September 29

Sanders’ Relative Died Defying Nazis In the upcoming season premiere of the PBS series “Finding Your Roots,” Bernie Sanders does more than look at a printout of his family tree: He gets emotional when he discovers a relative died while standing up to the Nazis during World War II, Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Forward reported. 

Sanders Meets With Palestinian Activist Sanders met on Wednesday with Issa Amro, a leading Palestinian activist from the West Bank, who is facing trial in Israel and was also recently arrested by the Palestinian Authority for criticizing its leadership, Haaretzand Middle East Monitor reported.

Sanders Opened Foreign Policy Debate Sanders speech indeed opened a new debate and offered the first steps towards a fundamentally different policy, but it also leaves many questions unanswered. It elevated some new challenges to Democratic Party thinking, though not always with policies to match, The Nation reported.

Most Americans Desperate for Third Party More Americans than ever—61 percent—say the Democratic and Republican parties are inadequate and the U.S. should have a third major political party, a new poll from Gallup shows. It’s not shocking Sanders, an independent, is the most popular politician in the U.S. But Sanders has rejected calls to form a third party in recent months, saying his best avenue to have a real impact is via the current structure and the Democratic Party, Newsweek reported.  

Julia Louis-Dreyfus Argues for Universal Health Care Actress and comedian Julia Louis-Dreyfus made an unexpected entrance into America's health-care debate Thursday, announcing that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and urging her supporters to "make universal health care a reality." Democrats in the Senate are increasingly rallying behind universal health care. A third of the Senate Democratic caucus has signed onto a bill proposed by Sanders, that would institute a nationwide "Medicare-for-all" system, Sanders said this month, CNBC reported. 

Berniecrats Have Obama Problem The ideological vanguard of the Sanders movement emerged from the 2016 election overflowing with dialectical certainty. Hillary Clinton’s narrow win in the primary was the last gasp of a dying neoliberal order, the overthrow of which is now preordained. This confidence comes through in a short column by Alex Pareene, which asserts that my brand of liberalism is irreversibly dying, New York Magazine reported.

Sanders Traveling to Atlanta Sanders is headed to Atlanta this week to back former State Sen. Vincent Fort in the race to become the city’s next mayor, Atlanta Black Star reported.

Bernie Backers Give Dems a 2018 Pass “There’s some reluctance to put a lot of time into [unseating Democrats], versus [building] a more progressive Congress overall,” said former Communications Workers of America union president Larry Cohen, a top Bernie Sanders advisor who now chairs the board of the Our Revolution political group that was spawned from the senator’s 2016 presidential campaign. “There’s going to be a lot more activity where it’s possible to change the makeup of the Congress,” Politico reported.

CNN to Host Pelosi Town Hall CNN announced a second town hall event featuring House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). The event will provide a public forum for voters to question Pelosi. Previous 2017 CNN town halls have included Pelosi, Sanders, House Speaker Paul Ryan,, a Democratic leadership debate and a debate between Sanders and Sen. Ted Cruz, former Vice President Al Gore, and others, The Hill reported. 

Clinton’s Interview with Joan Walsh Joan Walsh pressed Clinton on her book’s admission that she learned from Sanders’s primary challenge that Democrats had to offer “lofty goals that people can organize around and dream about [and] redouble our efforts to develop bold, creative ideas that offer broad based benefits for the whole country,” The Nation reported.  

Californians Divided on Single-Payer Californians are divided on whether to substantially increase government involvement through a single-payer system, such as the "Medicare for All" proposal recently introduced by Sanders. A national single-payer insurance program such as "Medicare for All" gets support from 35% of Californians, according to the poll. Support is higher among Democrats — 44% — and independents — 34% — than among Republicans. Only 6% of Republicans back such a system, Los Angeles Timesreported.

California Makes Trump Re-Election Difficult The state's Democratic-controlled legislature wrapped up its 2017 session this month by sending three bills to the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown (D) that could significantly influence Trump's reelection chances, how closely he guards his tax returns and his ability to deliver on one of his central campaign promises — to deport more immigrants who are in the country illegally. California has tried to move up its primary for two decades, but other states have just jumped ahead. In 2011, the state basically gave up and Brown signed a bill moving it back to June. But in 2016, the state's Democratic voters didn't even get a say in who won their party's nomination. Hillary Clinton found out she had clinched the nomination over Sanders hours before California voters were about to cast ballots, The Washington Post reported. 

Column: GOP Has Lost Its Mind Distressed Republicans and ex-Republicans have three options — recruit new non-Trumpkins to the GOP (but which Americans would want to join?!) to out-vote Trump’s base; start a new center-right party (with an invitation out to moderate Democrats); or set up shop across the aisle as the new Blue Dog Democrats. Much depends on the direction the Democrats take (will it be the party of Sanders or the party of Truman/JFK/Bill Clinton — policy-wise, that is), The Washington Post reported.

Column: American Democracy Descends Into Hysteria “During last year’s campaign, I described Bernie Sanders as the “high road” to fundamental change, while Donald Trump owned the “low road.” It may take several election cycles to determine which road the country embraces—if it doesn’t choose a path very different from either,” William Greider wrote for The Nation

Column: Dems Can Get a Clue On Foreign Policy “There are signs that some in the party at least are beginning to get a clue. In a major speech at Westminster College, Bernie Sanders outlined a vision of foreign policy that would address the failures of recent history while providing a path for America to use its power honorably,” Ryan Cooper wrote for The Week

Column: Medicare For All Is a Bad Idea “Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont, can't stop talking about Medicare For All which he says will finally solve all of America's health insurance problems. In fact, creating a national single-payer plan is a truly terrible idea that will likely bankrupt the country, drive down the rate of health-care innovation, AND not really improve health outcomes,” Nick Gillespie wrote for Reason

Column: Sanders Takes Foreign Policy Seriously “Sanders stresses the virtues of multilateral action at the United Nations and people-to-people diplomacy. He makes it clear that a progressive foreign policy requires promoting progressive values at home as well as broad. When he says, “We must rethink the old Washington mind-set that judges ‘seriousness’ according to the willingness to use force,” I can imagine Sen. Rand Paul devotees nodding along in sympathy,” The Washington Post reported.

Column: Sanders’ Medicare Bad Idea “Of course, precisely because of deadweight losses, it is lunacy for us to be bankrolling Medicare expenses for people such as Warren Buffett and his wife,” Chris Conover wrote for Fortune.

Column: Morality Can Still Win “Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders and Podemos in Spain have shown that a bold and decent strategy can be a successful one. That truth should embolden the left,” Naomi Klein wrote for The Guardian.