugoslavia was ever part of the Soviet Union. 

Reid also categorically stated that Islam is incompatible with both free speech and democracy, and implied that the only reason Muslims have not started a world war is that they “are so desperately poor that they have the time, energy and resources for only the occasional burst of AK-47 fire into the air from the garbage and sewage laden streets outside of their mud huts.” 

In her previous, pre-woke stage Reid was also a proud homophobe, outing closeted gay people and even insinuating that most gay men are actually pedophiles. When these problematic posts were found by journalists, Reid claimed that Russian hackers had inserted homophobic and racist rantings onto her personal website in order to derail her important investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. She did not explain how neither she nor anyone else noticed rogue articles appearing on her blog for over a decade, nor how the offensive posts were saved and archived by the Library of Congress in 2006. Evidently, Moscow must have been playing a very long game with Reid.

In response to the segment, Reid and her show trended on Twitter, a fact the tone-deaf anchor celebrated. But the public reaction was far from positive. 

“MSNBC is a fucking disgrace,” wrote Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald. “This segment of bullshit charlatan body language analysis to prove Bernie is lying mixed with Joy Reid’s anti-Semitic stereotypes about his pushy use of his hands when speaking – is appalling but typical,” he said, ending by saying, “The hacker did it,” in reference to Reid’s stock excuse. In response to the segment, Sanders’ National Press Secretary, Briahna Joy Gray, said “This is why no one trusts the media. These people are digging their own professional graves,” adding that she felt they deserved an apology.

The reaction to Warren’s accusations has also been distinctly poor, with the Massachusetts senator slumping to just 12 percent support nationally. In contrast, Sanders took first place over Driver’s friend and ex-Delaware senator Biden. Opinion polls show that the public responds to Sanders’ message on Medicare for All and his promise to take on powerful corporations, one of whom is MSNBC’s parent company, Comcast. “Their greed must end,” he wrote on his campaign website. Perhaps that explains the extent of MSNBC’s hostility towards him.

Feature photo | MSNBC host Joy Ann Reid speaks with “body language expert”Janine Driver, who accused Sen. Bernie Sanders of being a liar on national television. Screenshot | MSNBC

Alan MacLeod is a Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent. He has also contributed to Fairness and Accuracy in ReportingThe GuardianSalonThe GrayzoneJacobin MagazineCommon Dreams the American Herald Tribune and The Canary.

The post MSNBC’s Joy Ann Reid Invites Quack Body Language Expert on to Trash Sanders appeared first on MintPress News.

Classic Reply to Criticism of Socialists for Having Communist Supporters and Activists

The right-wing scumbags were after America’s Bernie Sanders last week. Having succeeded in defeating Labour in the elections over here, and Corbyn’s campaign to bring prosperity, dignity and empowerment to the British working class, they’re trying to do the same to America’s working people. They’ve started attacking Bernie’s cause of Medicare for All, whereby American people’s medical bills would be paid by the American state. 40 million people in the Land of the Free can’t afford medical insurance. 40,000 people every year die because they can’t afford medical treatment. In some states, people are hoarding medicines, including those prescribed by vets for animals, because they can’t afford drugs. But the Republicans and their corporate masters once again have started attacking Medicare For All in the interests of keeping the private healthcare companies’ profits high, and America’s working and lower middle class poor and sick. And they’ve also launched a few more personal attacks on Bernie himself. Last week several videos appeared on YouTube claiming that a member of his campaign team was a violent Communist.

I’m not surprised that a Communist would work for Sanders. The American Communist party seems to have a history of joining mainstream left-wing movements. Sometimes its to try and take them over, as Marxist parties have tried to do elsewhere in the West. And sometimes it’s simply to help them in their attempts to improve conditions for working people. In the 1950s and ’60s, I think, a number of Communists were found working for the Democrats.

They tried similar tactics over here with Jeremy Corbyn. Apart from smearing him as a Trotskyite and Stalinist, they also attempted to discredit him through one of his campaign team, Seaumas Milne. Milne really is a Stalinist, who continues to support the old thug. His views on Stalin are genuinely disgusting, but that doesn’t discredit everything else he does. His books and articles tearing modern capitalism to shreds are still excellent. And just because Milne admires the brutal dictator, it doesn’t follow that Corbyn does, and the chance of Milne setting up a similar dictatorship in Britain, even if he wanted to, is absolute zero.

There have been similar attempts to discredit other socialist parties and leaders through their employment of or work with Communists. I’ve been reading Bhaskar Sankara’s superb The Socialist Manifesto. This is his call for radical change in America, and its transformation into a genuinely socialist state in which workers actually manage the companies in which they work, share the profits, and enjoy a welfare state comparable to those of Europe, only rather more expanded. The first few chapters are a history of socialism in various countries from its Marxist roots. This covers the rise of Social Democracy in Germany, Communism in Russia and China, social democracy in Sweden and socialism in America. America has, surprisingly, a very long tradition of socialism and working class parties. But these failed to make it into mainstream politics through factionalism, inept leadership, missed opportunities and violent opposition from the American state and capital. Private corporations hired armed thugs to put down strikes, along with the police and army. The Communist party also contributed to this through its factionalism, its blind obedience to the Comintern line even when this conflicted with the local party’s and American people’s own interests in favour of that of the Soviet state’s, and attacks on rival socialist parties. They caused the collapse of one working class, socialist organisation by infiltrating it in order to turn it into a Communist satellite. At which point everyone else in the organisation left. The Trotskyite Socialist Workers’ Party did the same thing in Britain in the 1970s when they infiltrated the Anti-Nazi League.

But there also were instances where Communists and reformist socialists attempted to work together. This happened in the Congress of Industrial Organisations, founded in the 1930s by John L. Lewis of the United Mine Workers’ union. The CIO had a large rank and file, but needed skilled leaders and organisers, and so drew on those from other socialist organisations. When it was pointed out to him that a large number of them were members of the Communist party, Lewis replied, ‘Who gets the bird? The dog or the hunter?’


American Communism’s actually rather interesting, as it saw itself as firmly in the tradition of the American Revolution. And in contrast to the dull, crushing boredom of the Soviet Communist party, it also seems rather fun. The Party had a very strong social side to it, holding youth dances and other social events. It was also very strong on reaching out and defending Black Americans, which explains how Jackie Walker’s parents met. Her mother was a Black civil rights activist, and her father was of Jewish Russian descent. They met at a Communist civil rights event, if I remember properly.

They also revered the American Revolution and were, in their way, as patriotic as other Americans. When the Daughters of the American Revolution forgot their annual commemoration of Paul Revere’s ride, they had a man dress up as an 18th century minuteman and ride down Broadway in New York. They proclaimed ‘The DAR forgets, but the Communist party remembers!’ Another of their slogans was ‘Communism is 20th Century Americanism!’

Bernie Sanders is very far from being a Communist. His views are far more like those of mainstream European social democrats. There isn’t much about nationalisation in his book, Our Revolution, though he does favour worker cooperatives. He also doesn’t want to nationalise American healthcare. He just wants the government to pay people’s medical bills – hardly a radical suggestion from the European perspective. The Germans have had it since Bismarck’s Socialist Laws of 1875. But that, and Bernie’s concern to expand the American welfare state, restore union power and give working people proper employment rights – in effect, to undo forty years of Reaganomic misgovernment – is too much for American capital.

Communism fell in the 1990s. But socialism is alive and reviving. The world as well as America needs Bernie in the White House.

So let’s making Socialism 21st Century Americanism and Britishism!


When Bernie Met Liz, They Stopped Thinking Straight

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 20/01/2020 - 6:28pm in

The most interesting aspect about Elizabeth Warren’s allegation that Bernie Sanders told her that a woman can’t be elected president is what it says about the way American voters and political journalists reason and think.

Iran, Trump, and the neoliberal/neoconservative compact

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 20/01/2020 - 7:00am in

Bill Martin Preface for this moment: The aim of my series of articles that began in March 2016 is not journalism, but instead to try to understand something that is unfolding at a rapid pace. When I look at certain philosophers and political theorists who are able to give immediate responses to very current events, …

91% of Peer-Reviewed Papers Find Medicare for All Would Save Public Money, Cover Everyone

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 18/01/2020 - 7:29am in

91 percent of all peer-reviewed scientific articles find that a single payer healthcare system like Medicare for All would save the country money, according to a meta analysis released Wednesday.

The study, published in the influential open access journal PLOS Medicine, is a systematic review of 22 single payer plans from 18 studies, published between 1991 and 2018, including 8 national cases and 14 state-level plans. It found that 20 analyses (91 percent) predicted savings over a few years, and 19 (86 percent) projected there to be immediate overall savings in year one.

The team, headed by lead author Christopher Cai of the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, concluded that: “In this systematic review, we found a high degree of analytic consensus for the fiscal feasibility of a single-payer approach in the US.”

The authors found that studies funded by organizations across the political spectrum agreed that there were huge savings to be made by switching to a single payer system; with a median estimate of a 3.5 percent reduction in total costs in the first year alone. One area where the studies predicted gigantic savings was in healthcare administration, with estimates varying from 1.2 to 16.4 percent of total costs (with a median of 8.8 percent). Many studies also highlighted a reduction in fraud and waste that could amount to as much as five percent of all healthcare costs being eliminated.

However, the areas where most progress could be made were in a simplified billing system and lower drug prices due to collective bargaining. The U.S. government is unique in blocking itself from negotiating drug prices, largely on account of the power of the pharmaceutical lobby. As a result, drugs such as insulin have tripled in price in the last decade, to the point where American-made insulin is over ten times as expensive in the U.S. as it is in Canada.

Another example of American price inflation is the HIV medication Truvada. The U.S. public footed the bill for the research and development of the drug, but the patent is owned by Gilead Sciences, who charge Americans around $1,700 a month for it, a gross profit of $28,000. In Australia, where the government negotiates the price, the same medication is sold for $8 per month. The drug effectively stops the transmission of HIV, but, because of the prohibitive cost, fewer than ten percent of the Americans who should be taking it currently are. The U.S. already buys Truvada from Gilead for around $6 per month and gives it to people in Sub-Saharan Africa. But it is banned by its own laws from doing the same for its own citizens. Last month MintPress reported that Gilead is accused of holding back the development of Truvada in order to maximize profits, causing an estimated 16,000 deaths.

It was not savings across the board, however. One potential increase in costs that the studies identified with a single payer system, such as the one proposed by Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, was that “higher utilization” of medical facilities would be more expensive. Proponents of the plan are hardly likely to see more people using hospitals and health clinics as a negative, however.

Support for a healthcare system like the ones discussed in the academic literature has increased in recent years to the point where it is a top issue for many Americans. A September 2018 poll from Reuters found that nearly three-quarters of the country backed Medicare for All, including a majority of Republican voters. Even when costs are emphasized in questioning, over 50 percent of Americans continue to support the idea. Even a majority of physicians in the private healthcare industry back nationalization of the sector.

The number of completely uninsured Americans rose to 27.5 million in 2018, equivalent to 8.5 percent of the population. Even those with insurance must often still pay thousands in out of pocket expenses, copays and deductibles.

With regard to healthcare, the United States is an outlier in not having a socialized system. The U.S. spends between two to three times as much as other high-income nations, with the worst results among them. The crisis in the nation’s health has become an increasingly salient issue, with much of the Democratic presidential candidacy race revolving around the hopefuls’ position on health. An increasing number of people see Medicare for All as a silver bullet to the problem. This latest study adds weight to their claims; as the authors note: “There is near-consensus in these analyses that single-payer would reduce health expenditures while providing high-quality insurance to all US residents.”

Feature photo | Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., introduces the Medicare for All Act of 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 10, 2019. Manuel Balce Ceneta | AP

Alan MacLeod is a Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent. He has also contributed to Fairness and Accuracy in ReportingThe GuardianSalonThe GrayzoneJacobin MagazineCommon Dreams the American Herald Tribune and The Canary.

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CNN, Warren’s Sexism Jibe Against Sanders Backfires as #CNNisTrash Trends on Twitter

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 16/01/2020 - 4:56am in

CNN has been widely criticized for its perceived bias in moderating yesterday’s Democratic presidential debate in Iowa. With just three weeks before the first primaries, six leading candidates descended upon Des Moines last night to take part. But, as with previous debates, much of the public discussion centered on the organization, framing and bias of the organizers and moderators.

CNN asked Bernie Sanders, the most left-leaning of the candidates, if he thought he “owed voters an explanation” on how much his health plan would cost them and demanded to know “how will he avoid bankrupting the country” when implementing Medicare for All. Meanwhile, on trade, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren was questioned about a new deal with Canada and Mexico and asked “why is Sanders’ opposition to it wrong,” giving her a puff question with which to undermine Sanders.

Like in previous debates, CNN continually framed issues in a conservative manner, accepting right-wing talking points as true and attacking the left. While it appeared alarmed about the cost of a healthcare system that virtually every other advanced country in the world employs (and at a much cheaper price than a privatized American system), CNN asked 27 questions about the American military presence in the Middle East without even once considering how the U.S. would pay for these wars. Host Wolf Blitzer even tried to associate Sanders with Ayatollah Khamenei, noting that they have both called for American troops to leave the region, something that, in Blitzer’s estimation, led to the rise of ISIS. An exasperated Sanders laughed at the assertion before cautioning the American public about starting another “disastrous” war.

The debate was perhaps most notable for what analysts have described as the end of the non-aggression pact between the senators from Massachusetts and Vermont as Warren refused to shake Bernie’s hand and accused him of making sexist comments against her in December 2018, telling her that a woman could never be president.

The bias in moderation reached comical levels for many when the candidates were asked about Warren’s assertions. Sanders was asked “You’re saying that you never told Senator Warren that a woman could not win the election,” to which he responded, “That is correct.” The moderator, Abby Phillip, immediately switched to Warren to ask “what did you think when Senator Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?” The blatant, childish attempt to redefine her hotly disputed assertion as a fact within one sentence drew hoots of laughter from the crowd, and Bernie alike, who all immediately noticed the rhetorical trick CNN was trying to play. Even Warren let out an embarrassed smile as she answered: “I disagreed.”

The allegations themselves were originally published by CNN on Monday, supposedly based on four anonymous sources who the network itself admits did not attend the meeting where the sexist comments are alleged to have been made. The sources were widely considered to likely have been members of Warren’s campaign, but even if they were not, hearsay from sources not even present at an event who refuse to go on the record should not have been published.

What makes the story particularly dubious is that Sanders has been calling for a female president since at least the 1980s and in 2016 beseeched Warren to run for the top office. Her gambit was roundly criticized in the press as a cynical and lazy attempt at turning her campaign around. The Boston Herald, Warren’s home newspaper, described the move as such:

“It is the classical political dirty trick from a desperate candidate — leak a damaging tidbit about your opponent to a friendly media outlet, wait for the fireworks to explode, then act like you’re the one who’s been wronged.”

It is not clear if the attack was coordinated between Warren and CNN but what is certain is that they are paying a price for it. The top three trends on Twitter Wednesday morning across the United States were #CNNisTrash, #NeverWarren, and #WarrenIsaSnake, suggesting that the American public perceived the accusations in much the same way as the Boston Herald did. 

Warren also performed poorly by other metrics. During the debate, Sanders gained three times as many new Twitter followers as Warren, who was also outgained by Amy Klobuchar, Tom Steyer and Pete Buttigieg. Warren’s campaign is on a downward trend; from a high of 27 percent national support in November, her campaign has now fallen to 16 percent, according to Real Clear Politics. Over the same period, Sanders has increased his support by five percentage points.

Sanders has been the subject of a sustained media attack since declaring as a presidential candidate in 2016, not least from CNN. Last year its fact-checking division claimed he was spreading false statistics by claiming the U.S. spends twice as much as any other country on healthcare. This was despite CNN itself making the same claim earlier in the year in a news piece. While reporting on a new poll showing Sanders three points ahead of his nearest challenger in New Hampshire, it claimed there was “no clear leader.” And after his heart attack, it photoshopped his skin shocking pink in video images, trying to emphasize the idea that Sanders was sicker than he was.

The Vermont senator’s key policy proposals of Medicare for All, free college tuition, higher taxes on the super-wealthy and a Green New Deal are popular among the public and Sanders has had success in pulling the American political conversation to the left. However, the closer he gets to the White House, the harder those in power will fight to keep him out of it, not least of all, CNN.  

Feature photo | Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., answers a question, Jan. 14, 2020, during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN and the Des Moines Register in Des Moines, Iowa. Patrick Semansky | AP

Alan MacLeod is a Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent. He has also contributed to Fairness and Accuracy in ReportingThe GuardianSalonThe GrayzoneJacobin MagazineCommon Dreams the American Herald Tribune and The Canary.

The post CNN, Warren’s Sexism Jibe Against Sanders Backfires as #CNNisTrash Trends on Twitter appeared first on MintPress News.

Stealing California from Bernie — again?Palast with KPFA's Sabrina Jacobs

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 15/01/2020 - 9:56am in

My dear Californians, I know you filled out that registration form at the DMV. Well, you know what? There's a 45% chance in California when you sign up to register to vote on a piece of paper, your name is never entered on the voter rolls. And we have the California presidential primary on March 3rd. I saw what happened to Bernie in 2016. People were

The post Stealing California from Bernie — again?<div id='sec-title'>Palast with KPFA's Sabrina Jacobs</div> appeared first on Greg Palast.

Lincoln v. Douglas – 2020

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/01/2020 - 6:48pm in

The 1858 debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas over the issue of slavery were notable for their erudite discussion of an important policy matter. Now we don’t talk about issues, we talk about political viability in terms of how much the candidates have to spend. Ideas? Not so much.

Progressive v. Progressive Come Lately

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 06/01/2020 - 6:46pm in

Given the choice between a leftie-come-lately who used to be a Republican and someone who consistently supported progressive causes all their life, the media will fall in love with the newbie every time.

Labour Leadership Candidate Lavery Blames ‘Remain’ for Labour Defeat

Yesterday’s I (2nd January 2020) also ran this report on the candidates for the Labour leadership by Jane Merrick, ‘Labour ‘foisted Remain on working class’. This runs

One of the architects of Labour’s historic election defeat has claimed that the party’s attempt to “foist Remain” on working class communities was responsible for last month’s result.

Ian Lavery, the party’s chairman and general election campaign coordinator, denied that Jeremy Corbyn’s policies contributed to the losses.

Mr Lavery is among several Labour MPs considering running to succeed Mr Corbyn. Ahead of nominations opening next week, speculation is mounting that Jess Phillips, one of the most widely recognised MPs among the general public, is about to announce her candidacy.

Yesterday she tweeted: “2020 starts with fire in my belly and I promise that won’t change.”

I’m a Remainer, but Lavery’s right: all the northern and midland communities that voted for Boris were Leave areas. Labour’s manifesto promises for the nationalisation of rail, water and electricity, strengthening the welfare state, restoring workers’ rights and union power, were actually well-received and polled well. But they’re a threat to the upper and upper middle classes, including media barons like Murdoch, the weirdo Barclay twins and Lord Rothermere, so the Tory press is doing its absolute best to try and discredit them.

And the I unfortunately is also following this line. It has always backed the ‘Centrists’ in the Labour, for which read ‘Blairites’ and ‘Thatcherite entryists’, who stand for more privatisation and the destruction of the welfare state. But they pretend – mostly – to be more ‘moderate’ than the Tories. The I’s also been promoting female candidates for the party leadership, and loudly denouncing opposition to them as ‘misogyny’. It’s noticeable in all this that the women, who’ve thrown their hats into the ring are all Blairites, and so the election of someone like Phillips would just be a liberal disguise for the right-wing policies underneath. Just like Hillary Clinton over the Pond is right-wing and militaristic, and therefore very establishment. But she was claiming that, as a woman, she was somehow an outsider, and the people, including women, who back Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination for the presidency instead were just misogynists.

At the moment the I’s backing Lisa Nandy, who appears to be another wretched Blairite.

Lavery, however, is working class, and so a far better spokesman for those areas and people that have suffered from the neoliberalism the Tories and their pet press have pushed on us.