Thursday, August 25, 2022

Order directing public filing of redacted affidavit

Order directing public filing of redacted affidavit

Monday, March 9, 2020

December 10, 2010: the day Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) changed the discussion to inequality

First published December 11, 2010

It has occurred to me that yesterday was the perfect storm.

For the first time in my lifetime, a real man took the floor in the United States Senate, and fought for the soul of his country.

Senator Bernie Sanders, 69 years old, stood up on the floor of the Senate and over a period of eight and a half hours, gave the world an incredible history lesson and economics lesson about what has happened to the United States economically from 1928 to 2010.

I have never seen anything like this, and I doubt I will ever see it again.

But Bernie Sanders, armed only with facts, evidence, and the truth, laid out clearly, and unimpeachably, how Reaganomics -- which has controlled the financial wellbeing of the American people from 1980 to 2010 -- was merely a replay of the laissez faire economics which led up to the Great Crash of 1929, and the Great Depression which ensued.

I do not know what the future holds, whether Sanders's landmark speech will go unheeded like the great warning given to us by Theodore Roosevelt in 1910, or whether it will mark a turning point bringing us back from the abyss which lies ahead if present policy is continued, but either scenario guarantees that we will look back on yesterday, December 10, 2010, as a significant day in American history... the day the case was made for fairness by one Bernard Sanders.

In 1980, professional screen actor Ronald Reagan began one of the greatest con jobs in all of history, convincing a majority or at least a strong plurality of the American people that government is bad, and corporations are good.

This policy has been in the ascendancy for thirty years. The antitrust laws which prevented monopolization and ensured competition have been virtually torn out of the law books, the securities laws were rendered unenforceable by congressional action impeding private enforcement and staffing reductions impeding public enforcement, income tax and estate laws were manipulated to increase the burdens on the working class and to decrease the burdens on the wealthiest of Americans, the copyright laws were manipulated to favor large corporations over artists, creators, and the public, the laws which separated the financial markets and banks were eliminated, and on and on.

Republican Pres. George H. W. Bush of course continued Reaganomics.

And Pres. Bill Clinton, nominally a Democrat, continued it, too. He even expanded upon it, by foisting NAFTA upon the American people, and accelerating the export of American jobs to other countries, further obliterating the middle class that had been created by the protections of the New Deal for trade unions, and by social safety nets such as Social Security and unemployment insurance and the GI Bill. Bill Clinton's term created unprecedented opportunity for multinational corporations, all at the expense of the common man, to whom not a thing "trickled down". Although a Democrat, and most often labeled a "centrist", one would be hard pressed to find a single economic policy of Reagan and Bush which Clinton did not at least continue, and in many cases expand upon. His "centrism" helped to further weaken our country's "center", its middle class. So I reject the appellation "centrist"; he unfailingly represented the right wing's economic agenda. Unlike Reagan, Clinton probably wasn't doctrinaire about Reaganomics and trickle-down, he was willing to do whatever the polls said would be popular. And since Reagan's sales pitch had worked, he just went along with it. He of course never attempted to mount his own sales pitch for what he knew was right; that would be "leadership". We've had none of that.

Then Pres. George W. Bush came along, getting into power in 2000 only by election tampering and judicial cronyism, and clinging to power in 2004 only by massive election fraud, and in both terms continuing with great vigor the right wing, anti-people, pro-corporation policy of his admitted hero, Ronald Reagan.

The very first murmur of an end to Reaganomics was the campaign of then Senator Barack Obama in 2008, who made numerous campaign promises, among them that he would fight for a public option in health care, an end to the Hyde Amendment impairing womens' right to choose, and an end to the George W. Bush tax cuts for the rich.

Unfortunately it was only in the campaign that Mr. Obama waged those fights.

As President he has not fought at all for the things he represented that he believed in, and his healthcare reform was cause for great jubilation among healthcare insurance companies and the investors who held their stock, since its primary features were to force an increase in the number of policy holders, whether they could afford to buy the policies or not, and to prevent people other than those on Medicare [or in the employ of Congress] from having access to a public option.

In view of the strong sense of public outrage at Obama's backroom deal with GOP leaders to extend tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, in this time of massive deficit and economic depression, and the President's inability to convince the people that the nonsensical thing he is doing makes any sense, Pres. Obama further demonstrated his weakness by trotting out his Democratic Party, Reaganomics-loving, predecessor, Bill Clinton, to speak to reporters yesterday, in an attempt to deflect attention from Senator Sanders's historic speech.

How fitting. And how surprising that a longtime supporter of Reaganomics would argue for its continuation.

The "mainstream" media -- which ignored Senator Sanders's historic address on the floor of the Senate -- was quick to report on Clinton's tired talk with reporters in the Whitehouse briefing room, a vivid illustration of why the "mainstream" media are no longer "mainstream", and why no tears are being shed for their ongoing demise.

Among Twitter's 100 million plus members, the Bernie Sanders address trended #1 worldwide. It was clearly the most important story in the world that day: a battle for the soul of the most powerful country in the world, trying to pull it back from its government's love affair with the most powerful multinational corporations and aggregations of wealth the world has ever seen, whose greatest joys in life are the rape of forests, oceans, and mountaintops, the slaughter of everything that breathes, the building of armaments, the destruction of ancient peoples and cultures, and the privatizing of water needed by poor people for their survival.

Yesterday was the perfect storm. A perfect alignment of the forces of light versus the forces of darkness.

On one side, Bernie Sanders fighting for the people.

On the other, the corporatists, plutocrats, and oligarchs, and the corporate media who continually try to spin their malignancy as benign, fighting for the wealthy.

What a day.

I will remember it forever.

God bless Bernie Sanders.

Full transcript of Sen. Bernie Sanders(@SenSanders)'s historic 12/10/10 speech

Video of the speech

A paperback book of the speech

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

America please listen to New Yorkers on #Bloomberg

If America had listened to what New Yorkers could have told them about Trump, he would never have been elected President.

Hopefully Democratic voters won't make the same mistake with Bloomberg.

Despite his lying propaganda, Bloomberg's actual legacy as NYC Mayor was, among other things:

-trashing and humiliating public school students and public school teachers
-trashing, weakening, and closing public schools
-weakening and closing public hospitals
-trampling the civil rights of protestors
-trampling the civil rights of black people
-trampling the civil rights of people walking on sidewalks near the Republican Convention
-trampling the civil rights of bicyclists
-destroying neighborhoods
-gentrifying neighborhoods and eroding the middle class

Anyone who denies any of the above is a damned liar. They are not opinions, they are facts.

The reason Bloomberg has accumulated and retained $55 Billion while the people he supposedly served have suffered so severely is because he is a selfish, greedy dirtbag.

We already have a president like that; we don't need another.

Don't believe the lying propaganda he has bought with his billions; don't let him buy you.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Message from our @BernieSanders

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As some of you may know, I spent four years in Chicago in the early sixties as a student at the University of Chicago.
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. Those four years in Chicago were an extraordinary time for me and very much shaped my worldview and what I wanted to do with my life.
I should also say that while the University of Chicago was and is one of the great higher education institutions in this country, the truth is that I learned a lot more off campus than I did in classrooms.
As someone who came from a working class family, Chicago provided me, for the first time in my life, the opportunity to put two and two together in understanding how the real world worked. To understand what power was about in this country and who the people were who had that power. To learn a little bit about the causation of wars; to learn about racism and poverty and other social ills.
My years in Chicago gave me the opportunity to become involved in the civil rights movement, in the labor movement, in the peace movement and in electoral politics – experiences that significantly shaped my life.
As a student at the University of Chicago, I became involved with a civil rights organization called the Congress on Racial Equality, CORE, one of the leading civil rights groups of that period.
Now, some of you may not know this, but in the early 1960s, the University of Chicago owned segregated housing.
Being audacious young people, black and white, our chapter of CORE wanted to expose that unjust housing system. And so our CORE chapter sent white couples and black couples into the university-owned housing to pretend to look for an apartment. And you can guess what happened.
When the black couples showed up, there were just no apartments available. But a few hours later, when one of our white couples went in, somehow, mysteriously, they would have their choice of apartments.
After documenting this clear pattern of racial discrimination, the students in CORE demanded the university desegregate its housing. When they refused, we staged one of the first ever civil rights sit-ins in the North, forcing the university to acknowledge the situation and to consider serious policy changes.
While what we were doing here in Chicago at the time was significant, it came nowhere close to what young people our age were doing in the South in groups like SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. We were protesting – but they were putting their lives on the line, and some were getting killed.
In 1963 I, along with a busload of other students, took a 600-mile ride from Chicago to Washington, D.C. for what remains in my mind as an unforgettable day. We went to the nation’s capital to participate in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, led by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – one of the great leaders in American history. I had the honor of being there to hear him deliver his now-famous “I Have A Dream” speech, and that was a day I have never forgotten.
That same year, we knew we had more to do in Chicago.
It had been nine years since the Brown vs Board of Education decision, but the school officials in Chicago had still refused to meaningfully desegregate the city’s public schools. Black schools were overcrowded and underfunded, with many students forced to share chairs and desks. Meanwhile, a report at the time found over 380 white classrooms were completely empty.
But instead of putting black children in those empty classrooms, the school officials decided to put old trailers on the black school grounds. We called them “Willis Wagons,” after the Chicago school superintendent of that time, Benjamin Willis.
These trailers were a monstrosity. Students would boil in the heat, and freeze in the cold. They were infested with rats. They were an insult and a disgrace – and the community fought back.
One day, many of us went to the spot where they planned to put the trailers. We were corralled by a police line and told not to cross that line.
Well, some of us did. And, of course, we were arrested and thrown into paddy wagons. We spent that night in jail, until we were bailed out the next morning by the NAACP.
The reason I tell you all of this is because my activities in Chicago taught me a very important lesson.
Whether it is the struggle against racism, or sexism, or homophobia, or corporate greed, or environmental devastation, or war and militarism or religious bigotry – real change never takes place from the top on down. It always takes place from the bottom on up when people, at the grassroots level, stand up and fight back. That's a lesson I learned in Chicago, and a lesson I've never forgotten.
Have we made progress in civil rights in this country since the early 1960s? No question about it. Do we still have a very long way to go to end the institutional racism which permeates almost every aspect of our society? Absolutely.
We have, in recent years, seen a major spike in hate crimes – against blacks, and Muslims, and Jews, and Latinos and other minorities.
And, over the last number of years, we have seen a terrible level of police violence against unarmed people of color – people killed by the police who should be alive today.
We know that African Americans are twice as likely to be arrested, and almost four times as likely to experience physical force in an encounter with the police.
Today, black men are sentenced to 19 percent more jail time for committing the exact same crime as white men, and African Americans are jailed at more than 5 times the rate of whites.
All of this and more is why we are finally going to bring about real criminal justice reform in this country. We are going to end the international embarrassment of having more people in jail than any other country on earth. Instead of spending $80 billion a year on jails and incarceration, we are going to invest in jobs and education for our young people. No more private prisons and detention centers. No more profiteering from locking people up. No more "war on drugs." No more keeping people in jail because they're too poor to afford cash bail.
And by the way, when we talk about criminal justice reform, we're going to change a system in which tens of thousands of Americans every year get criminal records for possessing marijuana, but not one major Wall Street executive went to jail for destroying our economy in 2008 as a result of their greed, recklessness and illegal behavior. No. They didn't go to jail. They got a trillion-dollar bailout.
Our campaign is about fundamentally ending the disparity of wealth and power in this country. But as we do that, we must speak out against the disparity within the disparity.
Today, the average black family has one-tenth the wealth of the average white family.
Today, the infant mortality rate in black communities is more than double the rate for white communities, and the death rates from cancer and almost every other disease is far higher for blacks. Black women are three and a half times more likely to die from pregnancy than white women.
Today, Flint, Michigan is still without new pipes for clean water, and there are 3,000 other Flint, Michigans across the country – neighborhoods with lead rates that were double those of Flint during the height of its crisis.
Today, redlining prevents black-owned businesses from getting loans, and predatory lending results in higher interest rates in the African American community.
Whether it is a broken criminal justice system, or massive disparities in the availability of financial services, or health disparities, or environmental disparities, or educational disparities – our job is to create a nation in which all people are treated equally. That is what we must do, and that is what we will do.
Brothers and sisters: we have an enormous amount of work in front of us and the path forward will not be easy.
But if we stand together believing in justice and human dignity, the truth is that there is nothing we cannot accomplish.
Let us go forward together.
In solidarity,
Bernie Sanders
Add your name if you agree: it’s time to transform our country and create a government that works for all of us, not just the billionaire class.

Bernie cannot do it alone. We will only succeed if we are in this fight together. Not me. Us.

Paid for by Bernie 2020
(not the billionaires)
PO BOX 391, Burlington, VT 05402
No one person, not even Bernie Sanders, can take on Trump and the billionaire class alone.
We have an official FEC fundraising deadline coming up and we're trying to report as many individual donations as we possibly can. Make a contribution today before the FEC deadline comes to a close.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

A company cannot earn billions in revenue while cutting pay for its workers. Add your name if you agree. ~ @BernieSanders

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General Electric recently merged with Wabtec, a rail equipment manufacturer, in a deal that was worth more than $11 billion.
Let me be very clear: Wabtec is a profitable company that is expected to bring in nearly $8 billion this year – doubling its revenue as a result of the merger. They had enough money to provide over $120 million in payments to executives at Wabtec and General Electric, including a $16 million handout to Wabtec's CEO, Raymond Betler.
Yet Wabtec refuses to treat its workers fairly and in fact wants to undermine the progress won under their existing union contract.
Union workers in Erie, Pennsylvania who were previously employed by General Electric now must renegotiate with Wabtec. As of today, they are on strike to fight back against Wabtec’s plan to cut pay, mandate overtime, and undermine job security.
We cannot and will not allow powerful companies like Wabtec to undo decades worth of progress on workers' rights.
I am proud to stand in solidarity with the 1,700 locomotive manufacturing workers in Erie who are currently on strike to keep the pay and benefits they have won as union members. But I cannot do this alone – it is important that we join together to show our support for these workers as they demand fair negotiations.
Add your name to join me in calling on Wabtec CEO Raymond Betler to let workers negotiate a fair and equitable collective bargaining agreement.

The right to organize as part of a union has historically been one of the surest ways for American workers to join the middle class. The security of a union job provides good pay, benefits including health care, and the ability to have a voice at work.
One of the biggest reasons for the disappearing middle class is that the rights of workers to join together and collectively bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions have been severely undermined.
But workers in Erie, Pennsylvania, are coming together to fight back by going on strike.
The greed of corporations like Wabtec has got to end. And one way we can stand up to their greed is by showing we stand with Erie workers who are courageously fighting back against their CEO.
The billionaire class and large corporations in this country must learn that they cannot have it all. Thank you for joining this fight to send them a message that they can't ignore.
In solidarity,
Bernie Sanders

Paid for by Bernie 2020
(not the billionaires)
PO BOX 391, Burlington, VT 05402