Bernie Sanders

The Blue Wall turns into a Red lake


The map above shows the likely end result of the Electoral College.

It clearly shows the damage that Donald Trump has done to the Democrats. The much vaunted ‘Blue Wall’ has been destroyed and inundated by a Red Lake.

Where the damage occurs is in a couple of years time when in 2018?next Senate election is held. They will have to defend 25 seats to eight for the Republicans. If Trump starts delivering before then the Republican could end up with a super-majority in the Senate. at the very least the Republicans likely to control the Senate until at least 2020 and the House also. ? Read more »

US politics offer unique new strategy our Labour party is capable of implementing


Just when you thought life couldn’t get any stranger…

Bernie Sanders endorsement of Hillary Clinton on Tuesday isn?t stopping his supporters plans to hold a ?fart-in? at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) later this month.

The unusual political strategy will have Sanders delegates consuming a lot of beans before heading to Philadelphia later this month, according to US News and World Report.?Protest organizer Cheri Honkala, national coordinator for the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, has been stocking up on boxes of dry beans and canned beans.

The plan is for delegates to chow down, then let presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton smell what they think of her.? Read more »

New research shows claims about student debt over blown

Testing policy options with actual evidence is a novel idea and is generally absent from the often inane, evidence-free suggestions we have to put up with in New Zealand.

All sorts of claims have been made by politicians regarding student in New Zealand, but the funny thing is none of their claims are new. They are just recycled attack points from overseas. The most recent claims are of course from Labour who have variously claimed that student debt affects home ownership and their new policy of free degrees is to help stop the “problems” of student debt.

I expect we would see echoes in New Zealand of the ?Evidence Speaks? findings from the US, which contradicts all of Labour’s claims.

1. Student loans aren?t pushing down homeownership rates
For several years, leading economic thinkers such as Larry Summers and Joseph Stiglitz have proposed that high levels of student debt are creating a drag on the housing market.

New Evidence Speaks research from Nonresident Senior Fellow Susan Dynarski challenges that assumption, finding that student debt isn?t the reason homeownership rates are dropping. Rather, the main division between the home ownership ?haves? and ?have-nots? is their education level?not their debt.

Dynarski finds that while those without a college degree are more likely to own a home at an earlier age than those who went to college and accrued debt, the college-educated catch up fast. By 27, those with a college degree overtake those without degrees in homeownership. By 35, the gap in homeownership between those with and without a college education is about 14 percent.

?The college-educated?even those with student debt?are winners in our economy,? Dynarski concludes.


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Sledge of the Day

John Key sledged out Andrew Little at the start of this budget speech.

Weapons grade sledging:

That was poor old Andrew Little, was it not, who has achieved only one thing in 2016, and that is to make David Cunliffe look popular and confident. That is it for 2016.

They do not call him ?Angry Andrew? for nothing. But not without good reason, because half of his caucus wants to leave and the other half of the caucus wants him to leave.

You cannot say that he does not have a vision, like all of the great left-wing leaders around the world. I mean, just take a look at it: Bernie Sanders wants to rid the world of poverty; Jeremy Corbyn wants to rid the world of conflict, and Andrew Little, he wants to rid the phonebook of Chinese-sounding surnames. He has got a vision for all of those Chinese and Indian chefs. He wants them to be called Bruce or Trevor?that is his idea of a Chinese chef.

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Warren snaps back at Trump

The election in the US is going to be awesome.

Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked Elizabeth Warren with some pretty awesome sledging including calling her Pocahontas.

Now Warren has retaliated and it is pretty brutal.

Elizabeth Warren is taking her war with Donald Trump to a new level, and it goes well beyond her usual 140-character Twitter attacks on the likely GOP presidential nominee.

The Massachusetts senator on Tuesday night dedicated a speech to rallying opposition against Trump ? calling him a “small, insecure moneygrubber” who she said is “kissing the fannies of poor, misunderstood Wall Street bankers.”

“He inherited a fortune from his father, and kept it going by scamming people, declaring bankruptcy and skipping out on what he owed,” Warren said in prepared remarks, calling into question Trump’s bona fides as a populist champion.

The assaults on Trump are becoming Warren’s signature contribution to the Democratic Party’s attempt to retake the White House. The speech was the second time Tuesday that she stepped into the national political fray, a sign that she’s becoming increasingly vocal in the presidential race, positioning herself as a power player for the progressive left. Warren is expected to play a big role in uniting the party after the presidential primary.

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The importance of Sanders supporters in helping Trump

Nate Silver?looks at the importance of supporters of Bernie Sanders in helping get Trump across the line against Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump has gained on Hillary Clinton in recent national polls after becoming the presumptive GOP nominee this month. But Trump may also be helped by the ongoing primary battle between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Although Clinton?s substantial lead in pledged delegates (and larger lead in overall delegates) makes her the all-but-certain Democratic nominee, her lack of support from Sanders voters is harming her general election numbers.

According to the most recent YouGov poll, 61 percent of Sanders voters have an unfavorable view of Clinton, against just 38 percent with a favorable one. YouGov has been tracking these numbers for several months,1 and they?ve gradually gotten worse for Clinton:


The good news for Clinton is that she has the opportunity to gain ground among Sanders voters if and when she officially wraps up the nomination, just as Trump did among Republicans. Although many Sanders supporters will start the general election campaign with a negative view of Clinton, they aren?t necessarily eager to vote for Trump. In the YouGov poll, just 55 percent of Sanders supporters said they?d vote for Clinton over Trump in November. However, only 15 percent said they?d vote for Trump. That leaves 30 percent of Sanders voters who say they are undecided, would vote for a third-party candidate or would sit out the election.

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Is socialism a giant ponzi scheme?

Could it be that socialism is a fraud, a giant ponzi scheme that benefits those at the top?

Glen Reynolds seems to think so:

It is a common misconception that socialism is about helping poor people.?Actually, what socialism does is create poor people, and keep them poor. And that?s not by accident.

It is by design and deliberate. Keep people poor so they are grateful for the state “helping them” while those at the top help themselves.

Under capitalism, rich people become powerful.?But under socialism, powerful people become rich. When you look at a socialist country like Venezuela, you find that the rulers are fabulously wealthy even as the ordinary citizenry deals with empty supermarket shelves and?electricity rationing.

The daughter of Venezuela?s socialist ruler, Hugo Chavez, is the?richest individual in Venezuela,?worth billions of dollars, according to the Miami-based Diario Las Am?rica.?In Cuba, Fidel Castro reportedly has lived ? pretty much literally ? like a king, even as his subjects dwelt in poverty.?In the old Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, as Hedrick Smith reported in his?The Russians,?the Communist Party big shots had lavish country houses and apartments in town stocked with hand-polished fresh fruit, even as the common people stood in line for hours at state-run stores in the hopes of getting staples.

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You’ll never guess why Hillary Clinton lost West Virginia when she won it in 2008

Hillary Clinton got spanked in West Virginia by Bernie Sanders. but you will never guess why she lost the state she won in 2008.

West Virginia is one of the most conservative states in the country ? so why did its voters support Bernie Sanders, who routinely ranks among the most liberal senators, by a margin of 51 to 36?

The answer has a lot to do with the uniqueness of West Virginia’s political landscape.

After his victory, Sanders said he won West Virginia on the strength of his “anti-establishment” political revolution. Under his interpretation, Sanders’s outsider insurgency has allowed him to scramble the traditional left-right divide and secure the white working class.

Others think this misses a big part of the story. According to the political scientists I interviewed, Sanders may be winning states like West Virginia largely because he’s become an all-purpose vessel for conservative Democrats who think the party has moved too far to their left under Barack Obama.

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Can Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton?

Well, the pundits say no, or have said no up until recently.

They all thought he would get spanked by the GOP machine but it turns out it was Trump dishing out the?spankings.

Now the pundits are having to recast their thinking. They are starting to realise that all head-to-head polling to date hasn’t accounted for Donald Trump attacking Hillary Clinton directly. He will start doing that soon…he’s already got a nickname for her ‘Crooked Hillary’.

How would Donald Trump fare in a general election against Hillary Clinton? The conventional wisdom is that he wouldn’t stand a chance. The GOP is divided. His campaign, despite a recent spate of landslide primary wins, appears to have its own civil war going on. His favorability numbers are at historic lows for a nominee.

The case against Trump’s electability is strong. But it is also perhaps overstated. The Manhattan billionaire does have a narrow path to the White House. In fact, he may be the GOP’s most electable option at this point, at least among the candidates who are actually still running for the job.

John Kasich argues he’s the only guy who can beat Clinton, an idea mostly predicated on his performance in head-to-head election polls. But head-to-head polls this far out, historically speaking, are not all that predictive, and Kasich has struggled to turn his on-paper attractiveness into actual votes at the ballot box.

Ted Cruz, meanwhile, would likely be the most right-wing nominee since Barry Goldwater. His act appears to have worn thin among even the Republican grassroots, his natural constituency. Cruz might somehow still manage to pull the nomination away from Trump, but there’s approximately zero reason to believe he can win over the swing voters who typically decide presidential contests.

So back to Trump, who still has a few things going for him. His general election strategy, such as it is, seems to be predicated on two strategies: pivot left as far as possible and launch a scorched earth campaign against Clinton.

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At least it is voters, not politicians like here

The good thing about elections is that it reveals the real motives of the politicians and also their supporters.

One key area is economic literacy, and it seems that few people actually understand the basics.

Education: Everybody talks about how the presidential primaries have uncovered intense voter anger at the political establishment. It?s actually revealed something more troubling: The widespread ignorance of basic economic truths that spans across the political spectrum.

Has there ever been a bigger disconnect between economic reality and public perception?

Polls taken during the primary season have found Democrats embracing socialism, Republicans rejecting trade, and majorities in both parties saying Wall Street is hurting the economy. That?s despite the general consensus among mainstream economists that none of these things is true.

Take Democrats? views on socialism. An American Action Network poll finds that 40% of Democrats say socialism is the best form of government, while another 10% say both. In other words, half of Democratic voters are perfectly comfortable with the idea of the government owning and/or controlling the private sector. More than half of Democrats (57%) say that socialism has a positive impact on society.

A separate New York Times/CBS poll found the same thing: half of Democrats have a positive few of socialism; just 34% have a negative view.

Overall, the NYT poll found that a third of the public has a positive view of socialism, while just over half has a negative view.

All this despite the unbroken string of failures with socialist states, the latest of which are all happening right in the nation?s backyard, where socialist policies have produced massive deprivation and chronic shortages. Just this week, Venezuela ordered a two-day workweek to save on electricity.

Denmark, which socialist Bernie Sanders says is a model socialist state, rejects the label, insisting that it?s a market economy.

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