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Bernie runs again

Written By: - Date published: 7:22 am, February 20th, 2019 - 250 comments
Categories: Donald Trump, International, us politics - Tags: ,

Bernie Sanders has announced that he will be seeking the Democrat nomination for president in the next election.

From the Guardian:

Bernie Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont whose 2016 presidential campaign helped energize the progressive movement and reshaped the Democratic party, has entered the 2020 race for the White House.

Sanders, a self-styled democratic socialist who spent much of his nearly 30-year congressional career on the political fringe, cast his candidacy as the best way to accomplish the mission he started three years ago when he ran against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.

“Together, you and I and our 2016 campaign began the political revolution,” he said in an email to supporters on Tuesday morning. “Now, it is time to complete that revolution and implement the vision that we fought for.”

Sanders, 77, running as a Democrat again, believes he can prevail in a crowded and diverse field that includes several female and minority candidates, and then beat Donald Trump, whom he called on Tuesday “the most dangerous president in modern American history”.

Asked in an interview on CBS on Tuesday morning what would be different about his 2020 campaign, Sanders replied: “We’re gonna win.”

Whether he can once again capture grassroots support, and whether the energy of his past campaign will pass to other candidates, will likely be a central factor in determining who Democrats nominate to take on the sitting president.

And he was scathing about the current President.  He described Trump in these terms:

Mr Sanders hit out at the president as a “pathological liar, a fraud, a racist, a sexist, a xenophobe and someone who is undermining American democracy as he leads us in an authoritarian direction”.

In an interview with Vermont Public Radio, where he first announced his bid, Mr Sanders also called Mr Trump “a homophobe” and “somebody who is gaining cheap political points by trying to pick on minorities, often undocumented immigrants.”

Don’t hold back Bernie.

Much as I like Bernie I wonder if he is as viable this time.  He is aged 77.  The thought of two septuagenarians duelling it out for the White House does not fill me with excitement.

Is there a young candidate in the US with the same or similar world view as Sanders, someone with cut through and energy, with a twitter game second to none, someone brave enough to say things as they are, probably female, preferably young and representative of America’s diversity?

250 comments on “Bernie runs again ”

  1. left_forward 1

    I share your thoughts MS – I agree – a picture says a thousand…

    • SHG 1.1

      I’d rather have Sanders than a nutcase like Booker but surely a 79-year-old white man isn’t the best option for 2020?

      • left_forward 1.1.1

        That was one of the thoughts I was sharing with MS, but I was interested to read other comments in this thread that espoused reasonable alternative views.

      • James 1.1.2

        I love how you bring racism into it. His skin colour has nothing to do with his suitability for the role.

        On that note I think the guys a moron and will get nowhere. But that’s down to him and not his colour.

        • left_forward

          As you don’t explain your feelings, I can only guess that you feel that Bernie Sanders is moronic because you have difficulty understanding him.
          Are you conscious of why you have such a strong feeling about the state of mind of someone you haven’t met?

          By the way, the last moron who I didn’t think would get anywhere is now somewhere. And yes, I know exactly why I feel this particular guy is indeed a moron. Having a moronic president seems to be a requisite for a large section of the US voters.

      • Matthew Whitehead 1.1.3

        Sadly, he is. In terms of acceptable left-wing candidates it’s basically him or Warren. The Democratic party is just that compromised right now. Good news is that there are some up-and-comers who will be great prospects for 2024 or 2028.

        While I was 100% on his side when it was him or Clinton, I actually kinda hope his role here is to simply drag Warren left enough out of her moderate comfort zone that she’s a better president when she wins. He’s had a great influence, but his moment has passed.

  2. AB 2

    Sanders not running would effectively be surrendering the field to Biden. A very bad thing. Of the candidates already declared, only Warren and Gabbard would be satisfactory alternatives to Bernie, and they probably can’t beat Biden.
    So I think he has to stand.
    AOC is 29, she could not run till 2028 given that the Potus has to be 35 or older.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      Thanks you learn something every day …


      • AB 2.1.1

        Tulsi Gabbard however is old enough, is also a non-white, young woman and has already declared. From my admittedly limited knowledge, she seems to hold most of Bernie’s ‘progressive’ opinions on domestic policy, and actually seems better on foreign policy. In her announcement speech she criticised attempted regime change in Venezuela for example. Either ignored or smeared as an “Assad apologist”, she probably doesn’t have much chance unfortunately. From an outside perspective, she might be better for the world at large than Bernie.

        • Nic the NZer

          The main stream US media hate Tulsi Gabbard as well which is usually a good sign for her values.

          • AB

            Yep – from here it looks like a society that is now very far gone in terms of being totally dominated by private wealth and power. It’ll take the youth, energy and moral clarity of tens of thousands of AOCs to salvage it – and even then I have my doubts.

    • JohnSelway 2.2

      I dunno – Biden could be alright

    • That_guy 2.3

      Did not know that. Is there a similar age requirement for VP?
      Sanders / AOC 2020?

      Oop, question answered below. Yes there is.

    • Andre 2.4

      AOC turns 35 on October 13, 2024. Therefore she will be eligible to run in 2024, since by Jan 20th, 2025 (Inauguration Day) she will have attained the age of 35 years.

  3. Nic the NZer 3

    I understand AOC is too young to run for president. No really it says you must be 35 years old to stand for US president.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    AOC is too young, you have to be 35 to run for president or vice president, and archaic hangover from the 18th century. AOC is 29 and only turns 30 in October. So Ocasio-Cotez in 2028!

    The funny thing is, such is the impact of AOC that she is known by an acronym (like “Pele” or “Jacinda” a single moniker is a sure sign of being a star) and is the effective leader of the house democrats and has more twitter followers than the president.

    She was elected four months ago.

    On a local note, I reckon Chloe Swarbrick will reach lofty heights before 35.

    • Cinny 4.1

      +1 re Chloe.

    • JohnSelway 4.2

      I think AOC would be too much for the USA right now. They need a slower introduction to the benefits of Democratic Socialism. AOC would produce a huge backlash vote on the right and independents.

    • Sabine 4.3

      honestly, i voted for the Greens, but could you explain why she would reach lofty heights?

    • mary_a 4.4

      @ Sanctuary (4) … Chloe Swarbrick is pure gold.

      After watching her own the interview with leaking hot air balloon puffer Garner this week, I came to the conclusion Chloe has a lot of potential to go far. I hope her skills and talent are nurtured by the Greens.

      Go Bernie.
      Go AOC
      and go Chloe.

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    “Feel the Bern!”

    Yes, Bernie does need to run for several reasons, and whoever gets the final nomination, his work is done in respect of what he has achieved already, be great to see him take it to Trump though!

    AOC would have been a well matched VP runner in the situation, aren’t the yanks strange-she’s “too young” and Bernie’s “too old!”

  6. Wayne 6

    Is Chloe (to use the single moniker) going to switch parties to Labour? Can’t see the Greens going above 10 or maybe 15% in the next decade.

    • Cinny 6.1

      It’s MMP baby, something the USA doesn’t have, and there in lays the difference.

    • left_forward 6.2

      The key words in your comment are – ‘Can’t see…’.
      This is something that greatly afflicts the right.
      The good news is there is a remedy.

      • Wayne 6.2.1


        Show me the pathway that has the Greens going above 15% in the next decade?

        As a thought experiment. If the greens are at 15%, it would mean Labour is down to less than 35%. So the Greens going above 15% would have Labour most probably in the 20’s. Which would indicate Labour are in opposition and doing badly. So going above 15% would indicate that the Greens are challenging Labour as the main opposition party.

        Well, that is possible. In ten years Jacinda will be gone. She will have retired from New Zealand politics, having done her time as Prime Minister. Labour may not have an appealing leader in ten years, so maybe that is Chloe’s opportunity. Leading the Greens to replace Labour as the main opposition party, or at least to rival it.

        If New Zealand continues to follow the pattern since 1975, governments typically last 3 terms. The only exception in the last 44 years was the two term Labour government of 1984 to 1990.

        On that basis, if the Greens are the future dominant opposition party, then they might be the core of the next left government sometime in the 2030’s. Chloe would be in her late 30’s, early 40’s. If she was the leader of the then dominant Green party she would also be PM.

        • That_guy

          “Show me the pathway that has the Greens going above 15% in the next decade?”

          Large parts of the planet become almost uninhabitable, coastal cities across the world deal with sea level rise, weather-related disasters increase massively, and everyone realises the Greens were right all along?

          Not alarmism. It’s just what the science says.

          I guess the point I’m making is: in the coming decades, the definition of what’s politically possible will change. A lot.

          • Shadrach

            Are you seriously suggesting that “Large parts of the planet become almost uninhabitable, coastal cities across the world deal with sea level rise, weather-related disasters increase massively” are all going to happen over the next decade?

            • That_guy

              The early stages of this, yes, and I’m not suggesting. I’m repeating the peer-reviewed conclusions of the experts in the field. There are plenty of examples of this happening already. Just to give one example, in the 2017 monsoon season, at one point, 1/3 of Bangladesh was underwater.

              Just for a bit of context, so you can understand where I’m coming from: I’m a scientist, I work with scientists, talk with them every day, and have done so for decades. I understand why you think I’m being extreme, because in your world, these recitations of scientific evidence (not opinions) are not common. But in my world, my opinions are absolutely mainstream. Most people I know are openly planning for the events I mention. People I work with are openly speculating about growing crops in Antarctica. People I have worked with for decades are openly saying the things you think are extreme.

              And these are the intellectual giants of the country. Are you worried? Probably should be.

              It’s not scaremongering if there’s something real to fear.

              • Shadrach

                Can you point to a single peer reviewed paper that predicts “Large parts of the planet become almost uninhabitable”.

                I’m genuinely interested.

                • left_forward

                  If you really were being genuine Shad, you would have said please, not pointed, not indicated your bias by using the word ‘single’, not shown condescension to a scientist, and found this freely available information online for yourself.

                  • That_guy

                    Hey, he or she was genuinely interested so I responded. I don’t have a problem with the tone.

                    • left_forward

                      No problem t_g, he might indeed be genuine this time. It will be interesting to see how he responds to you, he usually likes to have the last word.

                • That_guy

                  Yes, I can definitely point to a single peer-reviewed paper that predicts that large parts of the planet become uninhabitable. Not “almost”, uninhabitable.

                  “An adaptability limit to climate change due to heat stress”
                  Steven C. Sherwood and Matthew Huber
                  PNAS May 25, 2010

                  “Despite the uncertainty in future climate-change impacts, it is often assumed that humans would be able to adapt to any possible warming. Here we argue that heat stress imposes a robust upper limit to such adaptation.

                  ….it would begin to occur with global-mean warming of about 7 °C, calling the habitability of some regions into question. With 11–12 °C warming, such regions would spread to encompass the majority of the human population as currently distributed. Eventual warmings of 12 °C are possible from fossil fuel burning.”

                  Feel free to use Google Scholar yourself next time.

                  • Shadrach

                    Thanks. I appreciate your response. I have read similar claims before, and the sticking point is always the assumptions around the global mean warming. 7 degrees is well and truly at the high end of expectation considering this:

                    “Since 1880, surface temperature has risen at an average pace of 0.13°F (0.07°C) every 10 years for a net warming of 1.69°F (0.94°C) through 2016.” https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-global-temperature

                    I also refer you to my post at https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-20-02-2019/#comment-1585433 which critiqued an equally catastrophic set of projections. In that piece, the author admitted himself that although he “feels a warming of 2.5 to 3 degrees Celsius is most likely by the end of the century, rather than the apocalyptic 6 to 8 degrees which served as the basis for his story”.

                    That is precisely my concern. The greater the record of the failure of these claims, and there have been a number already, the less people will take the issue seriously.

                    • That_guy

                      What failed claims? All the predictions I’ve seen are “failed” in that they underestimate what is actually happening.

                      Specifics please.

                    • That_guy

                      Also the statement that “seven degrees is at the high end” is an opinion. I have a different one, based on the fact that we’ve seen decades of political inaction and missed targets, and that there are a number of feedback loops in play (methane from permafrost, methane from the Belt and Road initiative and the expansion of cattle farming, the fact that water is darker than ice and thus melting ice causes more melting). I don’t think it’s at the high end. But that’s just my opinion.

                    • Shadrach

                      Of course you are correct, any prediction of future warming is a matter of opinion. I’ll quote from https://climatefeedback.org/evaluation/scientists-explain-what-new-york-magazine-article-on-the-uninhabitable-earth-gets-wrong-david-wallace-wells/:

                      “…there’s not really a plausible climate change scenario in which the Earth becomes truly uninhabitable. ”
                      Daniel Swain, Researcher, UCLA, and Research Fellow, National Center for Atmospheric Research

                      As for failed claims (please note I deliberately used the word ‘claims’), there are many. Here’s one from 2000 – “According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit of the University of East Anglia, within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”. “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,”


                    • That_guy

                      I never said or quoted any studies that suggested that the entire earth will become uninhabitable so I don’t know why you’re raising that. Also when you’re quoting comments made in the Daily Telegraph, and I’m quoting peer-reviewed articles from the third-most prestigious scientific journal on the planet.. well…

                    • Shadrach

                      “I never said or quoted any studies that suggested that the entire earth will become uninhabitable…”
                      You did say ‘large parts’. The reason for my link was to highlight the feedback of scientists to claims of warming at the upper limits of the modelling.

                      “Also when you’re quoting comments made in the Daily Telegraph, and I’m quoting peer-reviewed articles from the third-most prestigious scientific journal on the planet.. well…”
                      The quote I provided was from Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit of the University of East Anglia.

                • SHG

                  People can live on ice

                  People can’t live in water

                  ergo, if ice melts a large part of the planet has become almost uninhabitable

                  • Shadrach

                    If how much melts? There’s been some extreme predictions about that issue that have made fools of the authors. Again, I’m not questioning the underlying science, just the more alarmist scenarios, and whether they are helpful in convincing people to change.

                    • KJT

                      The science, on the whole has been proven by events so far, to be on the conservative side.

                      It is more a matter of when. As there has been no effective reduction in Green house gases.

                      It doesn’t reasure me if it is going to happen to my grandchildren instead of my children.

                      It appears to be the latest denialist trope. As denying AGW has become so obviously insane, the latest from them is, “it is not going to be as bad as the scientists say”. etc etc. The parallels with the tobacco industry are obvious.
                      Anything to avoid action affecting profits.

                    • Shadrach

                      “The science, on the whole has been proven by events so far, to be on the conservative side.”
                      It is not the science that is conservative or otherwise, it is those who interpret it and predict outcomes. There are numerous examples of scientists and others overegging those outcomes. Scaring the shit out of people, and then having to explain why predictions were so wide of the mark is a stupid approach to achieving buy-in for meaningful progress.

                    • Shadrach

                      As a case in point, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/copenhagen-climate-change-confe/6815470/Copenhagen-climate-summit-Al-Gore-condemned-over-Arctic-ice-melting-prediction.html.

                      The contains a claim by Dr Wieslav Maslowski, a climatologist of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, that “his latest results give a six-year projection for the melting of 80 per cent of the ice, but he said he expects some ice to remain beyond 2020”.

                      If that wasn’t bad enough, Al Gore then exaggerated those claims and stated the following:
                      “Some of the models suggest to Dr Maslowski that there is a 75 per cent chance that the entire polar ice cap during some of summer months could be completely ice free within five to seven years.”
                      “There are more than a billion people on the planet who get more than half of their drinking water – many of them all of their drinking water – from the seasonal melting of snow melt and glacier ice.”

                    • Pat

                      The scientific commmunity hasnt been conservative at all with regard to CC (and the Paris agreement,) …oops

                      This point was backed by Nisbet. “It was assumed, at the time of the Paris, agreement, that reducing the amount of methane in the atmosphere would be relatively easy and that the hard work would involve cutting CO2 emissions.

                      “However, that does not look so simple any more. We don’t know exactly what is happening.

                      “Perhaps emissions are growing or perhaps the problem is due to the fact that our atmosphere is losing its ability to break down methane.”


                      You may continue your viewpoint (whatever your motivation) it will not and cannot change the reality

                    • Shadrach

                      What I would like to see is that the reality is clearly and honestly communicated. It frequently isn’t.

              • patricia bremner

                Thanks That Guy. We need to keep informed and do what we can. It is good to hear from someone in the field.

              • Jenny - How to get there?

                Hey That_guy

                If people you work with are openly speculating about growing crops in Antarctica. They must be suffering from a nervous disorder

                (Not that I blame them for that, they have good reason)

                Growing crops in Antarctica? Who for? Nobody lives there, and the logistical shipping costs to where they are needed would make it impractical. Other than that, Antarctica is mostly bare rocks (where there is no ice or snow). And according to some sources it takes at least 100 years to grow an inch of top soil.

                You could speed this up by shipping in fertilizer, but again the logistics are against you. Not only this, but even if the Antarctic gets warmer, it is still dark for a good part of the year, making your growing cycle extremely short.

                That_guy, surely you, (and your colleagues), realise that our our only hope of preventing billions of human deaths and mega global biosphere collapse is to severely rein in our fossil fuel use.

                If you really are of a scientific bent – Maybe you or your colleagues might like to provide us some more practical examples of the way forward.

                The Standard provides a forum for this, every Sunday. I would encourage you to take part.

                What do you think?

            • RedLogix

              Last time I spoke with a very old and uniquely well informed friend on this the answer was yes it is possible.

              No-one knows the probability, but I’d rate 5m sea level rise at 5% before 2030. By the end of the century it’s almost certain without dramatic decarbonising.

        • Sabine

          they don’t need to get over 15%.
          they are already in government.

          Its the NO Mates Party that needs to find partners for form a working coalition with, and past records show that the only thing hte NO Mates Party does is kill of its support parties. So its not the Greens that have an issue, its your party.

          but, your concern is noted and filed away under ‘other’.

        • Stuart Munro

          “If the greens are at 15%, it would mean Labour is down to less than 35%.”

          By no means. The Greens are a growing movement. As the failures of the crude extractive policies of dinosaur parties like the Gnats become ever more apparent, and their core supporters age, the need for environmental interventions will become increasingly obvious.

          Brown parties like the Gnats, who cannot accommodate that level of change, will be pushed to the margins where they belong.

          • That_guy

            Totally agree. I feel a bit dirty saying it because it represents the suffering of real people, but every story about another record wildfire, hurricane season, toxic algal bloom, collapse of fish stocks, heatwave, et cetera, is effectively a campaign ad for the Greens.

            I predict and hope that large numbers of the older generation will have a road-to-damascus moment in the next decade and will start voting Green.

        • left_forward

          You are gazing into a crystal ball Wayne and attempting to build some form of argument based on the internal reflections and dark shadows you see in your unconscious mind, as if you had established an objective fact.

          You are too busy staring into your ball that you cannot see what is happening around you now, today Wayne – you are blind to the environmental consequences of the industrial abuse of the planet. You won’t look at it because you know that if you did, you and your mates would need to accept that you cannot continue to accumulate wealth by stripping the natural resources of the commons and polluting land, sea and air.

          The younger generation know that the Greens have tirelessly advocated for an appropriate response while neo-liberal National has buried its head in the sand for years and ridiculed the ideas expressed by the progressive environmental movement.

          • Wayne

            The current government (the Labour part) did not campaign to overthrow the neoliberal settlement and do not have a mandate to do so. Neither will they do so in 2020. So it is not just National, it also Labour, witness CPTTP.
            As for the Greens being the dominant part of government in the 2030’s well in many respects I am indifferent. Politics goes in cycles.
            And for the last 35 years I have been reasonably happy with our governments, even those I have professionally opposed. Not so happy about Muldoon.
            The current government fits in with the general paradigm. So while I may not vote for them I can see that they are doing an OK job.

            • KJT

              “The current government (the Labour part) did not campaign to overthrow the neoliberal settlement and do not have a mandate to do so”.

              The ‘mandate” has existed since the 1984, Government only had two terms, because of their neo-liberal betrayal.

              ACT, who I have to admit, are honest about their aims, and the only open advocates of Neo-Liberal destruction, have a vote which fits in a phone booth.

              The fact that successive Governments have ignored democracy, and continued with the failing experiment, against the wishes of the majority, is an indictment.

              Are you happy that your political legacy is children in poverty, beggars on our streets, dropping wages and homelessness?

              • Wayne

                There hasn’t been a public majority against the overall economic settings of the last 35?years. In fact there is a consistent and substantial majority that have supported parties that are generally in agreement with these settings. Witness the last election. Over 80% in support of parties generally in favour. Labour campaigned on specific economic settings; no income tax increases, debt below 20%, govt spending around 30%.
                I know the Greens and NZF don’t agree, but they are only 10 to 15% of the electorate. As such they should not dictate the basic economic settings of government.
                If you want a fundamental change then it should be specifically campaigned for, and be obviously supported by a majority. That hasn’t happened to date.

                • KJT

                  So. A majority were not against asset sales, to name but one Neo_liberal policy? I saw polls saying 80% or more against.

                  The only party which openly admits to being for Neo-liberal policy settings, ACT, gets telephone booth voting numbers.

                  When you only have a choice of two parties that are doing different degrees of the same thing. Voters are not really being given a choice.

                  Simply a choice of the least objectionable, Dictatorship.

                  Politicians lost their way, when they got the delusion they were rulers, not representatives.

                  Meanwhile. Both National and Labour pretending to be more left wing than they really are, just before every election, shows what voters actually want.

                  Time for BCIR. But our cosy parliamentary duopoly, will never allow it.

            • left_forward

              We have a Government coalition with two of the three partners who want to see the abandonment of neo-liberal (favour the few) politics.
              This will further influence Labour. With such a politically weak National party now, it is inevitable that the sun will set on this very harmful dogma.

            • sumsuch

              I, on the other hand, prefer the appalling Muldoon, to your starving of the poor and weak over the last 30 odd years, Wayne. That is the NZ way of life to me, including all of us.

    • Wayne – sorry, you’ve lost me there. What’s the relevance of Chloe Swarbrick to the OP, and why would she switch to Labour? Are you referring to Micky’s sentence starting “Is there a young candidate in the US with the same or similar world view as Sanders…” and translating it into the NZ context?

      • Wayne 6.3.1

        I wasn’t trying to deflect the thread, just picking up on the comments about AOC and the reference to Chloe Swarbrick.
        As for Bernie, he will be 79 at the 2020 election. For that, and other reasons, he is not going to get the nomination.
        Right at the moment my money is on Biden or Harris. Maybe they will end up as a package. Both could beat Trump.

  7. Cinny 7

    Thrilled to hear this news.

    He is their ONLY hope. If anyone can take on trump its Bernie.

    As well his social media following is massive, which is important to note considering POTUS is so twitter minded.

    Bernie is 77…….agent orange is 72.

    Bernie is well respected by the youth and when elected POTUS he would help pave the way for a new rising star in the future.

  8. Tuppence Shrewsbury 8

    Socialists accusing others of undermining democracy.

    Wonders never cease

  9. Michelle 9

    If I was Bernie I would have a young running mate someone who can step up when he wants to step down get someone nice and young and on to it like our Jacinda.

    • Adrian Thornton 9.1

      Expect that Jacinda would rather eat her own arm off than be associated directly as a Socialist of any kind..she seems more happy as a pragmatic centrist.

      Except that is..if Bernie where to win..then I am sure she could pragmatically shift that way.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 9.1.1

        “Expect that Jacinda would rather eat her own arm off than be associated directly as a Socialist of any kind..she seems more happy as a pragmatic centrist.”

        And unfortunately, that is why she will be very limited in what she can achieve re inequality and poverty. But much better than the last lot, which is great.

    • Bewildered 9.2

      There’s a relatively young bloke call Maduro who will probably be out of work soon who could step in. Great socialist credentials including implementing and running a socialist nirvana society, Latin American so picks up the Hispanic vote re indentity politics, not a women, black or lbgt so does not tick the box there re high on the victim scale but not old pale and stale either Also good public transport experience been an ex bus driver that paid very well going by the wealth he has amassed 😊

  10. joe90 10

    Not everyone is happy.


    • Adrian Thornton 10.1

      Well to be fair Bernie’s foreign policy platform is without doubt his weakest point.

        • Stuart Munro

          You want to take GMO booster sites with a pinch of salt.

          • JohnSelway

            Um, I take them far more seriously than anti-GMO sites because, well, science works and scaremongering doesn’t.

            • Stuart Munro

              No single issue site is particularly sound.

              GMO boosters claiming the mantle of science is fatuous. Science does not endorse. When you find liars claiming it does, as happened with 1080 locally, you know people are substituting enthusiasm for truth.

              • JohnSelway

                Science shows GMO’s to be completely safe. Scare-tactics follow, websites created to explain and counter non-factual claims.

                That’s not endorsement anymore than a website countering climate change lies is endorsement.

                • Stuart Munro

                  Absolute and unmitigated rubbish. Science shows nothing of the sort.

                  GMOs are a very large set of organisms. Not all of them are wonderful. But it’s true that in most cases the greatest risk they have presented is of vexacious litigation by boosting companies like Monsanto, who have gone so far as to sue neighbouring farmers who’ve suffered crop contamination.

                  Monsanto have politicised the science around both GMOs and glyphosphate, with allegations of result tampering on both sides.

                  But your junksite of choice denounces labelling, which no honest player can oppose – the consumer is entitled to make their own informed choices.

                  • JohnSelway

                    “Absolute and unmitigated rubbish. Science shows nothing of the sort.”

                    Actually it does show that. GMO’s have the same scientific support as Climate Change. The science show is absolutely safe. Science – it actually works. You realise nothing you eat is anything like it was a thousand years ago right?

                    Monsanto bad =/= GMO’s bad.

                    “But your junksite of choice denounces labelling, which no honest player can oppose – the consumer is entitled to make their own informed choices.”

                    No, the labeling is horrendous. It actually makes you less informed. Products such as salt and water are labeled as GMO free because there are no standards to which labeling is applied. It is absolutely hopeless

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Science rarely shows things absolutely, especially across such a large range of organisms and possible organisms. The absence of significant mortality events does not equate to safety.

                      Yes, Monsanto is horrendous, and since you raised scare stories, they floated the spectre of the terminator gene, and then wondered why the public weren’t wild about their produce – they must be even dumber than Gnat trolls.

                      Labelling is only complicated if you’re trying to lie. Many of the public want to exercise the precautionary principle that they cannot trust companies like Monsanto to exercise on their behalf.

                      Labelling is a good litmus test for sincerity – those who oppose it are down with dictatorially imposing food choices on other people. Scumbags.

                    • JohnSelway

                      No, labeling has no informative power. It doesn’t distinguish source of original, method of modification etc and it is applied to everything like I said, things like soap and salts.

                      The public is also largely uniformed about the science behind it so slapping a “non-GMO” label on something completely ill-defined and unhelpful to the consumer.

                      “those who oppose it are down with dictatorially imposing food choices on other people. Scumbags.”

                      That’s just plain fucking stupid. I oppose the current method of labeling because it is useless to almost everyone. If the labeling rules were changed and more information was provided then sure, label away. But as it currently stands you can label ANYTHING as GMO free, even when there is no genetic material present. How is that helpful to the consumer?

                    • Stuart Munro

                      No – you oppose labelling because you are determined to impose your limited understanding of the science on others.

                      It is bad faith exercises like this that lie behind public mistrust of GMOs.

                    • JohnSelway

                      So I patiently explained why I opposed the CURRENT practice of labeling and why it is unhelpful to the consumer while relying on the most up to date science on the matter in a polite manner.

                      Your response:

                      “No – you oppose labelling because you are determined to impose your limited understanding of the science on others.”

                      So you just completely ignored every point I made, and went straight for an ad hominem.

                      Nice reasoning you have there. Come back when you have something better, pal.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      You explained nothing but your determination to ride roughshod over other people’s opinions and preferences.

                      When you choose to lie implicitly by opposing labelling the onus is on you to defend it – but you cry ad hom because you’re such a towering egomaniac that you actually believe you’re more entitled to determine other people’s food choices than they are.

                    • JohnSelway

                      How is labeling salt as GMO free helpful to the consumer?

                    • Stuart Munro

                      It’s not – but then you chose that straw man. It does no harm however, so it may reasonably be permitted.

                      Lying about GMO contents benefits their creators, but not the public, who are reluctant to embrace such innovations as food. Lying about other product contents exposes producers to significant legal risk. Why should GMOs get a free pass?

                    • JohnSelway

                      I chose a strawman?

                      Says the guy who said “you oppose labelling because you are determined to impose your limited understanding of the science on others.” which isn’t anything like what I said but no matter, we’ll add that to the ad hominem, making it 2 logical fallacies you have made thus far.

                      “Lying about GMO contents benefits their creators, but not the public, who are reluctant to embrace such innovations as food. Lying about other product contents exposes producers to significant legal risk. Why should GMOs get a free pass?”

                      Putting GMO Free on salt IS lying to the consumer. It has no genetics to modify. The whole system of labeling needs to trashed and reworked.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      You’re struggling with reality.

                      Salt is an inorganic compound and thus intrinsically GMO free.

                      Saying so is redundant, but not untrue.

                      But claiming products containing GMOs do not – there’s a lie people will sue you for, or destroy or ban your products for. Whining about salt labelling doesn’t make your case.

                    • JohnSelway

                      Yes – salt is inorganic. So labeling it GMO Free is completely pointless and a complete lie. It’s not Genetically Modified Organism Free. It’s fucking genetics free! Why label it? It is confusing to the consumer who might spend more money on GMO Free Salt (because you slap GMO free on something and you can automatically, and invariably this happens, charge more for it).

                      I’ve seen GMO water. Water….

                      This means there is no structure or rules around the labeling laws – hence they need to be completely overhauled.

                      I have been very clear on this.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Yes, yes, you’re floundering around with ridiculous examples but have not even tried to address the central problem.

                      The problem is that liars (among whom we may count the utterly sociopathic corporation Monsanto) do not want to label their GMO products. Were they proud of their products they’d be trying to get them branded, build consumer trust and so forth. But they are ashamed of their products, and certain that the public will not use them if they are labelled honestly.

                      This is what you are trying to facilitate with your ludicrous examples of nonGMO products. Perhaps you are indeed a Gnat – they certainly love their lies. But in an abstract sense, why should any manufacturer have the right to conceal product contents from consumers?

                      Make your case: GMO producers should be able to lie to the whole world because…

                    • JohnSelway

                      I’ve been very clear – labeling laws need to be reworked. I have never said I don’t think products should be labeled but the current system is of no help to the consumer as there seems to be no regulation about what can and can’t be labeled GMO Free so we have absurdities like water, salt, shampoo, soap, candles and other products which don’t even contain genetics being labeled and then, generally, being more expensive. It’s a lie and a scam to charge more for the same product so we need a new system.

                      What are you misunderstanding?

                    • Stuart Munro

                      I understand you perfectly Mr Selway.

                      You shill for the lying GMO companies for reasons you do not choose to disclose. There is no excuse whatsoever for not labelling GMOs.

                      If they are safe, labelling will, over time build public acceptance and support for them.

                      And if they are not safe, labelling will allow their shortcomings to be identified and corrected expeditiously.

                      But you’re a disingenuous scoundrel – rather than label the offending material you want to launch a delaying action about labelling that is neither here nor there.

                      The matter is simplicity itself. The only complications arise from your determination to deceive consumers.

                    • JohnSelway

                      OK this is over. You’re just lying and completely misrepresenting my position while making up strawmen and using ad homs.

                      Good day sir. Enjoy your Pyrrhic Victory.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      All you had to do was to scrape up a tiny modicum of honesty.

                      Why do you shill for the liars who have to conceal their GMO use?

                      Can’t business be open and above board? Evidently not.

                    • That_guy

                      John Selway is correct.

                      I’ve worked in science for twenty years and I am a scientist and I can tell you this:
                      On climate change, the experts are terrified and the general public is mildly concerned
                      On GMOs, the experts are not concerned at all and the general public is terrified.

                      There is no good reason to put GMOs in some special category of risk.

                    • JohnSelway

                      Just another case of “my fears, suspicions and 14 hours of YouTube videos trump your science degree and decades or research”

                      It’s quite possible Stuart that people actually doing the research on this drawing from years of experience might know something you don’t….

                    • That_guy

                      And just to add some evidence: Yes, life scientists do have a more positive attitude to GMOs:

                      An Overview of Attitudes Toward Genetically Engineered Food
                      Annual Review of Nutrition

                      Vol. 38:459-479

                      ” In general, life scientists have a much more positive view of genetically engineered food than laypeople.”

                      and labelling can actually increase trust in GMOs.

                      “Mandatory labels can improve attitudes toward genetically engineered food
                      Jane Kolodinsky,and Jayson L. Lusk.
                      Science Advances 27 Jun 2018:
                      Vol. 4, no. 6, eaaq1413

                      But this whole GMOs argument is ridiculous because it puts about twenty different techniques into a nebulous grab-bag for regulatory purposes. The only thing these techniques have in common is that they modify genes, just like natural mutation, or the radiation and chemical mutagenesis that somehow isn’t considered GMO (despite unknown, random changes of unknown scale across the whole genome) but did produce most of the “green revolution” crops we eat today.

                    • That_guy

                      Three science degrees, actually.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      “people actually doing the research”

                      If you’ve actually done some, I’ll read it.

                      But disingenuous rubbish like opposing labelling does nothing for your credibility. The Lancet was criticizing the broad and unsubstantiated claims of the GE lobby as far back as 1999. Seems you haven’t learned a thing.

                    • That_guy

                      Stuart, in all areas of life, I just follow the science, even when it goes somewhere I disagree with. I used to be opposed to labelling for reasons that have been discussed, but the science says:

                      “Mandatory labels can improve attitudes toward genetically engineered food”
                      Science Advances 27 Jun 2018: Vol. 4, no. 6

                      So I’m prepared to change my tune.

                      But serious question: Do you accept the science that says that the more you know about GMOs the less worried you are? Extensive body of research detailing this. If so, what does this say?

                      To put it another way: what is the role of experts in your attitude to GMOs, and does it differ from the role of experts in your attitude to climate change? If so, why?

                    • Stuart Munro

                      @ That Guy

                      “To put it another way: what is the role of experts in your attitude to GMOs, and does it differ from the role of experts in your attitude to climate change? If so, why?”

                      That’s a big question, and it falls more upon interpretation than you might suppose – I’ve had my share of experts, and it must be remembered that science experts are obliged to change their minds upon exposure to evidence, a principle to which their adherence is not infallible. I have read a fair number of papers on GMOs over the years (and continue to do so). They do not indicate mass toxicity, but less graphic effects like long term cancer risk have been suggested in some cases. And there are modifications which, though not in and of themselves detrimental, might carry associated risks – eg pesticide tolerance and pesticide residues.

                      Climate change is supported by a large volume of confirming evidence which I have personally seen, from sea surface temperatures, to glacial retreats, the decline in freezing of the Han river in Seoul, the prospering of species in littorals formerly hostile to them, like lemon trees in Dunedin and so forth.

                      GMOs do not by and large produce that confirming evidence in our lives, and so we look for other indicators, among which the sophistry of Monsanto looms large. And they continue to muddy the waters over some issues, like labelling, and comparing radiation induced mutations to the insertion of material from very different species, which has the potential to produce organisms unlikely in nature, with unpredictable consequences in the food chain. These tend to overshadow the more pragmatic and acceptable uses of GMO, like altering soybeans to produce lysine for stock feed and so on.

                      Mr Selway’s site called Mr Sanders antiscience for not swallowing their line on labelling. It would be more credible for it to have said that he required more evidence – hardly a damning fault.

                    • JohnSelway

                      Another straw man. Nowhere did I oppose labeling, I oppose the current regulations around it because it leads to absurdities.

                      I have been very specific about this so you’re either not reading or deliberately lying, Stuart.

                    • That_guy

                      I didn’t ask what your opinion was. I asked two things:

                      1) Do you accept the science that says the more you know about GMOs the less concerned you are? Yes or no.

                      If no, why not? It’s extensively published social science.

                      If yes, why does this seem to play such a limited role in the formation of your opinions, and why is the situation with climate change so different, in that it seems that experts have played a large role in the formation of your opinions?

                      It’s kind of a rhetorical question because I know the answer:
                      You accept the science on climate change because it conforms to your previously held ideology, but you do not accept the science on GMOs because it does not conform to your previously held ideology, which is an important part of your identity, and people find it difficult to change core parts of their identity.

                      Edit, sorry, got to go. Interesting chat. Maybe I’ll put up an open mic about this topic. It’s getting a bit off topic.

                    • Bewildered []

                      Yep its called confirmation bias that poor Stuey suffers Even Einstein recognised this in that in science it’s often the theory you are trying to prove or falsify drives what you see and interpret when helping out his old mate Shrodinger in interpreting the results from his cloud chamber experiment and movement of electrons, waves vs particaks and all that )

                    • Stuart Munro

                      “Do you accept the science that says the more you know about GMOs the less concerned you are? Yes or no.”

                      No – I have not read that or examined the evidence for that assertion.

                      “It’s extensively published social science”

                      Social science isn’t my go to on issues of public or environmental health. The argument seems quantitative – a poor measure for intangible phenomena like beliefs.

                      “You accept the science on climate change because it conforms to your previously held ideology, but you do not accept the science on GMOs because it does not conform to your previously held ideology,”

                      By no means – it took a considerable accretion of evidence before I accepted climate change. Such positive evidence does not exist for GMOs – it is only the absence of dramatic failures that stands in their favour. A small number of disconfirming instances would suffice to overturn the presumption of their benignity.

                    • That_guy

                      Is social science your go-to when social science says 97% of climate scientists are in agreement?

                      If so, why is social science your go-to in some circumstances but not others?

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Well, Popper was acutely conscious of the weakness of statistical cases in the hard sciences. In the social sciences it’s more than a little easy to trim your sails according to the results you’re looking for. I rarely build cases on social sciences, unless they are the only data available.

                      “Why in some cases but not in others?”

                      Why not – are you telling me that you blow like the wind according to whatever you read most recently, or do you look for slightly stronger indicators of an enduring trend?

                    • Stuart Munro

                      @ John Selway.

                      “Nowhere did I oppose labeling, I oppose the current regulations around it because it leads to absurdities.”

                      Opposing labelling over issues relating to salt or water delays or denies labelling to those persons who wish to avoid GMOs.

                      It may be acceptable for you to assert that the labelling regime is inadequate, but the consumer motivated to avoid GMOs will cheerfully tolerate nonsense on salt or water bottles if it enables them to avoid the matter they consider problematic.

                    • JohnSelway

                      You do realise that we can regulate and change the labeling system without having to ditch the entire thing, right?

                      When the government changes the rules around the sale of cigarettes, alcohol or change the RMA Act do they just drop everything first?

                      No, you’re an idiot. There should be new guidelines around GMO labeling and while the current system is flawed you can still create a new framework in the meantime.

                      You’re just deliberately being obtuse. You look stupid and should feel stupid.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      As I live and breathe – to be insulted by a blithering idiot like you!

                      You have no concern or respect for the welfare of consumers, only for your ridiculous ego. I’ve argued with some mighty fools on this site, but you are on a par with Ed.

                      If you are typical of contemporary working scientists it is small wonder if the public dismiss your every utterance unread.

                    • JohnSelway

                      “You have no concern or respect for the welfare of consumers”

                      Given my position is actually that regulations should be tightened around GMO labeling so consumers can be better informed you seem again to completely fail at reading comprehension.

      • sumsuch 10.1.2

        He’s a’ democratic’ socialist. Legitimacy derives from there. Maduro, and I sympathise with him if he’s sincere, doesn’t believe in the means of free elections amid a free media.

    • Jenny - How to get there? 10.2

      Hi joe90

      Briefly checked out the web pages of the URL you supplied. https://anticonquista.com/

      What I was looking for was their views on Syria, which I regard as a touchstone of any political commentator’s maturity.

      I couldn’t find anything. (Though there was some related commentary on the humanitarian crisis in Libya).

      This omission is not so bad in itself. Especially if the authors are not that sure or feel that they are not informed enough to comment.

      Far better than many here, who from a complete stand point of ignorance, have ended up as cheer leaders for genocide.

  11. Adrian Thornton 11

    “The thought of two septuagenarians dueling it out for the White House does not fill me with excitement.

    What the fuck has their age got to do with anything? and for that matter what has their age, sex, or race got to with it?

    It is about what they stand for, what their manifesto promises to deliver, and probably most importantly who they are historically, in other words can we trust what they say, how can we judge that?, only by their past.

    You (MS) seem to have a thing for AOC, (and hey I like most of what she has done, and said too of course) but why don’t you just calm down a bit on her, and lets see what she develops like politically over the next year or two…don’t you think?

    AOC was weak at best in her defense of Rep. Ilhan Omar over the bullshit antisemitic hysteria, Omar who is without doubt the boldest and bravest of the new wave of young progressives today in the USA… just look at her question the vile war criminal Elliott Abrams…

    Watching that scum bag squirm for those couple of minutes is a beautiful thing.

    Bernie 2020!

    • Shadrach 11.1

      “Unemployment is low because everyone has two jobs”

      “Unemployment is low because everyone is working 80 hours a week.”

      “The world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change…”

      “…the upper middle class doesn’t exist anymore.”

      AOC is so young to be rivalling Bush and Trump for stupidity.

    • Bewildered 11.2

      Her questions where silly she did not even have knowdge of her topic Likewise if AOC has a an economics major, stay away from that college

      • left_forward 11.2.1

        When you offer a disparaging comment about someone’s state of mind, knowledge and education level, it would be a lot more credible if your spelling and punctuation wasn’t so crap.
        It would also be good if you tried to explain why you feel the way you do.
        I was impressed by her clarity and courage. She was very informed about this man’s credentials and was exercising her duty as a representative on the committee to test his credibilty.
        What’s not to like about her?

  12. KJT 12

    Totally against the dismissal of anyone in the grounds of age.

    Some youngsters, like Chloe, have a wisdom, and competence, way beyond their years.

    And many old people have more concern for the future, and a longer term view, than some young people. And have seen many new broom “solutions” come, and fail.

    We need both.

    • Bewildered 12.1

      No one has wisdom that I quote stated ,”Facts don’t care about my feelings or experiences” god help us if she gets any real power

      • KJT 12.1.1

        Bewildered. Aptly named.

        • Bewildered

          She siad it, not me

          • KJT

            I can’t help you, if what she said is beyound your comprehension.

            • Bewildered

              It is totally in my comprehension, facts don’t care about your feelings, get over it and establishing policy on feelings over facts is mighty dangerous As in case Jacinda oil and gas policy will cost 25b made on the basis of feelings which is an irrational way to make decisions

              • KJT

                We don’t make that much in oil and gas exports in decades.

                So. How can we lose it?

                The facts are, if the world, including us, keep using oil and gas, our kids don’t have a future.

                It is you who are not basing decisions on , facts.

      • That_guy 12.1.2

        Did Swarbrick actually say “Facts don’t care about my feelings of experiences”?

        When, where?

        Now I like her even more.

      • Gabby 12.1.3

        Facts DON’T care beewee. Are you consternated?

  13. Morrissey 13

    Is there a young candidate in the US with the same or similar world view as Sanders, someone with cut through and energy, with a twitter game second to none, someone brave enough to say things as they are, probably female, preferably young and representative of America’s diversity?

    Tulsi Gabbard.

    • Sabine 13.1


      • Morrissey 13.1.1


        Even for you, that’s a particularly inane and incoherent response.

        • Sabine

          Nope, its the only response that is coherent.


          she is lucky if she is re-elected in Hawaii. She has not much credibility anywhere in the US.
          and that is where the elections are held, in the US not in your dream fantasy land of who is pure enough to get your tick of approval.

          • Adrian Thornton

            Ahhh Sabine we can always count on you to run a aggressive defense for the the status quo establishment, and by extension their endless wars around the world, and further entrenched class war at home…well done.

            • Sabine

              i defended something?

              No i said something that is true.

              Fact is in the US she does not have a lot of support. got nothing to do with me.
              Fact is she will be primaried in the next election for her seat in Hawaii, by people who live there – but you might call these people the establishment.

              Fact is, that she will not be winning anything.

              By establishment would that be Bernie Sanders? 30 years in Congress? that is established? Right?

              Or is that good establishment.

              I am not defending anyone, i simply point out what i see, based on reports and conversations that i have with friends in the US. Non of whom are
              establishment’ but voters. So go figure.

              I am now just waiting to be accused of being the deep state that would really make my day…hahahahahahaha

              • Adrian Thornton

                You seem to easily confused by who the US media deem as credible and who the population do..two completely different things.

                But then I would hazard a guess you were all about Hillary 2016, so unsurprising.

                • Sabine

                  I would have voted Hillary, Bernie, and for a live donkey or a pet rabbit if it would have meant that the orange shitgibbon takes his elevator back up his golden tower and disappears together with his spawn for ever.

                  That you got right about me.

                  But for Tulsi Gabbard, she is not gonna get the nomination no matter how much you admire her. And i don’t see why this can’t be mentioned.

                  • Bewildered

                    The US annexed Hawaii so they have some where to go on holiday No one takes the place or anyone from thier seriously

            • te reo putake

              Crikey, and there was I thinking I was the only war mongering establishment lackey here at TS. One more and we can start a union.

              • Andre

                I’ve been called a RWNJ here. Does that qualify me to join?

              • Adrian Thornton

                Don’t know why so many on the Left aim so low..so damn low, you guys make us look like this..

              • veutoviper

                Adam called me a Stalinist – does that qualify me?

                Also been called a lot of other things here, but that one popped to mind first – but I am sure some here think I am definitely “establishment”. LOL

                If we get enough, we could think about starting a political party …

                • adam

                  Stalinist type hack, I think is what I called you. I stand by those words.

                  • RedLogix

                    Go start a political party get back to us on how many votes you get; not counting your mother’s.

                    • The Al1en

                      Well isn’t that the whole missed point in a nutshell with these Riks and Wolfies?
                      Add together the votes of labour, the greens, nz1st with the nats and that’s over 90% of the voting electorate not choosing the unelectable fringe left. The rest is made up of fringe right groups and dope smokers.

                      If there were an appetite for looney left radicalism, those numbers just wouldn’t be.
                      It may sound harsh, if your eggs are all in the ‘no mates’ basket, but until you’ve put the party in front of the people and turned those poll numbers about, you’re dreaming.

                    • RedLogix

                      Exactly … the fringe radical left (and right) are a useless, ineffective distraction that create nothing of positive value.

                      While at the same time tolerating and giving safe harbour to their more deluded lunacies does the mainstream left no favours whatsoever.

                    • “Exactly … the fringe radical left (and right) are a useless, ineffective distraction that create nothing of positive value.”

                      And who exactly do you consider ‘radical Left’ in western politics today?

                    • RedLogix []

                      Labelling vv a Stalinist hack would be one small clue 😈

                    • Adrian Thornton

                      So where in your estimation, does that leave Andre who labelled me a Putin puppet?

                    • The Al1en

                      Are you quite sure Andre didn’t mean Putin’s poppet?

                    • adam

                      Redlogix, like all the authoritarian hacks on here, goes for another desperate whataboutism…

          • Morrissey

            You’re incoherent.

            Adrian, don’t waste time with her. She’s another Gosman.

  14. mosa 14

    I am thrilled that Bernie is giving it another shot.
    He energised the 2016 primaries and debated well with Hillary and had a strong argument and platform to work from.
    I still think he played a part in Hillary’s loss effectively re positioning the Democrats on where they should have been all along and not voting for a continuation of Obama’s policies that did not lift every boat after much hope in 2008.
    Bernie raised the issues that the Democrats were too frightened and comprised to raise.
    He would make a fine President if he could pass his agenda and that would be his biggest battle of all.
    If someone comes through that can harness the support he has and consolidate the African american vote he would make a great V.P.
    I can’t wait bring it on !

    • Sabine 14.1

      It was with the African American vote that he had issues, and still have.

      Case in Point, Vermont – his state, has had two (2) african american lawmakers in all its history, and hte last one resigned due to ongoing harrasemnt.


      people not to impressed with Bernie Sanders and the ‘white boy club in Vermont’


      I linked to this article as it contains a myriad of other links and african american publications.

      So i would not take the African American vote as in the bag for Bernie. I would suggest that this time he does not talk about the ‘white male working class’ like last time around but rather just speak about the ‘working class’ and be gender and race neutral.

      I would also see him run as an independent. But that will not happen, cause inserts what ever reasons you want.

      Mind, he can always leave the democratic party if he again does not get the nomination, which again could happen.

      • Sabine 14.1.1

        here from an online publication called The Root


        I think if he wants the nomination he will have to do hard work to get he african american vote. He will have to do much better then he did next time. No matter what white people (me) say, the world is browning, and we are the minority. It is about time that election reflect that .

        • Sabine

          and she is not convinced either

          its the thing with having been in politics for a long time does the record go with the speeches.

          interesting times.

          • joe90

            Nor Propane Jane™

            • Sabine

              I do believe that Bernie is actually limiting his field by running as a ‘Democrat’ on the democratic ticket.
              Were he to run as an independent he would still get the money he needs, i think it has been proven now that you can successfully fundraise on small donors and independents. Were he to run as an independent he could peel of the Greens, the Libertarians, disgruntled republicans etc. But by insisting again to run as a ‘democrats’ for convenience is his only limiting himself.

              And for one it would reflect the Parties in the US, red, blue, independent. And i always believed that would he have done so last time around, ran as an independent he would have had an excellent chance of being President today.

              my two cents.

              • McFlock

                The way the yank system works, an independent won’t win a presidential election.

                They need to, from scratch, build up campaign infrastructure in every single state to get their EC votes, especially the states that divvy up their EC by proportion.

                The best they can do is siphon popular votes away from a candidate in key states. Like Nader did.

                • Sabine

                  Nader ran as a green candidate. Just like Jill Stein did.

                  And in saying that, the election of 2000 was a different beast and a different time – a more innocent time even.

                  And running as an independent for Bernie in the 2016 would have allowed him to continue to running against Hillary and all her misgivings and run again Trump and all his misgivings. And he would not have been dependent on the democratic machine. I think he would have done well with quite a few of those that ended up voting Trump for he white male working calls anxiety, but also with those that could not vote Hillary, and those that ended up voting for the libertarian candidate and Jill Stein.

                  Sometimes one has to take a risk. And that is what he did not take. The risk of winning as an independent. He did took the risk at loosing as a ‘democrat’, when he himself says he is a democratic socialist – which he also is not, he is a social democrat at best – as per his voting record.

        • Ad

          Needs to pick up Booker or Harris as running mate to try and secure that base.

          • Sabine

            Harris is running herself, and i would assume that Booker will also announce. Not sure they would want to play second fiddle, or be the token african american to appease the masses.

            i assume he would want a female running mate.

            • Ad

              Once the first set of Primaries are done, everyone’s minds will be focused on the specific voting bloc that each one brings. Token for token, bloc for bloc.

              This Democratic field is going to winnow down fast, and Harris and Booker do not have a shit-show at the Number 1 slot. So yes everyone is going to beg for everyone’s delegates, which of course requires promises to get on the ticket with the Number 1 and Number 2 contenders.

              We should just fast-forward time about 9 months and see who is still standing.

              • Sabine

                i agree with booker, i don’t think his chances are too good.
                Harris, i would not write off that fast.

                The African American vote for the Democratic Party is huge, it is not to be taken as a token.
                And after the shitshow of the last two years and the upcoming shitshow of the next two years i can see women wanting a bit more then just a female veep to appease them before some white male again sends them to the kitchen to fix a sandwich.

                Its going to be very entertaining.

                • Macro

                  Totally agree Sabine. I’ve been following all this on an American community website and the feeling with Bernies declaration of candidacy wasn’t all “yippie! “. I get the feeling that they really want a woman to run. The activism amongst the women over there apparently has to be experienced. I read just the other day of a NZ woman who was over in DC at the time of the SCOTUS kerfuffle to talk on peace initiatives at a conference at the UN. She was caught up in the fervour of the moment and was nearly arrested along with a couple of women Dem senators 🙂

                  • Sabine

                    there is a movement of getting women back into the kitchen, out of the workforce (especially the highly educated and well paid workforce), into pregnancies they don’t want or need, depended on the goodwill of a bloke for their safety, and security and a daily meal.

                    And this is not gonna happen without a fight. There is the comment ‘she is a nasty women’ from the shitgibbon, the lived experience of women who have been not promoted over the lesser qualified bloke, who have been sexually assaulted by some drunk frat boys, who had to go through enormous length to achieve a medically necessary abortion or simple an abortion of an unwanted pregnancy and the likes, and these women are scared for their live, for the live of their daughters and they are fighting.

                    And i don’t think that people, especially men appreciate just how many of us still remember the times before the pill became widely available and affordable. That we remember the times of septic wards in hospitals for women who self aborted or were helped by an angel maker or the baby daddy or their own fathers. that we still remember the times were we needed a permission slip from husbands to get to our money in the joint bank accounts, cause with marriage our accounts were jointed. Or that we could not get a loan without a permission slip from the husbands, and even then it was not said we got it.. And so one and so on……….

                    People want the current shitshow to end. They want to have the feeling that they will get a fighting chance at that global warming thing, they don’t want more war they want less, they want accountability, they want funds for schools and bridges, and above all they don’t want pie fights and they don’t want to be told that their fears as women have lesser value then the economic anxiety of the much vaunted white male working class – as if the female working class, the people of color working class, the latinx immigrant working class are of no importance to the country.

      • mosa 14.1.2

        Thanks for the insight Sabine.
        Looks like they have some work to do.

  15. Ad 15

    Sanders cancels Warren …. Sanders takes no corporate funding to beat Trump’s Fox dominance…

    …the rest can’t get out of the blocks

    So it’s … Straight outta Scranton

    • Andre 15.1

      Biden’s time would have been 2016. Sadly his family tragedies meant he couldn’t seize the day.

      After the 2018 results and seeing the splash made by the non-white non-male young newcomers, Dems will want some of that same kind of impact in their presidential candidate. Which means it won’t be an old white male for the Dems in 2020.

  16. Bernie seems okay but this won’t change anything imo whether he gets in or not whether he runs or not. I just don’t think he’s got it or if he does have it then the it we were looking for ain’t really it.

  17. Morrissey 17

    Hillary Clinton and Joe Lieberman?

    • mosa 17.1

      I would rather watch the paint dry.

      • Morrissey 17.1.1

        So would I. Yet some tactical genius chose Lieberman in 2000 and Clinton in 2016.

        My suggestion was a joke; the DNC was apparently serious.

        Believe it or not.

        • left_forward

          Yet Clinton got more votes than Trump.
          Pretty decent go, don’t you think?

          • Morrissey

            She did. I wanted her to become President, just like you no doubt did. She was beaten, unfairly, because of regressive features of the “election” system—and because of massive disenfranchisement of voters in many states, but especially in Florida, Ohio, and Indiana.

            However, instead of fighting against those clearly fraudulent activities, she and her brain-addled followers have spent the time since November 2016 indulging in this fantasy about the Russians, and about Trump being a Russian agent, and hyperventilating about “Russian meddling”, as if the Russians and not the Republicans had suppressed those millions of black and Latino votes.

            • left_forward

              Yes and Trump’s campaign leaders and lawyers who pleaded guilty to collaborating with the russians to illegally intefere with the election process in favour of Trump were clearly not being fraudulent.
              Bloody fantasists.

              • Morrissey

                So you think it was the Russians, and not the Republicans, who disenfranchised millions of voters?

                • left_forward

                  No, I agree, bloody fantasists.

                • McFlock

                  Removing either the Russians or disenfranchisement from the equation would likely have resulted in Clinton winning.

                  • Morrissey

                    Do you think the Russian influence was comparable to the orchestrated Republican suppression of votes?

                    • McFlock

                      Nah, the russian stuff was much cheaper.

                      but when looking at the 2016 election, we should ignore neither.

                    • left_forward

                      It doesn’t matter Morrissey – corruption comes in many forms and the comparative degree of injustice is irrelevant.
                      I find it very tedious that you go on about Clinton and skew every discussion about US politics back to being about her. Get over it – it is water well under the bridge.

                  • Morrissey

                    One “left_forward” confronts Morrissey Breen (i.e., moi) in no uncertain manner….

                    left_forward: It doesn’t matter Morrissey – corruption comes in many forms and the comparative degree of injustice is irrelevant.

                    Breen: “Irrelevant”? Surely massive, systemic corruption such as that practiced by Trump and his cronies is entirely more serious than, say, Manukau mayor Len Brown shouting his mates to a few extra bottles of wine a decade ago.

                    left_forward: I find it very tedious that you go on about Clinton and skew every discussion about US politics back to being about her.

                    Breen: Oh, I’m more than happy to stop thinking about Clinton and her ghastly cronies. Sadly, however, every time the Democratic “leaders” are on television, one is afflicted with the horrid sight of Mrs Pelosi, or Mr Schumer, or one of their dismal soundalikes. They’re Clintonistas, and the sooner they’re gone—or, better, deselected—the sooner we can all put the Clinton nightmare behind us.

                    left_forward: Get over it – it is water well under the bridge.

                    Breen: Sadly, my friend, that’s not true. There are heartening signs of progress in the Democratic Party, however….


                    • McFlock

                      Congrats, moz, you managed to produce a couple of comments in a row without being a sancitmonious jerk.

                      Hopefully the next run will be longer.

                    • left_forward

                      No Mr Been, don’t take the context out of my critique of your obsession. I was responding to your request to differentiate the relative value of the two specific corruptions of the US democratic process that you raised.

                    • Jenny - How to get there?

                      The lie of course, is that there has ever been a plan for regime change in Syria.

                      Yes the US has bombed Isis.

                      And yes the US has bombed an alleged gas weapons factory. And an airstrip. But only after the US gave the Assad regime prior notice. Accounting for no regime losses.

                      But regime change. No.

                      There is no evidence for this. There never has been.

                      But there is lots of irrefutable evidence of genocide committed by the Assad regime against the Syrian people.

                      Spreading the “regime change” conspiracy theory, Gabbard’s purpose is to rehabilitate the Assad regime in the eyes of the world, This means normalising fascism and mass murder and genocide,

                      A Gabbard led or influenced US administration would see Bashar Assad being welcomed in Washington and other Western capitals,

            • SHG

              She was beaten, unfairly, because of regressive features of the “election” system—and because of massive disenfranchisement of voters in many states, but especially in Florida, Ohio, and Indiana.

              She was beaten because she was literally the worst candidate in the history of politics

              • KJT

                She was beaten because her corporate funded focused, business as usual approach made even Trump, look like an option for so many.

                A fact which the “centrists” are still in denial.

              • Morrissey

                I agree with you about how terrible she was. But she did beat Trump by more than 3 million votes. If it was not a gerrymandered, antidemocratic system she would have won handily.

  18. Matthew 18

    Make OCS his running mate, the system is still stacked against women, latins, and young people, so for her to go for it so early in her career could be detrimental. But as VP she could do amazing things, like being in the room with other women that aren’t her wife!

  19. Andre 19

    In 2016, Bernie was the beneficiary of the massive amount of Hillary-hate that had nowhere else to go.

    This time around, none of the candidates are anywhere near that kind of lightning rod for hate. So I’m expecting it to be much more of a contest of actual abilities, competence, ideas and charisma. I’m not expecting Bernie to have anywhere near as much impact this time around.

  20. McFlock 20

    I suspect he’ll go a couple of rounds and then endorse someone else.

    Preferably without pissing in the pool if they don’t win.

    • RedLogix 20.1

      Who else? The Dems have spent so much political capital over Russia and Trump and making excuses for Clinton, they’ve failed to develop a positive fresh candidate.

      I personally like Sanders a lot, but the fact that he’s almost had to stand speaks volumes to the absence of a better candidate.

      • Andre 20.1.1

        Where was the Queens Rufous Loofah-Faced Shitgibbon at this point in the 2016 electoral cycle? Obama for 2008? Shrub for 2000? Bubba for 1992?

        • RedLogix

          All of them, except perhaps Obama already had a substantial public profile. The Shitgibbon was already a household name well before he went political.

          The only names on the left with comparable profile are Sanders, Warren and ….

          • Andre

            If you’d talked to me in February 1991 about this bright young star named Bill Clinton, I would have given you a blank stare with a “Who?”.

            In February 1999 Shrub was Texas Gov, which doesn’t give a national profile outside of politics tragics. All he had nationally was his daddy’s name, which at the time seemed as much handicap as help.

            • RedLogix

              Clinton had already been a Governor of Arkansas and made a run at the Primaries in 1988. He was scarcely a political nobody.

              I would argue that if your going to run for POTUS, you should already have a proven record in public office and a profile that goes beyond an especially vile reality TV show.

              So which potential Dem candidates tick those boxes? And why not?

              • Andre

                Governor of Arkansas doesn’t give a national public profile. He didn’t actually run in the primaries, the closest he got was some VIP suggested he should. Plus he did some important speechifying at some event or other.

                But yeah, being a governor has traditionally been a stepping stone to the preznitzy. Carter, Raygun, Shrub, Bubba. Or the VP slot, Nixon, the elder Bush, LBJ. Or time in the Senate. Obama, LBJ, JFK.

                Harris, Klobuchar, Warren, Booker, Biden, Sanders, Gillibrand, Cuomo, Brown, O’Malley, Murphy, Bullock, Hickenlooper all tick at least one of those boxes. I’m sure there’s more that didn’t come to mind.

                But having had those prior suitable experiences as a prerequisite is something that’s true right up until the instance it’s not. As the Grab’em’fuhrer showed us on the way to shattering a whole bunch of other norms. If there’s an election that’s ripe for shattering yet more norms, it’s the one coming up.

              • Andre

                Should have said “didn’t actually run in the 1988 primaries”

      • McFlock 20.1.2

        I tend to go with Andre’s response, but a bit more delicately.

        I suspect the person who gets Sanders’ endorsement will be the most left wing candidate who remains after a pool of a dozen has gone down to a few.

        Whether that’s Gabbard, Harris, Castro or whomever, I think that’s more in the wind.

        • Sabine

          this here is a little over a month old, so keep that in mind – also the straw poll was conducted by the great orange satan aka DKos and might not be approved as left/democratic/anti establishment/not the deep state rah rha


          “Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) leads progressive news website Daily Kos’s first 2020 straw poll, coming days after she made her debut visit to Iowa as a presidential candidate.

          In a straw poll of nearly 35,000 Daily Kos members, Warren, a progressive stalwart who first rose to prominence in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, leads the likely crowded Democratic primary field with 22 percent of support.

          Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) comes in second, with 15 percent, and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and former Vice President Joe Biden are close behind, tied with 14 percent each.
          Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who’s considering a second run for the White House, trails in fifth place, with 11 percent, despite being a top pick among members of other progressive groups.”

          second straw poll three weeks ago

          “According to Daily Kos’s second straw poll of 28,000 members, Harris is the new front-runner, receiving 27 percent of the vote. Harris announced her candidacy on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, during an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

          Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) finished second in the poll with 18 percent, while former Vice President Joe Biden garnered 13 percent and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) scored 12 percent.”

          • McFlock

            A few more will enter, and then we’ll see folk drop out.

            My only real caution is that if Bernie doesn’t have the same pull this time, candidates might start dropping policies like universal medicare.

            • Sabine

              i think that a lot of candidate will run on universal medicare as that is one of the issues that affect many across religious and political boundaries.
              I don’t think Bernie has the same pull this time around and personally think he should not have announces but rather announced whom he supported and would work for. But again, we all have our opinions.

              In saying that, the orange shitgibbon promised beautiful healthcare that offered more for less and so far Obama Care – while diminished and crippled – is still law of the land, and any increases in fees and slower signs up are due to the current lot running the show. He will find it hard to promise his beautiful healthcare for all at no extra cost this time around.

              what he could do is simply say that he will only run for one term (this also applies to Biden) due to his age, and then will support his Veep for re-election which effectively if they could pull it off would give the US a 4 year term Bernie or Biden, plus 8 years of whom ever was Veep.

              I also believe that a lot of hte people are simply no into fighting the same fight from last time around. They now have a real ‘enemy’ to defeat, and they can’t really afford to go about purity and whom is the least tainted. All of them to some extend come with baggage and I assure you that the RNC will do their best to show us Bernies baggage, which last time around never happened.

              currently i am somewhat luke warm on Harris, Warren, Brown.

            • Sabine

              and just for fun and giggles

              todays straw poll from the great orange satan – some 30.000 votes and still ongoing .


          • Andre

            Of the declared and likely contenders, Harris is my pick at the moment. But I’m really hoping she does something soon to make me a lot more enthusiastic about her, or someone else comes along that I get genuinely enthusiastic about.

  21. Andre 23

    The announcement.

  22. Macro 24

    And the trolls have already begun their attacks. If any one thought that 2016 wasn’t bad – then they had better wake up.
    ‘Sustained and ongoing’ disinformation assault targets Dem presidential candidates
    A coordinated barrage of social media attacks suggests the involvement of foreign state actors.

    A wide-ranging disinformation campaign aimed at Democratic 2020 candidates is already underway on social media, with signs that foreign state actors are driving at least some of the activity.

    The main targets appear to be Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), four of the most prominent announced or prospective candidates for president.
    The cyber propaganda — which frequently picks at the rawest, most sensitive issues in public discourse — is being pushed across a variety of platforms and with a more insidious approach than in the 2016 presidential election, when online attacks designed to polarize and mislead voters first surfaced on a massive scale.

    Recent posts that have received widespread dissemination include racially inflammatory memes and messaging involving Harris, O’Rourke and Warren. In Warren’s case, a false narrative surfaced alleging that a blackface doll appeared on a kitchen cabinet in the background of the senator’s New Year’s Eve Instagram livestream.

    Not all of the activity is organized. Much of it appears to be organic, a reflection of the politically polarizing nature of some of the candidates. But there are clear signs of a coordinated effort of undetermined size that shares similar characteristics with the computational propaganda attacks launched by online trolls at Russia’s Internet Research Agency in the 2016 presidential campaign, which special counsel Robert Mueller accused of aiming to undermine the political process and elevate Donald Trump.
    “It looks like the 2020 presidential primary is going to be the next battleground to divide and confuse Americans,” said Brett Horvath, one of the founders of Guardians.ai, a tech company that works with a consortium of data scientists, academics and technologists to disrupt cyberattacks and protect pro-democracy groups from information warfare. “As it relates to information warfare in the 2020 cycle, we’re not on the verge of it — we’re already in the third inning.”
    This is the same core group of accounts the company first identified last year in a study as anchoring a wide-scale influence campaign in the 2018 elections.

    Since the beginning of the year, those accounts began specifically directing their output at Harris, O’Rourke, Sanders and Warren, and were amplified by an even wider grouping of accounts. Over a recent 30-day period, between 2 percent and 15 percent of all Twitter mentions of the four candidates emanated in some way from within that cluster of accounts, according to the Guardians.ai findings. In that time frame, all four candidates collectively had 6.8 million mentions on Twitter.

    “We can conclusively state that a large group of suspicious accounts that were active in one of the largest influence operations of the 2018 cycle is now engaged in sustained and ongoing activity for the 2020 cycle,” Horvath said.

  23. sumsuch 25

    No, Micky. There isn’t anyone like him. And he looks like he has a good Konrad Adenauer 80s in him. And at least the ability to appoint the right successor for democracy, and most of all, to speak for democracy.

    So, I despise all these splicers and dicers in the comments.

  24. Jenny - How to get there? 26

    After serving his full two terms, (AOC) AKA LIsa Simpson, will succeed Donald Trump.

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