Category Archive 'Bernie Sanders'
26 Jul 2016

OK, Two More

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15 May 2016

2016: The Year of Ignorance

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TrumpWhatMePresident

There’s been a certain amount of complaining about my insulting people by referring to them as “low-information-voters.” The problem is: I’m right. That’s exactly what they are, as Ilya Somin explains at some length.

A specter is haunting this year’s presidential election: political ignorance. Both Democrats and Republicans love to accuse the other party’s supporters of that sin. Sadly, both are often right.

The presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump has raised exploitation of ignorance to new heights. Many of the main themes of his campaign prey on it. Trump’s campaign first took off when he claimed we are being inundated with Mexican immigrants, who increase the crime rate because many are “criminals” and “rapists.” In reality, net migration from Mexico has been close to zero for the last 10 years. Yet few Americans seem to know that. And while studies consistently find that immigrants have lower crime rates than native-born Americans, a 2015 Pew Research Center study found that 50% of Americans (and 71% of Republicans) believe immigration is making crime “worse.”

Trump’s claim that nations such as China, Mexico and Japan are “killing us on trade” because we have trade deficits with them also relies on ignorance. As economists across the political spectrum recognize, free trade benefits the economy, and a bilateral trade deficit between two nations is no more an indicator of economic failure than is my trade deficit with my local supermarket. Unfortunately, studies show that trade is one of the areas where there is the greatest gap between general public opinion and informed opinion.
Trump is far from the only candidate to exploit ignorance this year, merely the most successful. Bernie Sanders, the “democratic socialist” who has mounted an unexpectedly strong challenge for the Democratic nomination, shares some of Trump’s demagoguery on trade.

Like Trump, Sanders has also put forward budget projections that most experts, even in his own party, regard as fantastical. Surveys consistently show that most Americans greatly underestimate the percentage of federal spending devoted to big entitlement programs, such as Medicare and Social Security, which are among the largest areas of federal spending. As a result, many voters accept Trump and Sanders’ claims that we can not only deal with our serious fiscal problems without reforming them, but also pile on enormous spending increases (Sanders) or tax cuts (Trump). A survey of Sanders supporters by Vox found that the vast majority are unwilling to pay more than a fraction of the tax increases that even Sanders’ own projections say would be required to fund the new health care and education programs he proposes. Most likely do not realize the true cost.

The problem of ill-informed voters is certainly not confined to Trump and Sanders, or to the 2016 election; more conventional politicians often manipulate ignorance, as well. It is also not limited to specific issues, instead extending to the basic structure of government.

Read the whole thing.

10 May 2016

Land-Office Business

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09 May 2016

Apocalyptic Times

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David Goodman aka Spengler finds plenty of cause for gloom in this year’s international election season.

Marx was wrong when he quipped that great history appears twice, first as tragedy and again as farce. He forgot surrealism.

Who would have expected the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to present them themselves in the personages of a billionaire reality-show star, an aging Vermont hippy, a Glock-toting Austrian rightist and a British-born Pakistani who “sucked up to extremist Muslims” through most of his career. I refer to the presumptive Republican nominee for president, the second-place candidate for the Democratic nomination, the likely next president of Austria and the just-elected Mayor of London. These are portents of the future, like comets or two-headed calves.

The lives of perhaps two billion people around the world are going pear-shaped, and the great battles of our time are not about the allocation of scarce resources, but of abundant misery. …

The Trump voters and the Sanders voters have a common view of the world, which is that someone else must suffer for them to benefit; they differ on who should pay (Chinese and Mexicans vs. the wealthy). No-one will tell the American Millennials that they were sold a trillion-dollar fraud in the form of university education, and no-one will tell their aging parents that never again will Americans be paid for being Americans. No-one will tell the Europeans that it doesn’t really matter what immigration policy they choose: if they do not have children, soon enough their lands will belong to migrants from Africa and the Middle East. In politics, it doesn’t pay to be the bearer of evil tidings, as in Robert Frost’s poem: “As for his evil tidings, Belshazzar’s overthrow,/Why hurry to tell Belshazzar What soon enough he would know?”

08 May 2016

“One More Time”

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03 May 2016

Bernie Sanders as George Costanza in Seinfeld

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Hat tip to Vanderleun.

17 Apr 2016

The Hard Life of a People’s Commissar

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New York Times reporter Yamiche Alcindor yesterday tweeted the menu of the bill of fare on Bernie Sanders private chartered plane wafting the man-of-the-people back home from his meeting with the Pope.

Those champions of the common man certainly know how to live.

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10 Apr 2016

Trump Debates Sanders

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09 Apr 2016

Journalists? No, Just Professional Democrat Tools

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ObamaBodyguards

Victor Sharpe and Robert Vincent marvel at how accustomed we have all become to the staggering level of mainstream media bias in favor of democrats.

t seems that most Americans operate on the assumption that the media is making a good-faith, if imperfect, effort at objectively informing its audience. That so few are genuinely aware of the outrageous manipulation of public opinion now taking place is the single greatest threat to the republic, to the extent that we can even say that our republic still exists. A glaring example of this would be the treatment of Nixon 42 years ago over Watergate compared with the treatment of Obama today over any one of several far worse scandals.

It was recently reported in the WSJ that Obama used the NSA to spy on Congress during the deliberations related to the Iran nuclear deal. It was reported on at one time, but this story has now disappeared completely from media coverage. Consider the implications.

In the former case, Nixon apparently directed or sat by and knowingly let his immediate subordinates direct a third-rate burglary of the campaign headquarters of an election opponent. In the latter case, Obama authorized one of the most sophisticated intelligence-gathering organizations in the world to spy on American legislators, en masse, in pursuit of the most important – and egregiously flawed – international agreement impacting American national security and world stability – namely, with the chief sponsor of international terrorism: the Islamic Republic of Iran.

This is a thousand times worse than Watergate! Where is the media? Where are today’s equivalents of Woodward and Bernstein? The media doesn’t focus on this outrage at all, so to the overwhelming majority of the public, it is as though this never even happened. And this is only one of several comparable scandals we could name. …

[I]n 2012, during an unintentional “open mic” moment, we overheard Obama making assurances to Russian president Medvedev that once he was able to get past the election, he would have “more flexibility.”

Here we have a sitting U.S. president apparently ready to make some huge concession to America’s most important major power rival on the world stage, a concession so drastic that it apparently couldn’t even be revealed until after the election. And the media did not hound him over this.

Could one imagine a President Nixon, or a President Reagan, making such a statement during arms control negotiations with the USSR and the media simply giving it a pass?. …

How about the qualifications of Bernie Sanders, who did not so much as earn a regular paycheck until he was 40, who ran for Congress while collecting unemployment, who supported himself for a time writing about masturbation and rape fantasies for leftist publications, who has served in Congress for 25 years without having written even one piece of legislation that ever passed?

Read the whole thing.

19 Mar 2016

Bernie Voters

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14 Mar 2016

SNL Does Hillary Again

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13 Mar 2016

“It Can Happen Here” Department

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Noah Rothman, in Commentary, is appalled at the fact that we have two fringe candidates risen to prominence who are both willing to praise authoritarian Communism.

Within the span of 24 hours, in equally reprehensible violations of every classically liberal norm for which America stands, two prominent “outsider” presidential candidates took to national television to rehabilitate and legitimize thuggish and authoritarian communist regimes. …

On Wednesday, Sanders was confronted with his own obsequious praise for the repressive communism practiced in Cuba. Univision’s anchors asked how he might atone to Florida’s voters for those comments. Many South Floridians remember life under communism — the real thing; not the Potemkin facades with which Sanders is so impressed — and they deserved an apology. The Vermont senator declined the opportunity. Instead, he said that the United States was “wrong to try to invade Cuba” and to overthrow militant socialist governments in Latin America. “Throughout the history of our relationship with Latin America we’ve operated under the so-called Monroe Doctrine, and that said the United States had the right do anything that they wanted to do in Latin America,” Sanders asserted.

Either Bernie Sanders is remarkably ignorant, morally obtuse, or he believes his supporters are fools.

In the increasingly socialized American education system with which Sanders is so enamored, the study of American history has surely deteriorated. They do, however, still teach the Monroe Doctrine in public schools. And they teach it as it is: the doctrine that held the United States would oppose European intervention and influence in the Western Hemisphere; not the perverted Howard Zinn version of history to which Sanders and his fellow travelers subscribe.

Sanders’ desire to re-litigate the Cold War is all consuming. Clearly, the man’s formative period as a mock revolutionary in the late 1960s still informs virtually all of his political beliefs today. Sanders is still waging a war against Henry Kissinger, and he is still denouncing Eisenhower’s CIA, which played an activist role in the ouster of democratically elected regimes in Iran and Guatemala – operations that served the much greater goal of containing Soviet communist influence. But Sanders’ desire to lump together these actions with the ouster of revolutionary, unelected governments in places like Nicaragua and Cuba is the height of irresponsibility. To ascribe to these regimes legitimacy is to consign their people – and future generations imprisoned by authoritarian socialist autarchism – to a nightmarish prison. …

When asked about [comments made in a Playboy interview years ago, criticizing Gorbachev’s lack of firmness, and obliquely praising the “strength” of the Communist government that forcibly suppressed the Tiananmen Square demonstrations], Trump insisted that he was not “endorsing” the vile murder of an untold numbers of Chinese democracy protesters. “I said that is a strong, powerful government that put it down with strength. And then they kept down the riot,” Trump said. “It was a horrible thing. It doesn’t mean at all I was endorsing it.”

Two observations: First, if you approve of the outcome of these brutal tactics, you do not genuinely believe them to be “a horrible thing.” Second, the notion that the Tiananmen uprising was a “riot” is sickening. These were liberal activists who had erected under the omnipresent gaze of Chairman Mao a replica of the Statue of Liberty. These were men and women willing to lay down their lives for the cause of democracy. Not only did Trump embrace the outcome of the Tiananmen massacre, he wanted to see the Soviets exert the same ruthless force in order to preserve a system that had killed tens of millions and enslaved half the world. That he would dare consider himself worthy of the Oval Office after such repulsive comments — or that a significant subset of the American public would endorse his presidential bid — exposes a crisis of purpose in the United States like nothing this country has faced in half a century.

Read the whole thing.

23 Feb 2016

This Presidential Campaign Has a Moral

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18 Feb 2016

Bernie Sanders: a Linguistic Analysis

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Bernie Sanders: a linguistic analysis

Bernie Sanders has now spent most of his life in Vermont. But his voice tells a story of his past, and the history of New York City.

Posted by Vox on Thursday, February 18, 2016

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