Tag: Bernie Sanders
On the eve of the Iowa caucuses (4 days away), here are 20 little-known facts about Bernie Sanders, courtesy of Bloomberg Businessweek, which ran Bernie’s picture on its latest cover with the logo: “Bernie Sanders Doesn’t Want Your Vote” (going on to explain that many of its readers are hedge-fund managers).
- Sanders became a national political figure by giving a speech on Dec. 20, 2010 that lasted 8 and 1/2 hours. The speech railed against extending Bush tax cuts and seemed like a filibuster, but it wasn’t. It was so popular that it was later made into a book.
2) Sanders does not enjoy selfies.”If I had my options, I’d prefer to shake hands,” says Bernie.
3) Bernie grew up with an immigrant father in a tenement with 3 and 1/2 rooms.
4) Bernie has attracted crowds larger than Trump’s: 28,000 in Portland, Oregon; 27,500 in Los Angeles; 20,000 in Boston; 15,000 in Seattle.
5) Sanders has a son named Levi, who is a paralegal at Greater Boston Legal Services.
6) When asked to describe the U.S. to a Martian he used the phrase “wealth and income inequality.”
7) Sanders’ former Chief of Staff says he had 2 interests when Mayor of Burlington: basketball and wealth inequality.
8) Sanders has the highest constituent approval rating and lowest disapproval rating among U.S. Senators.
9) Sanders is a graduate of the University of Chicago and once was arrested during a civil rights demonstration (he was a member of SNCC, the Student Non Violent Coordinating Committee, among others.)
10) Sanders spent most of 1972-1976 running in Vermont as a third-party candidate for governor (2x), for senator (2x) and once got 4% of the vote.
11) Sanders won a weird race for Mayor of Burlington, Vermont (four-way race) by 10 votes, becoming their mayor for 8 years, a period during which the city boomed.
12) Bernie ran for Congress twice becoming the first Independent elected to the House in 40 years.
13) Bernie spent 16 years in the House before running for the Senate in 2006, with the backing of the Democratic Party, which he officially would not join.
14) Bernie has 3 labor unions backing him, representing about a million workers. (*Clinton has about 18 unions representing 11 million workers supporting her.)
15) In the 1960’s, he lived on a kibbutz in Israel for a few years before moving to Vermont. When he arrived in Vermont, he first lived in a maple sugar shack and cooked food over a coffee can filled with a roll of toilet paper soaked in lighter fluid, a poor man’s Sterno which his friends called a “Berno.”
16) His brother, Larry, who first got him interested in liberal issues, is a Green Party politician in England. (*Donald Trump’s father-in-law and mother-in-law are both members of the Communist Party in their native land.)
17) Until 2015, Bernie had 5 digits’ worth of credit card debt.
18) When he ran for President of James Madison High School in Brooklyn in a 3-way race, he came in last. (*His elementary school basketball team won a city-wide championship, however.)
19) There is a Bernie Sanders Drinking Game where, every time he mentions a free government program, you take a drink of someone else’s beer.
20) Invited to speak to a United Way fundraiser once, he attacked the group in a short speech, telling them that they shouldn’t exist; that taking workers’ pay to do the government’s job was shameful.
21) At Bernie’s rallies, Steve Earle’s “The Revolution Starts Now” and Bob Marley’s “Revolution” play, but not the Beatles’ famous song because it ends with the line: “Don’t you know it’s going to be all right.”
22) Bernie ascribes to this FDR quote: “We know now that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob. Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hatred of me—and I welcome their hatred.”
23) Robert Reich (economist and Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton) says, “Essentially, America faces a choice between authoritarian populism, represented by Donald Trump, and reform populism, represented by Bernie Sanders.”
24) In college, Bernie also belonged to the Young People’s Socialist League, CORE (the Congress for Racial Equality), SNCC and the Student Peace Union.
25) Bernie’s message is that of Martin Luther King, which King termed “the urgency of now”: “If you see stuff that’s bad and you don’t respond with the urgency of the moment, you’re not alive.”
Democratic candidate for president Bernie Sanders, an acknowledged Socialist, visited Scott County Park for the Democratic Party’s picnic in the park on Sunday, August 16, 2015.
A 47-year resident of the Quad Cities, I had trouble finding the Whispering Pines Shelter at 18850 270th Street in Eldridge, and Lord only knows what Bernie must have thought as he was being escorted to the venue in a black van (Bernie was at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines yesterday). It is quite literally out in the middle of nowhere.
I was told by the state trooper directing traffic into the park that there would be nowhere to park my car, so I parked 3 miles away (see photo below), the very first empty spot I saw, which turned out to be a very bad idea. There were parking spots right next to the Whispering Pines shelter. (Isn’t Whispering Pines the name of the town in that spooky TV series? No?) Therefore, I hiked 3 miles to the lodge (or whatever you call it) in 94-degree heat, and, along the way, was chastised by some young girl sitting on a chair in an orange vest under an umbrella, who told me to walk in the grass (easily 4 feet high) next to the blacktopped road “for safety”. [I cannot print here on a wholesome blog what I told her in response.] I did put my thumb out to try to snag a ride with a stranger and a guy with a dog stopped. (The dog was seated on the front seat, where I would have had to sit). I wish I could tell a fun and warm and fuzzy story about how he gave me a ride to the front, 3 miles away, but that didn’t happen. All the other cars that went by were full. (And so it goes.) On the “good news” front, I did get a ride BACK to my small Prius on a yellow school bus, and I was probably the last person to get such a ride as the last bus for Eldridge was leaving at 3:30 p.m. and I was on it. [Just me, one guy who was parked in the opposite direction, and the driver].
My main goal was to score a good picture of Bernie and to take the temperature of the crowd. I visited a Bush (Jeb) rally on Thursday (temperature: tepid), so now it was Bernie’s turn. Rumors from places out East (Bernie is a Senator for Vermont) are that 28,000 people have shown up for his rallies. I can quote Thom Harte, who was in charge of the arrangements for the picnic, (and is often in charge of Democratic politics in the area), that Bernie had nearly 1,000 confirmed attendees. We both feel there were more people inside the shelter in the 94 degree heat who perhaps did not venture out of it to hear Bernie’s speech, which received many roars of approval that could be heard 3 miles away. (Poor Bernie: it was hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk; trust me on the 3 miles away comment. I know what I’m talking about there.)
As for me, I’ll read about Bernie’s talking points later. I was there to see if he was really drawing big crowds of enthusiastic supporters. I could hear the crowd roaring its approval from the 3 mile hike I was taking to get my picture of Bernie and considered (briefly) cutting through a very overgrown field that would have taken at least 2 miles off my trek, but also would have given me poison ivy. I also met a candidate who wants to run against Republican Senator Charles “Chuck” Grassley, (hopefully to unseat the old poop.) I’ll write about him later.
I talked to Judith Schwartzbacker from Minnesota (South Powderhorn neighborhood) who held an event for Bernie on July 29th (one of 3,300) and so many people showed up that it had to be moved to a nearby church. (Walker Community Church)
I talked to Clari Lagerstam of Beloit, Wisconsin, who had come in on a bus with others and said, “We have to do something. We CANNOT have Scott Walker get in. He has ruined our state.”I spoke with Arlys Mills of Machesney Park, Illinois (near Rockford) who had also come a long way on a bus to hear Bernie.
Verdict for today: Bernie has some die-hard supporters who are more enthused about his candidacy than they are about Hillary Clinton’s. Temperature: hot. Very hot. Too damn hot for a 3-mile hike through overgrown weeds.