September 28

Sanders: Trump Tax Plan ‘Morally Repugnant’ Promising big tax cuts and a booming economy, President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans unveiled the their plan to revamp the tax code Wednesday. Sen. Bernie Sanders argued that the plan would exacerbate income inequality, singling out its proposal to repeal the estate tax, noting that the top 10 percent of earners pay 90 percent of estate taxes. "At a time of massive wealth and income inequality, Trump's tax plan is morally repugnant and bad economic policy," Sanders said in a statement, The Associated Press, The Hill, WCAX-TV and Business Insider reported.

Ellison Defends Sanders  Rep. Keith Ellison extolled Sanders as an “awesome” health care advocate in an interview on Wednesday, dismissing those who questioned the timing of Sanders’ rollout of single-payer legislation. “We create the time, by pushing the issue. The issue becomes ripe because we push it,” Ellison said, The Huffington Post reported.

Republicans Concede Defeat on Health Care Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the partisan debate over the country’s health care system will “certainly continue.” McConnell called that proposal a “stark contrast” to a plan by Sanders. McConnell says Sanders’ plan would “rip” health insurance from people. He called the issue an important debate and said, “It’s one that we’ll certainly continue.” The Associated Press reported.

What’s Next for Single Payer While Democrats are celebrating the defeat of the GOP legislation, they have also provided Republicans fodder for a new line of attack. A bill that Sanders introduced this month would create a single-payer health system and was hailed by some Democrats. Republicans say they expect to use it to divert attention from their own legislative struggles, The Wall Street Journal and Politico reported.

Foreign Policy Speech Sanders’s recent foreign policy speech, notably in its strong defense of the Iran nuclear deal, was a careful attempt to claim Obama’s legacy by arguing for a liberal internationalist approach of alliance-building to solving the world’s problems. The central theme of the speech was the need to re-conceptualize foreign policy not just as a matter of military policy, New Republic and Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported

Alabama Senate Election The progressive energy around Doug Jones, Democratic nominee for Senate in Alabama, is left over from the spring, when activists attacked Democratic campaign groups for helping special election candidates in Kansas and Montana only after Republican PACs had poured in money to attack them. “I believe the Democrats should compete in every state in this country,” said Sanders, the only national figure who’d stumped for the party’s nominee in those states, The Washington Post reported.

Arcade Fire Singer Supports Universal Health Care In light of Sanders’ recently introduced “Medicare for All” bill, Arcade Fire’s Win Butler sat down with Sen. Sanders’ Media Producer Armand Aviram to discuss the differences between the Canadian and American health care system. As an American citizen who relocated to Montréal about 15 years ago, Butler discussed his own personal medical experiences with both systems, Pitchfork and SPIN reported.

Spider Named for Sanders  Scientists bestowed an honor to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former first lady Michelle Obama and former President Barack Obama. Researchers and students at the University of Vermont named 15 new species of smiley-faced spiders and drew inspiration from the Obamas, Sanders, actor Leonardo DiCaprio, British naturalist David Attenborough and late singer David Bowie, Fox News, International Business Times, WCAX-TV and CNET reported.

UK Labour Party Conference Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, told supporters on Wednesday that their brand of left-wing politics had brought them to “the threshold of power.” In some respects a British version of Sanders, Corbyn has championed an agenda that includes nationalizing utilities, abolishing university tuition fees and increasing taxes for the wealthy and for corporations, The New York Times reported.

Russian Facebook Ads  At least one of the Facebook ads that were purchased by a Kremlin-linked troll factory during the 2016 campaign promoted the Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Politico reported Tuesday, while others boosted Sanders’ campaign even after he dropped out of the race, Talking Points Memo, MSNBC, Politico and The Washington Post reported.

Column: Medicare for All Could Spur Change in Canada “Sanders made a splash last week when he introduced the Medicare for All bill in the United States Senate, flanked by 16 other Democratic senators who all pledged their support for the implementation of single-payer healthcare in the United States…. Despite Sanders’s financing proposals, without those details, they say, Medicare for All remains a pipe dream. But the proposal itself would deliver a national health insurance program for the 21st century,” Danielle Martin and Andrew Boozary wrote for Maclean’s.

Column: Our Families Deserve Medicare for All “Fortunately, there is light emerging from darkness…. Sanders has introduced legislation that would enact a Medicare For All or ‘single payer’ system in the U.S. All current health care financing -- taxes, premiums, copayments and deductibles -- would be placed into a single fund and pay for all medically necessary services. The vast majority of Americans would receive comprehensive medical coverage and pay less than they currently do,” Peter Mahr wrote for OregonLive.

Column: Democrats Need Plan for Trump ”For Democrats in particular, it’s critical that they set forth mainstream policies that do not leave them open to the counterattack that they are still tax and spend liberals, proponents of “open borders” or advocates of socialized medicine…  Sanders might be pushing single-payer health care but that’s not a position the majority of Democrats will embrace in 2018),” Jennifer Rubin wrote for The Washington Post.

Column: Sanders Thinks War is Overrated ”Though not, alas, a pacifist, Sanders has at last revealed himself to be an American leader articulating a new and largely peaceable foreign policy. And, given our current president’s bombastic bellicosity, Sanders’ speaking his peace comes not a moment too soon,” John Kaufman wrote for Common Dreams.

Column: Sanders’ Foreign Policy Isn’t Enough “Sanders, however, outlined a foreign policy lacking any mention of the resurgent geopolitical rivalries set to define the coming decades, raising serious questions as to whether his foreign policy vision can sustain the rules-based international order that the United States has built and defended, and which Sanders himself praises,” Will Moreland wrote for Brookings.

Column: Sanders Not A Democrat ”Supporters of Sanders have a decision to make. Do they want four more years of Republican majorities, or do they want to be part of implementing policies aimed at helping the poor and working poor? In this political climate, it’s a binary choice. Either supporters of Sanders help to elect Democrats who can beat Donald Trump or they contribute to his re-election,” Michael Hopkins wrote for The Hill. 

Column: The Trouble with Bernie “While he may have some good ideas, he hasn’t a clue on how to go about making them reality — either politically or economically. At what point will the media start looking at Bernie Sanders with a critical (and by that I mean analytical) eye?” Jennifer Rand wrote for The Huffington Post.

Letter: Bernie’s Socialism? Expand Medicare Instead ”Bernie’s ‘socialism’ is nothing new nor original. Why not just build off current Medicare? Modify it so that what are now copayments and costs to third parties, etc., become legs of a new Medicare, with all payments to the government with a multiyear phase-in as proposed,” Jerry Nachison wrote to the The Wall Street Journal.