Mitch McConnell Tries To Rig The Courts By Blocking Dozens Of Obama Judicial Nominees

mcconnell whines about obama |60 minutes

attribution: None

POLITICUS USA

Mitch McConnell is blocking dozens of President Obama’s judicial appointments in an attempt to rig the courts.

According to Politico:

The GOP-controlled Senate is on track this year to confirm the fewest judges since 1969, a dramatic escalation of the long-running partisan feud over the ideological makeup of federal courts.

The standoff, if it continues through the 2016 elections as expected, could diminish the stamp that President Barack Obama leaves on the judiciary — a less conspicuous but critical part of his legacy. Practically, the makeup of lower-level courts could directly affect a number of Obama’s policies expected to face legal challenges from conservatives.

Republicans appear willing to absorb criticism that they’re interfering with the prerogative of a president to pick his nominees in the hopes that the GOP can get its own judges installed in 2017, with one of their own in the White House. In the meantime, federal courts could be left with dozens of unfilled vacancies. More than two dozen federal courts have declared “judicial emergencies” because of excessive caseloads caused by vacancies.

It isn’t a coincidence that Republicans are challenging nearly everything that President Obama does via executive action in court while blocking his judicial nominees.

Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are abusing their confirmation power to rig the courts. Their scheme hinges on the increasingly far-fetched idea that Republicans will take back the White House in 2016.

What will McConnell do if the Democratic nominee wins the presidential election? Will they continue to block judicial appointments for the next four to eight years? As usual, Republicans have not thought their plan through.

If Democrats take back the Senate majority in 2016, McConnell and the GOP will regret their plan because Democrats aren’t going to forget, and payback will be severe.

Senate Republicans are proving that they have no interest in governing. Their only concern is preventing President Obama from getting anything done.

Bernie Sanders gets slimed by the New York Times: This is what a smiling, condescending hit job looks like

Bernie Sanders gets slimed by the New York Times: This is what a smiling, condescending hit job looks like

Bernie Sanders (Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst/AP/Mark Lennihan/Photo montage by Salon)

The good, the bad and the ugly of presidential election politics…

SALON

A cheerfully disparaging Sanders profile aims to trivialize him to trivialize his politics. It’s just the Times way

On the fourth of July, the New York Times gave its readers a first extended look at the political history of Bernie Sanders in Vermont. The article, by Sarah Lyall, is titled “Bernie Sanders’s Revolutionary Roots Were Nurtured in ’60s Vermont.” This sketch of the young Sanders is free of obvious malice. It would serve its purpose less effectively if it were malicious.

The attitude that Lyall adopts toward Senator Sanders is, instead, mildly and cheerfully disparaging — affectionate, but at the proper distance of condescension; ironically agreeable, as you are allowed to be in dealing with a second cousin or an eccentric uncle who is a bit of a blowhard. Hers is not the first such article to appear on Sanders in the Times. Is it safe to predict that this will remain the paper’s approach to his campaign for as long as he stays in the race?

Though malice is absent, the pejorative shading here begins with the title. Does Sanders today describe himself as a revolutionist? “Revolutionary roots” implies that he does. Sanders indeed calls himself a democratic socialist. But it was a pretty steady difference between socialists and communists, throughout the twentieth century, that socialists would choose not to describe themselves as revolutionists. They were radical reformers and tended to reject the violence that revolutionists embrace. “Radical reformist roots” would have made a truer but a less eye-catching headline.

Symptomatic excerpts from the article follow in boldface, with my comments below:

“[The young Bernie Sanders] came to Vermont in the late 1960s to help plan the upending of the old social order.”

Did he in fact come to Vermont to execute a plan? The word suggests that Sanders was a bit deluded. More likely, he came to Vermont with no plan except to organize and reform: something that people with political convictions have been known to do. The word “upending” is curious. It comes from football: a linebacker who tackles a charging halfback by grabbing his ankles and tossing him head-over-heels is said to upend him. You can’t do that to something as heterogeneous and extended as American society. The word suggests as much without having to say so. But it is unlikely that he ever used the word “upend”; once again, the relevant missing word and idea is reform.

“[A youthful article by Sanders in the Vermont Freeman gave] an apocalyptically alarmist account of the unbearable horror of having an office job in New York City.”

The pileup of “apocalyptically alarmist” and “unbearable horror” triggers the sarcasm. You can almost hear the unwritten sequel: “An office job in New York City? Give me a break.” Various personalities of the era – Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel — seem to have shared the sentiments of the young Sanders, but the incredulous adverb and adjectives do their work.

“Chalk some of this up to being young and unemployed. Mr. Sanders, now 73, has had a steady, nonrevolutionary job for quite some time now.”

It is the usual dig. Resistance and protest come from dissatisfaction and failure; get a decent job and watch how your politics change.

“… barely 30, full of restless energy, with wild curly hair, a brash Brooklyn manner and a mind fizzing with plans to remake the world. Short on money but long on ideas…”

Human-interest writing may come disguised as biography but it performs that duty imperfectly. The fizzing mind is there because it rhymes with the frizzy hair. “Short on money but long on ideas” is a cliché so lazy that the barb is robbed of its sting.

“[Sanders’s description of himself as a freelance writer] is a bit of a stretch. A look through his journalistic output, such as it was, reveals that he had perhaps a dozen articles published.”

How many articles do you have to publish to qualify as a freelance writer? Two dozen? The pedantry is polemical.

Continued here>>>

Michael Steele Tells RNC to Condemn Trump: ‘People Know When You’re Full of BS’

steele

[Image via screengrab]

MEDIAITE

Former RNC chair Michael Steele criticized his replacement’s response to the Donald Trump fiasco on Meet the Press Sunday morning, telling current chair Reince Priebus that he had to forcefully condemn the celebrity plutocrat candidate or risk appearing disingenuous to voters.

“You’ve got to have that Sister Souljah moment with the party, where you have to be honest and call it what it is,” Steele said. “People are sophisticated enough to know when you’re just full of BS.”

“Everyone in the country reacted to this and you didn’t, the party didn’t, and those who want to be president didn’t — until what? This week? That’s a problem. It’s a problem of authenticity. It is a problem of legitimacy when you’re going to go speak to that community.”

Priebus called Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants “not helpful,” more than two weeks after they were originally made, part of what many consider a too-tepid response from a party seeking to court Hispanic voters.

Washington Post political editor Chris Cillizza agreed. “You cannot be afraid of the party’s base!” he said. “You will not win that way.”

Watch the clip via NBC News HERE<<<

Trump: ‘Rapist’ Comment Backlash More ‘Severe’ Than I Expected

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AP Photo / Elizabeth Frantz

It’s called Just Deserts, Mr. Trump…

TPM LiveWire

“I didn’t know it was going to be quite this severe,” Trump said on “Fox & Friends.” “But I really knew it was going to be bad.”

“You know, maybe I’m leading in polls, but this is certainly not good,” he also said. “I lose customers, I lose people.”

Macy’s, NBC Universal, Univision, Televisa and Serta have all dropped partnerships and business dealings with Trump following his “rapists” remark — which “Fox & Friends” co-host Clayton Morris described as “straight talk.”

“They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists,” Trump said during his presidential launch. “And some, I assume, are good people.”

Several of Trump’s fellow GOP presidential contenders have stepped forward to rebuke his remarks, such as Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), and former New York Gov. George Pataki (R).

“For the people who say I’m doing it for my brand — this isn’t good for my brand. I think it’s bad for my brand,” he said.

Watch the Fox segment>>>

10 things you need to know today: July 6, 2015

Elaine Thompson/Getty Images

THE WEEK

1. Greece decisively votes ‘no’ on eurozone bailout referendum
About 61 percent of Greeks voted “no” on the eurozone bailout referendum Sunday, handing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras a decisive victory. While the result is likely to strengthen Tsipras’ hand in negotiations with Greece’s creditors, it could also lead to the nation being forced out of the eurozone, and a future of prolonged economic uncertainty. The deal from the International Monetary Fund, European Union, and the European Central Bank would have come in exchange for tax increases and economic reform in Greece following their default on a $1.8 billion IMF loan last week. Late Sunday, Tspiras said the Greeks proved “democracy won’t be blackmailed” and voters “made a very brave choice.”

Source: BBC News, The Associated Press

2. U.S. defeats Japan 5-2 to win Women’s World Cup
The United States defeated Japan 5-2 on Sunday in the Women’s World Cup final, giving the team its first championship since 1999. Within the first 16 minutes of the game, Carli Lloyd scored the fastest hat trick in tournament history. Lauren Holiday also scored in the 14th minute and Tobin Heath in the 55th minute. In the 2011 Women’s World Cup final, the U.S. lost to Japan on penalty kicks.

Source: The Washington Post

3. Greek finance minister steps down
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, announced on his website he has resigned from his post, one day after 61 percent of voters backed his “no” campaign, rejecting bailout terms set by creditors. Varoufakis said he was leaving his position due to a “certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted ‘partners,’ for my … ‘absence’ from its meetings.” Former Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras announced he was stepping down from his role as the head of the nation’s conservative opposition party, New Democracy, on Sunday.

Source: Reuters, CNBC

4. South Carolina legislators begin Confederate flag debate
South Carolina legislators return to Columbia on Monday to discuss the fate of the Confederate flag flying on statehouse grounds. Last month a fatal shooting at a historically black church in Charleston renewed debate on the monument, prompting Gov. Nikki Haley to call for its removal. A two-thirds majority of lawmakers in each chamber, enough to pass a measure, reportedly say it’s time to take down the flag. Several bills have been filed, but logistics and formalities still need sorting out.

Source: The New York Times, The Post and Courier

5. Escaped inmate David Sweat back in maximum security
Convicted murderer David Sweat was incarcerated at the Five Points Correctional Facility in Romulus, New York, after being released from the hospital, the New York Department of Corrections announced in a news release Sunday. Sweat was hospitalized in serious condition after authorities shot and captured him near the Canadian border a week ago. He was on the run with convict Richard Matt after escaping from the Clinton Correctional Facility on June 6. Matt was fatally shot by law enforcement officials a couple of days before Sweat’s capture.

Source: BuzzFeed News

6. FIFA President Sepp Blatter says he won’t travel for fear of being arrested
FIFA President Sepp Blatter continues to maintain his innocence in the ongoing FBI investigation of soccer’s governing body. The U.S. Justice Department indicted 14 officials on charges of corruption in May. But Blatter, who is expected to be replaced at FIFA’s helm as early as December, is afraid to leave Switzerland for fear of being arrested, theLos Angeles Times reports Blatter told a German newspaper. “Not because the Americans have anything concrete against me, but because it would cause a public stir,” he said.

Source: Los Angeles Times

7. U.S. attacks eastern Syria ISIS base, killing 10
A U.S.-led coalition carried out a series of at least 16 airstrikes on ISIS’s base in eastern Raqqa, Syria, late Saturday and early Sunday. It was one of the largest operations of its kind against the terrorist group in the country, The Guardian reports. The attacks reportedly killed at least 10 militants and harmed others. They also destroyed ISIS structures and transit routes, a U.S. military spokesman told The Guardian. He said the damage would hurt ISIS’s ability to move from their de-facto capital.

Source: The Guardian

8. Pope Francis tours South America
Pope Francis landed in Quito, Ecuador, on Sunday to begin his tour of three of the poorest and smallest countries in South America. The visit comes just weeks after he released his encyclical calling on leaders to hear “the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” due to climate change. Tens of thousands of people lined the streets of Quito, with many waving flags featuring the pope’s picture and others throwing gifts.

Source: CNN

9. Britain’s Princess Charlotte christened in family’s first public outing
Britain’s Princess Charlotte was christened Sunday at St. Mary Magdalene Church in eastern England. The outing was the first public one for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s family since Charlotte’s birth in May. Ahead of the ceremony, the couple named five godparents for baby Charlotte, none of whom are royalty. Charlotte is fourth in line to the British throne.

Source: ABC News

10. Grateful Dead bids farewell from Chicago after 50 years
The Grateful Dead capped a three-night farewell tour at Chicago’s Soldier Field on Sunday night, an event that doubled as a 50th anniversary celebration. It harkened back to another series of concerts at the stadium in 1995, just weeks before lead guitarist Jerry Garcia died of a heart attack. Packed crowds overcame serious ticket markups to send off Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart.

Source: Los Angeles Times, Billboard

Julie Kliegman

Mike Huckabee Thinks Gay Marriage Is Bad Because Love Is Bad – Yes, Really (VIDEO)

ADDICTING INFO

Opponents of marriage equality are having a tough time acknowledging that they’ve lost. They continue to throw darts at the board, hoping something will stick, long after the bar has closed.

Mike Huckabee is one of those sore losers. In the past, he’s compared marriage equality to polygamy, bestiality, using profanity, drinking and he’s said it has the “ick factor.”

More recently, after the Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage, Huckabee compared the ruling to a hate crime. On Sunday, though, Huckabee went all the way down the rabbit hole when he called love too “emotional and sentimental.”

On CNN on Sunday Morning, Huckabee discussed the Supreme Court ruling with Jake Tapper. Tapper asked Huckabee which undermined the institution of marriage more, same-sex marriage or infidelity and divorce among straight couples.

Huckabee compared it to two wings of an airplane, essentially saying that all are threats (although in researching all of his quotes, I find nothing on infidelity and the only quotes on divorce are of the type that shames single mothers).

He then went on to say that talking about love is a mistake. “The point of marriage,” he said, “is to create a relationship where two people are committed as life partners.”

“One of the mistakes we’ve even heard over the course of the same-sex marriage debate,” Huckabee continued, “is that marriage is all about just love and feeling and sentimentality. And regardless, heterosexual marriages are in trouble today because people see it as a selfish means of pleasing self rather than a committed relationship which the focus is upon meeting the needs of the partner and that sense of selfishness and the redefinition of love as to something that’s purely sentimental and emotional has been destructive and I think it will prove to be destructive in every definition of marriage, be it heterosexual, homosexual, or polygamy or wherever the marriage redefinition ends up taking us over the course of the next few years.

Here’s the video:

I’m sure many straight people would love to know that Huckabee is redefining their marriages as practical partnerships instead of one of love. Oh, and Governor Huckabee, infidelity is not caused by too much love in a marriage. Quite the opposite, actually. The people who do say that love should not be part of marriage, though, are usually the people who are unhappily married.

Bernie Sanders Terrifies Wall Street By Vowing To Keep Them Out Of His Cabinet

Bernie Sanders CNN State Of The Union

Bernie Sanders CNN State Of The Union |screenshot

POLITICUS USA

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) dropped a bomb on Wall Street today when during a CNN interview he vowed that if elected, the fat cats will have no place in his cabinet.

Transcript via CNN:

TAPPER: I know it’s premature to ask you the type of person you would want to be your vice president, but if you were to get the nomination and then the presidency, could you give us a sense of the kinds of individuals you would want serving in your Cabinet?

SANDERS: Yes.

Unlike many other presidents, they — my Cabinet would not be dominated by representatives of Wall Street. I think Wall Street has played a horrendous role in recent years in negatively impacting our economy and in making the rich richer.

There are a lot of great public servants out there, great economists who for years have been standing up for the middle class and the working families of this country who know that it is an international embarrassment that we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country on Earth.

And let me tell you something else, Jake, that I will appoint people to deal with the issue of youth unemployment today, which we don’t talk about at all. Youth unemployment in this country, real youth unemployment for African-American kids is over 50 percent, the Hispanic kids, over 30 percent, and the same for white kids. 

And that’s why we have to create a whole lot of jobs to put our kids back to work, rather than put them in jail or incarcerate them or build new jails. So, I want a Cabinet that is focused on rebuilding the crumbling middle class, demanding that the wealthiest people and large corporations become part of America, and do not live as an island unto themselves.

Not only does Sanders promise contrast him with his Democratic opponents, but it is also sends a clear message about the type of campaign that he is running.

It would be difficult to find a candidate taking a more grassroots liberal position on the composition of their cabinet than what Bernie Sanders offered.

If Sanders were to be somehow elected, it would be Wall Street’s biggest nightmare come true. The problem that he would have in governing is the same that President Obama currently faces. If Republicans still control all or any part of Congress after the 2016 election, the Sanders agenda would go nowhere.

Governing exists only in the realm of the hypothetical for Bernie Sanders right now. Sen. Sanders (I-VT) is taking bold positions to show the American people what could be.

The point that Bernie Sanders was making was that government doesn’t have to work the way that it has in the recent past. Voters don’t have to put up with the sorry excuse for a legislative branch that has been passed off as governing. The American people can make a change by thinking big and bold.

Wall Street may not be afraid of Bernie Sanders winning the White House in 2016, but they should be terrified of the possibilities that he is revealing.

Jason Easley

Racist Texans Spray Paint ‘Everything From KKK To N***er’ On $50,000 Truck

Racist Texans Spray Paint ‘Everything From KKK To N***er’ On $50,000 Truck (IMAGES)

ADDICTING INFO

Josh Joseph went to visit his good friends Darren and Hayli Frank in Spring, Texas, just north of Houston, for the 4th of July weekend. He never expected that he was going to be offending anyone in the neighborhood by doing so. For the record, Josh is black, and his friends are white. They were celebrating the holiday out in their front yard, and one of their neighbors likely saw their black guest. When they woke up the next morning, the Franks’ $50,000 truck was covered in racist vulgarities that the vandals had spray-painted.

The Franks live in a pretty nice neighborhood. They never thought that they would be the victims of a hate crime, especially not in their area. But, as people are finding out, racism is everywhere, including places you’d least expect to find it. Even though the Franks lived in a decent area overall, Texas is ranked as the most racist state in the nation, with more KKK chapters residing there than any other state in the nation.

Darren Frank, who always leaves his truck in the driveway, said:

“They put KKK all over it. I have no affiliation with the clan whatsoever!

My black friend, he’s been here for two days. Me and him hung out in the yard and just mowed the grass and hanging out around the house yesterday. We woke up this morning and he goes, ‘Man you need to go look at your truck!’”

Josh drove down for the weekend because he was in the process of looking for a job in the area. He was thankful he had good friends that were able to provide him with a place to stay for just a few days. But, after this has happened, he no longer feelswelcome.

“I was mostly shocked. I’m supposed to be moving here soon. And that’s what I see on there. I was about to leave. I felt like I wasn’t wanted here.”

Darren’s wife, Hayli, weighed in on the situation:

“He felt like it was his fault. And, I don’t want him to feel that way. He’s always welcome in our home.”

To get off the hate speech written all over their vehicle, they drove to the nearest car wash. But, that proved to be a difficult thing to do. Onlookers thought that the Franks were racists and did that to their own truck.

They eventually were able to get off most of the paint with nail polish remover and some help from neighbors. But, instead of taking everything off, they converted the phrase “n***er lovers,” leaving on just the word “love.” That will surely send a strong message.

Watch here>>>

Melting Arctic Ice Is a Warning, but Oil Companies See It as a Chance to Drill

Ben Stewart heads media relations for Greenpeace International and is author of a book about the Arctic 30. (Photo: The New Press)

The “almighty dollar” seems to be top priority here.  Big Money buys political power:  (support via campaign contributions),  political power gets money for supporting Big Business – and it’s a vicious cycle ad infintum.  The old saying “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” comes to mind.

TRUTHOUT

In September 2013, 30 Greenpeace activists from 18 countries protested Russia’s drilling in the Arctic. In response, their ship, Arctic Sunrise, was seized by masked commandos, and these men and women were charged with piracy and thrown into the Russian prison system. Read their story in Don’t Trust Don’t Fear Don’t Beg,yours to own with a donation to Truthout. Click here to order this gripping book today!

Truthout recently interviewed Ben Stewart, who heads media relations for Greenpeace International and is the author of Don’t Trust Don’t Fear Don’t Beg.

Mark Karlin: What was the action that members of Greenpeace on the ship Arctic Sunrise undertook in 2013?

Ben Stewart: It was September, and the codename we gave this action was Azeroth. The plan was to sail the Arctic Sunrise towards the Prirazlomnaya oil platform, 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle, and do something to stop its drilling and simultaneously draw global attention to what was happening up there. At that point the Prirazlomnaya was the most controversial oil platform in the world; it was trying to be the first rig to pump oil from the icy waters of the Arctic. It was at the vanguard of the new Arctic oil rush.

There were 30 people on board our ship – 28 activists and two journalists. The plan was to scale the side of the rig and hang a one-ton survival pod off the side. Some protesters would live in the pod, tweeting and Skyping from it. It would stop the drilling and allow them to communicate why they were there.

Why was the activist effort to stop Arctic oil drilling by the giant Russian oil and natural gas company Gazprom so urgent?

We felt we had to take a stand against Arctic oil drilling. You can’t clean up an Arctic oil spill – if a Deepwater Horizon-style disaster struck, it would be a calamity. It took 6,500 boats to “clean up” the Gulf of Mexico; that kind of deployment is not possible in the polar regions. And if there was a blowout, the return of winter ice could very quickly stop the drilling of a relief well. That would mean oil spilling for months, gathering under the ice and circulating around the pole.

Then there’s the irony of drilling for oil there. It’s only possible because climate change has caused the summer sea ice to retreat. We’re drilling for the fuels that caused the ice to melt, and when we burn it we’ll cause the ice to melt more, letting them drill for more oil. Most people see the melting ice as a warning for humanity. The oil companies see it as a chance to drill. It’s insane.

What is the status of Gazprom’s exploration for oil and natural gas in the Arctic as of June 2015?

Gazprom ended up pumping oil in 2014, and delivering it to Rotterdam. Sanctions against Russia have affected their ability to fully exploit the Arctic this season, but the company (and Putin) are determined to push deep into the Arctic region.

Continue reading here>>>

The real reasons Bernie Sanders is transforming the election: Here’s why he galvanizes the left

The real reasons Bernie Sanders is transforming the election: Here's why he galvanizes the left

Bernie Sanders (Credit: AP/Evan Vucci)

SALON

With Bernie Sanders, it’s leadership on the issues — not a cult of personality — propelling his long-shot bid

CNN dubbed this “the summer of Sanders” as media outlets finally picked up on the large crowds Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has attracted during campaign stops. His rocketing poll numbers in early primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire led to countless stories heralding a Sanders surge — but the story is as much about the issues as it is about the man.

Even Republican candidates have taken notice of Sanders’ rise. Ahead of a recent stop in Madison, Wisconsin, likely 2016 contender and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker welcomed Sanders to the state with a series of tweets attacking the democratic socialist once dismissed as too fringe. Walker may not have taken too fondly to Sanders attracting a record 10,000 people in his home state.

But Sanders’ campaign, surely more so than that of any of the Republican candidates, seems to be gaining traction more for the ideas he espouses than because of a cult of personality.

Granted, many supporters have pointed to Sanders’ straightforward manner and willingness to call out bad actors as refreshingly appealing, but unlike with Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Chris Christie, it isn’t just a brash style that’s being sold. Sanders makes a direct effort to address many of the issues that have arisen since the Hope & Change campaign of 2008 and it appears as though he is tapping into very real and long-simmering sentiments in the Democratic base.

More than a protest vote against Hillary Clinton, as some have suggested, Sanders’ support appears to be support for issues Clinton’s yet to fully address. Here are some of the ways that Sanders is gaining support by leading on issues or movements that other candidates ignore:

VA Scandal

Sanders was chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee when Democrats last controlled the chamber, and following the VA scandal, Sanders worked with Republicans in the House to pass legislation that expands health care access for veterans and makes it easier to fire underperforming officials.

His record and work on veterans’ affairs issues has earned Sanders top awards from the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion and the Military Officers Association of America, and now it appears as though that recognition is translating to support for his campaign.

The Boston Globe writes that Sanders’ “surge is partly fueled by veterans,” citing “entire Reddit threads [that] are dedicated to how veterans can best pitch Sanders to other veterans” and “a Facebook page promoting Sanders to veterans.” As the Globe notes, in the early voting state of South Carolina veterans make up about 11 percent of the electorate.

Occupy Wall Street

The short-lived global protest movement suddenly shifted the national debate in the aftermath of the recession from talk of austerity to a focus on growing income inequality by introducing terms like the 1 Percent to national prominence in time for the 2012 campaign. But the Occupy Wall Street movement achieved no great legislative win, and after the encampments were broken down many of the grievances remained unacknowledged, let alone addressed.

Sanders’ 2016 campaign embodies much of the demands of the OWS movement. Speaking to the largest campaign crowd of this cycle in Wisconsin this week, Sanders said, “The big money interests — Wall Street, corporate America, all of these guys — have so much power that no president can defeat them unless there is an organized grassroots movement making them an offer they can’t refuse.” For activists who organized, protested and camped out in Zuccotti Park and squares across America, this message of unfinished business is powerful. The acknowledgement of a continued struggle and willingness to put up a fight is what was galvanized the Draft Warren movement and it has now seemingly shifted to Sanders.

Student Debt Movement

Some Occupy Wall Street activists joined a movement against student debt, which has now surpassed $1 trillion in the U.S. The activists, some of whom had refused to make any more payments on their federal student loans, achieved a major victory this year when Corinthian colleges (you know them by their annoying commercials hawking their schools like Everest, Heald and WyoTech) shuttered the last of their remaining U.S. campuses, and the erasure of $13 million in debt. The movement has successfully overseen the closure of campuses in Canada the year before.

Sanders has proposed the College for All Act, a plan to provide tuition-free education at public colleges funded by a small tax on Wall Street transactions.

Citizens United

Since the 2010 Supreme Court ruling allowing unlimited political contributions by corporations and unions saw the rise of the Super PAC in electoral campaigns, Americans are shockingly united in their opposition to such obscene levels of money in politics. The overwhelming majority of Americans, including Republicans, support limits on campaign contributions.

Sanders is the only candidate to have completely sworn off all Super PAC funds, although a couple of independent political action committees have formed in support of his candidacy.

But Sanders has objected to their existence, saying, “A major problem of our campaign finance system is that anybody can start a super PAC on behalf of anybody and can say anything. And this is what makes our current campaign finance situation totally absurd.”

Obamacare

The Supreme Court may have upheld the Affordable Care Act twice, but the political battle over the health care law promises to rage on five years after its passage. With health care costs rising only marginally more slowly than they before the law’s passage and a continuation of premium increases, even Democrats who support the law have called for marked improvements as millions of Americans are left uninsured because Republican lawmakers refuse to expand Medicaid.

Sanders has promised to return the debate to early 2007, when during the Democratic presidential primary the public option was on the table. Sanders has long called for a “Medicare-for-all” single-payer health care plan similar to what was tossed aside as too radical shortly after the talks began on health care reform once Obama took office.