Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Cars, Jobs, Kentucky


Today Bernie did incredibly well in Kentucky but just couldn't penetrate the low-info precincts in Louisville and Lexington... not even with all the support he had from low-info precincts in coal country. Hillary, with all her gigantic "advantages," managed to scrape by with the narrowest 212,549 (46.8%) to 210,626 (46.3%) plurality. Bernie's strongest returns came from historic Harlan county in the extreme east of the state where he beat her 62.8% to 25.9%. Both candidates have been awarded 25 delegates each so far, with 5 remaining to be determined. And then the Oregon results came in... and Bernie took the lead with the first ballots counted and never lost it. A.P. called the race with just 60% of the vote counted and Bernie ahead 219,459 (53.0%) to 194,359 (47.0%) for the establishment candidate who stands for the status quo. (His lead has grown as more ballots were counted.)

After her big win-- fraught with the typical boss-ridden voting "irregularities"-- in New York, Hillary had declared the primaries over and said she wouldn't be competing with Bernie any longer, just campaigning against Trump. A couple of thumpings in Indiana and West Virginia cured her of that and she was all over Kentucky, a closed primary state that doesn't allow independents to vote. The main thrust of her campaign in Kentucky was to malign Bernie with a discredited lie she tried out-- and failed with-- in Michigan, namely that he had opposed the auto bailout.

Her technique, perhaps not as blatant as Trump's, was to simply mislead voters. Bernie voted for the auto bailout-- and she knows it. When it was shoved into the TARP Wall Street bankster bailout for her campaign financiers he voted no, while she, of course voted yes with great enthusiasm, which partially explains why so many independents and progressives will never vote for her to be president. TARP was to bail out the banksters and everyone knows it. She lost in Michigan because she was unable to deceive Democratic voters there. Maybe she thought Kentucky Democrats are dumber.

Her claim, PolitiFact, explained "leaves listeners with the impression that Sanders’ opposed bailing out the auto industry. But he voted in favor of providing auto companies with $14 billion, which was separate from the Wall Street bailout funds he opposed."

Yesterday one of Bernie's campaign spokespersons suggested she stop trying to distort the truth about his support for legislation to help carmakers and auto workers. Bernie, he said, voted for a $14 billion aid package which passed the House of Representatives on Dec. 10, 2008. When that bill ran into a Senate Republican roadblock, the White House turned to a separate Wall Street bailout fund for loans to the auto industry. "It is absolutely untrue to say that Sen. Sanders voted against helping the automobile industry and auto workers. Secretary Clinton first made this false claim before the Michigan primary. She now is recycling the erroneous charge in Kentucky. Once again, Secretary Clinton is simply not telling the truth... It is true that Sen. Sanders voted against bailing out the crooks on Wall Street whose illegal behavior and greed brought this economy into the worst downturn since the 1930s," the statement concludes.
Clinton and Sanders were both in the Senate at the time, and contrary to what Clinton implied Sunday, both supported the idea of an auto bailout.

Sanders argued that letting the auto industry go under was too big of a risk for middle-class workers-- it could lower wages across all sectors of the economy and have a ripple effect on states like Vermont that were fairly far removed from the auto industry. He was quoted by Vermont Public Radio at the time as saying:
The problem is if you don't act in the midst of a growing recession, what does it mean to create a situation where millions of more people become unemployed? And that could spread, and I have serious concerns about that. I think it would be a terrible idea to add millions more to the unemployment rolls.
But Sanders was vehemently against the larger $700 billion bailout to prop up the banks. (As evidenced by his presidential campaign, Sanders is no fan of Wall Street.) So he voted against the bank bailout.

The bank bailout was so big it had to be doled out in portions. In January 2009, Senate Republicans tried to block the Treasury Department from releasing the second half of the money, some of which was designated for the auto industry. Sanders, based on his opposition to the Wall Street bailout, voted against releasing that money as well.
Please consider helping Bernie win this thing, especially as crucial primaries in New Jersey and California come closer:
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