CNN Town Hall in Nevada; Sanders, Buttigieg, Klobuchar

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  1. GA Anderson profile image92
    GA Andersonposted 6 weeks ago

    Tuesday night CNN Town Hall in Nevada

    Klobuchar hasn't had a turn yet, but . . . my impression.

    Sanders; free, free, free, invest, (money), invest, (money), invest, (money)

    The very picture of a politician. Every question was turned into a campaign plank ad—without specifically answering the question.

    Buttigieg: Damn! I don't know how I could be more impressed.

    His presentation is honest and personal. He is answering questions. Really answering them, not segueing to a campaign plank promotion. This guy is honestly answering the questions. No politician does that.

    I am not picking on anyone's preference, and it is a rhetorical question, but I don't see how anyone, seeing their appearances bookcased one after the other, could possibly choose Sanders over Buttigieg.

    I an anxiously optimistic about Klobuchar's appearance next.

    If you missed this town hall, I think you would really enjoy watching it, (at least the first two, Sanders/Buttigieg segments, on youtube.

    GA

    1. Eastward profile image94
      Eastwardposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

      So far CNN only has this clip of Sanders up https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EySxPIlZaM

      I'm with him 100% on everything said here.

      I'm eager to see what Pete has to say after your buildup though, GA. My impression of him to this point is that he has an ability to talk at length without ever getting to the core of an issue. It'll be interesting to see if he can convince me that he does have a genuine side and that the wine cave crowd won't be able to pull his strings despite their donations.

      1. Credence2 profile image80
        Credence2posted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

        A very astute observation, Eastward. I have to question that as well.

        1. Eastward profile image94
          Eastwardposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

          Thanks, Credence. Now we have the question of whether any of the candidates other than Bernie believe in the voter's choice (that the person with the most delegates should get the nomination). It sure didn't sound like it from their closing debate answers. I'm an unapologetic Bernie fan, but still expected better of the other candidates.

      2. GA Anderson profile image92
        GA Andersonposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

        You sound firm eastward. I think we have an interesting opportunity.

        From your link:

        The first question asked: "Would you take Bloomberg's offered money if Bloomberg did not get the nomi9nation?"

        Sanders used 3 minutes, (3:13-6;13 that is a lot of time), not answering the question. And when pressed by Anderson Cooper he still wouldn't answer.

        Next question: "What would you say to union members that have worked so hard to get their good health insurance, but would then have it stripped away by Universal healthcare?" Again, over 3 minutes of a non-answer. Granted, the gist of his plank ad was "too bad, so sad," which is an answer in itself, but he did not directly answer the question asked.

        In general, there may be progressive concepts in Sanders' platform that I could accept as desirable goals, but the scope of his policies are too radical and realistically unsupportable for me.

        As to your "wine cave crowd," have you looked into that accusation? Is there something else in what you know about Mayor Pete that leads you to support that thought? Your use of the term leads me to believe otherwise.

        But you may be right, I haven't looked into it, but that is probably because nothing I have seen of him would lead me to think that is a problem.

        GA

        1. Eastward profile image94
          Eastwardposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

          If you mean firm in my choice of Sanders over the other candidates, GA, that's a resounding yes.

          I'll give you that his answer about Bloomberg's money was not among his best. Although, he did state how he is raising money now (without billionaire support) and also that he "doesn't think we'll need that [Bloomberg's] money". Also consider the amount of DNC resistance Bernie has received from 2016 (perhaps before) until now. Saying outright that even if nominated, he won't accept big donor support would be another opportunity to crucify him.

          Here's a defining example of how Sanders handles billionaire money:
          https://www.forbes.com/sites/michelatin … 8f62f42493

          And a take on the DNC resistance to Bernie in 2016, unethical at best:
          https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/week … ie-sanders

          As for his policies being unrealistic, I'll have to disagree. He's only proposing that we join the ballpark of other industrialized nations. As he likes to point out, we are the only industrialized nation that doesn't offer citizens universal healthcare. And I agree with him that a four year transition in healthcare is already a compromise. After having worked a stretch in the insurance industry, I can't imagine how anyone would put faith in a healthcare system almost exclusively and aggressively driven by profit motives.

          The wine cave criticism is far from a conspiracy or wild, unfounded allegation:
          https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/20/pete-bu … aiser.html

          So, from my perspective, I'll at least back the guy returning billionaire checks while I can.

          1. GA Anderson profile image92
            GA Andersonposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

            Regarding your first link about accepting a billionaire's spouse's donation. That seems so uppity and disrespectful. To return a $470 donation because the donee was rich . . . do you really agree with that, or did I misread your intent in posting the link? Do you really think that returning that wife's $470 donation was an example of the 'idea' of returning billionaire's money?

            However, I do agree that your example was "defining," I just don't think it was a flattering definition.

            Regarding the wine cave comment, I did not mean to imply it was a conspiracy theory, but that it was an 'attack' talking point—something you read somewhere. If Buttigieg raised $19 million in the last reported quarter, (your link's figure), Warren and Sanders raised $25 million, (again, from your link), and his average donation is still $32, how many billionaire donors do you think he could have had? Do you think those numbers support the "wine cave" accusations?

            We are so far apart on our opinion of the reality of Sanders' Medicare-for-all plan that I don't see any possible profit from addressing it. You accept it as putting us "in the ballpark," and I see it as unrealistic pablum. If you want to be in the ballpark, (and I don't have a problem with that idea), then you should at least want a plan that might get you there. I don't see Sanders' plan as a possible vehicle. It sounds more like a 'magic carpet ride' to me.

            If you have to place your faith somewhere, shouldn't you place it somewhere that has a chance of succeeding? Do you think Sanders' plan has that chance?

            And even with that thought, I can still agree with you about the negatives of a profit-driven healthcare system. I think we have to work towards eliminating the middlemen—the insurance providers. But I don't think that can be done just by 'flipping a switch', even if it is a four-year switch.

            GA

            1. Eastward profile image94
              Eastwardposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

              I certainly don't expect to convince you to put your backing behind Sanders at this point, GA. Although, if I could narrow the gap enough to get you to consider him if he is the nominee, it's worth some effort.

              On the first link (billionaire check), I don't think it's uppity that he returned the check considering one of the core tenets of his primary campaign has been that it's a grassroots funded campaign by average working people. If the donation had been more in step with his average donation (around $18), it may have gone unnoticed.

              To me the wine cave story is much more than the amount of donations that Pete ended up with, but how he is approaching politics as a top-down  game played by billionaires and corporate interests. If you want to know more about his billionaire donors and the amounts they've contributed, Forbes provides that here:
              https://www.forbes.com/sites/michelatin … 59621a5fc6

              As far as paying for Medicare for all, a good point of reference is the Penn Wharton analysis:
              https://budgetmodel.wharton.upenn.edu/i … background

              I'd just add that I'm surprised how many people approach this idea as so unrealistic when the rest of the industrialized world has already figured it out (not to the point of perfecting it, but hey, I have faith that a little American ingenuity can lead to some positive tweaks).

              Glad we can agree on the negatives of profit-driven healthcare, even if we differ on how aggressively to approach the problem.

              Another note on Sanders that, at least for me, goes even much deeper than discussion of economics and policy comes down to a theme you have mentioned repeatedly, personal responsibility.

              I feel that there are certain American institutions that have gone way out of control and Bernie has a vision that can help rein these institutions in. It will be difficult, but I think we all need to take responsibility to get these things done.

              Every time a drone fires a missile into a country that is not attacking us and kills someone (far too often to help boost the stocks of defense contractors and transfer taxpayer money to private corporations), I am responsible. Any of us that are taxpayers are. I'm not OK with this though I admittedly should have put up more of fight (and still should).

              Every time a person is jailed for a petty crime (far too often to meet for-profit prison contract terms) or fired upon and killed (despite being unarmed) by a militarized police force with little accountability, I am responsible through my tax contributions.

              I've watched my country move much too far in normalizing these and other atrocities and I feel that I must do all I can to make a stand. I look to Bernie Sanders as a leader that stands the best chance of overcoming these evils. If my vote for him can be a small step towards atoning for my sins (don't necessarily mean this in a religious context), I'll gladly do so.

              1. GA Anderson profile image92
                GA Andersonposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

                I may be just 'picking on you' now Eastward, but your rationale concerning that donation possibly going unnoticed if it were $18 sounds thin. It sounds like a justification of appearance rather than principle.

                My problem is with Sanders' blanket demonization of rich people, (specifically billionaires—he can't be against millionaires because he is one).

                Your Buttigieg donors link was a good one. I did see one interesting thought. Concerning the 13 exclusive donors, the majority seems to be women, wives, and a transgender. My first thought is that indicates a purpose of support rather than buying influence and access. Hmm . . .

                Now, about your Medicare-for-all, (M4A), link. What the hell, are you trying to drown me? It would take my simple non-degreed head a least a couple of days to follow all the paths I would need to take to understand it.

                But I did give it a fair scan, and I didn't see any real-world specific discussions of cost. I did see their macro modeling that spoke to GDP percentages, and of their three financing options; premiums, (not part of Sanders plan), payroll tax, and deficit. The premium financing option was the only one that did not contract our nation's GDP through their 2060 timeframe.

                I know this may only be a guess, due to my lack of understanding, but the study seemed to confirm that deficit financing of M4A—which is Sanders' plan, at the moment, would harm our economy, (which is what a 3% - 16$ GDP contraction amounts to).

                I think a look at the current situation and future of the UK's NHS might offer validation of the study's resulting opinion. Everything I have looked into regarding their NHS is indicating it is a stone that is bowing the neck of the UK—relative to increased costs and national resource drain. But again, mine isn't really a highly educated evaluation.

                As for the rest of your comment regarding those "personal responsibility" issues, I would disagree that you, (or any taxpayer), are partially responsible. If your conscience demands you address responsibility for society's ills, then I think it should be attributed to the ballot box rather than the tax bill.

                Finally, I think your close amounts to the historical pendulum swings of our politics—from one extreme to the other. So if you want to "atone for your sins" I think to push for a moderate return swing is more sensible than giving the pendulum a massive push aimed at another extreme. We both know that it is the extremes that exacerbate, rather than mitigate, any problem.

                GA

                1. Eastward profile image94
                  Eastwardposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

                  You're welcome to pick away, GA. Haha. When we're talking about Sanders, I'm confident to stand on the foundation built with boulders over the past 40 years.

                  As for the returned donation from a billionaire, I think we've already over-complicated it. He said he wouldn't accept donations from billionaires and so, he didn't. That sums it up enough for me (and I think the result of sticking to that campaign promise has yielded results).

                  I would agree that all billionaires aren't the same and that we have to be careful about blanket criticisms of most groups (hate groups excluded). This is the primary though and the other candidates aren't afraid to indulge in hyperbole when it comes to attacking Sanders.

                  I do strongly agree with Sanders though that large, profitable corporations should be contributing more to society in terms of taxes and worker welfare. Raking in billions while pushing the social burden of overworked, underpaid, unhealthy employees on the taxpayers, while paying zero taxes as a corporation, is too far to the extreme for my tastes.

                  In a world where we seek a balance of power with China, I would argue that we also need to reconsider requiring companies to have more allegiance to the US as their home country. In China, companies serve the party first and foremost, their profit motives come second if they are not inexorably intertwined.

                  Perhaps I could ask you to elaborate on the Buttigieg supporters "purpose of support"? Don't want to misinterpret that statement.

                  It seems you have the gist of the Penn Wharton M4A study. They do predict a temporary contraction in the GDP, though with their premium financing model, would predict a 16% growth in GDP by 2060. I'm not sure how excited many of us here will get about that timeline for ourselves, but it could be more appealing to those with children/grandchildren. It may also factor into the vast different in support for Sanders that happens around the 50 years of age mark (he polls very high with those under 50 while numbers with those over 50 are modest).

                  If you buy the Trades Union Congress' research, investment in NHS is good for economic growth, while cuts have hurt the economy https://www.tuc.org.uk/blogs/more-fundi … od-economy

                  Of course you are welcome to disagree with me on personal responsibility for crimes against humanity perpetrated by the US government, though I can say with conviction that our peers in other nations aren't so quick to relinquish us. I've often been the sounding board for others' frustration with the United States and would very much welcome a shift in our international reputation. And yes, at least doing "something" does help ease my conscience.

                  I'm hoping that we can make some gains in all these areas at the ballot box, though it's extremely disturbing to see how the candidates answered the closing question of the last debate. My man Sanders was the only one who would offer a solid "Yes" when asked if the candidate with the most delegates should get the nomination. IMO if the DNC goes against the voters, it will damage the party irreparably.

                  I'd agree with you that there are historical swings. However, from my perspective, I've seen the pendulum swing away from the people and towards the power of the elites my whole life, and would like to see a time when that pendulum swings reasonably back.

                  1. GA Anderson profile image92
                    GA Andersonposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

                    You are right about over-complicating the Billionaire donor thing. He is sticking to principle. I just think it is a bad principle—to denigrate folks for their degree of success. (whether true or not, I recently read that about 70% of American Billionaires earned their billions, they didn't inherit them.

                    As for your complaint about corporate taxes; I don't think you should blame the corporations for following the rules, you should blame the rule-makers—those folks we voted into office. However, I am on board with your idea that corporations should adopt a more socially responsible business model, but my view is that should be a choice and not a mandate. I think that if it is a mandate then businesses will just incorporate those costs into their products and the consumer still ends up paying the tab.

                    I was really surprised to see you make that in China businesses must put party over profits' comment. Did you really intend to promote China's party-controlled business model of government as something the U.S. should emulate? Or, with no negativity or slur intended, as a Sanders philosophy supporter should I not be surprised you would hold such a thought?

                    You shouldn't condemn corporations for playing by the rules set for them Eastward, you should get those rules changed to ones you feel are more to your societal ideals.

                    History has shown us the fallacies of government-mandated price-controls, production mandates, (coerced geo-location), and tax-incentivized corporate behavior modifications. I would venture that all three of those actions would fit Bernie's idea of ideal corporate practices.

                    I had a bit of a typo in my previous comment when I spoke of the GDP percentages. I said a contraction of 3% - 16% when it should have been 3% - 15%. With the 3% contraction associated with payroll tax financing, and 15% contraction with deficit financing—which at this point is Sanders' "free" planned financing. So if he mixes the financing, such as tax increases and deficit financing, then the GDP contraction, (damage to our economy), would fall somewhere in that 3% - 15% range.

                    Your 16% number, the GDP increase, was only if the M4A was financed by premiums—which Sanders says is not in his plan. And, as I read the study, those 3% - 15% GDP contractions are not temporary, they are cumulative through the timeline to 2060. So those folks you speak of, the ones down the timeline of 2060 probably won't be very happy with an increasing GDP contraction as the years roll on.

                    "The choice of funding mechanism, however, is critical for macroeconomic performance. We project that financing M4A with a premium that is independent of a worker’s labor income would increase GDP by about 16 percent by 2060 through a combination of cost savings and productivity increases. In contrast, financing M4A with a new payroll tax that is proportional to a worker’s labor income would reduce GDP by roughly 3 percent, whereas deficit financing would reduce GDP by almost 15 percent by 2060."

                    In short, your link supports my contention that Sanders' plan is financially unrealistic.

                    Now, for your Trade Unions Congress link. Sure I would "buy it." It confirms my mentioned thoughts. just look at their headline:

                    More funding isn't just good for the NHS - it's good for the economy

                    More government funding must come from the private sector, aka increased taxes. That's just another way of saying the government should spend your money instead of you.

                    Then the entire article reinforces my point.

                    A mere 4% annual tax increase for the health system and a mere 4% for the social welfare system. That's each and every year, not a one-time of cumulative increase.

                    "This will require an estimated 4 per cent per year increase in NHS funding over the next 15 years, bringing the proportion of national income spend on our health service up to 9.9 per cent of GDP by 2033/34."

                    And then the equal amount for the social system:

                    "A similar level of funding growth is needed to meet the social care needs of a growing cohort of older people and disabled adults – and more will be necessary if we want to introduce cost caps, reform means-testing and increase access."

                    And on, and on . . .

                    Of course, Sanders would agree with that final question, even though it does not follow the DNC primaries rules, (rules he knew about and accepted), because he is most likely going to have the most delegates. That's convenient, isn't it? Do you suppose his answer would have been "yes" if he were in any other position?

                    Regarding that pendulum swing, were you alive during the 60s and 70s? The Civil Rights Act, LBJ's Great Society programs, Nixon's AFDC program, Alternative Minimum Tax creation, etc.

                    GA

  2. Randy Godwin profile image91
    Randy Godwinposted 6 weeks ago

    Amy impressed me, Gus. But then, she always has been impressive as a Senator.

    1. PrettyPanther profile image83
      PrettyPantherposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

      I would prefer Amy Klobchar over Mayor Pete.

      1. GA Anderson profile image92
        GA Andersonposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

        I would also choose Klobuchar over Buttigieg. Mayor Pete has several policies I don't agree with, but as a man and a candidate, I still put him at the top.

        GA

        1. PrettyPanther profile image83
          PrettyPantherposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

          Yes, I like him a lot and I believe he would be a good president, one who listens to knowledgeable people  and possesses good judgment. I also think he would be a unifier. If he gets the nomination,  I would support him. I would also support Klobuchar

          1. GA Anderson profile image92
            GA Andersonposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

            We share similar opinions. As much as I am impressed with Buuttigieg's presentation, I really believe his sincerity, but Klobuchar's experience and policies would get my vote.

            I am certainly willing to accept a progressive direction for our country, (such as Amy's), but I want a direction that is realistic and possible, not one that is just pablum for the masses, (Sanders).

            Given the scope and realistic unattainability of Sanders' proposals, I am truly puzzled that sensible folks are supporting him.

            I think it is one thing to support the type of changes he espouses, but quite another to swallow his proposals as realistic achievements.

            Everyone debates his Medicare-for-all policy, but an easier target would be his recent proposal to double teacher's minimum pay from $30k to $60k.

            I certainly agree that our educational system needs reform, but who is the audience for his promise to double teachers' pay?

            Without researching the specifics, it is my impression that the total of Sanders' freebies and changes are in the trillions of dollars. Where can any sensible person think that money will come from, other than massive middle-American tax increases and government control of our economy? The rich don't have enough money—even if it was all taken, to pay for Sanders' programs.

            Sanders's supporters are a real puzzle to me. I can understand the young life-uninformed voter buying his programs, but I just can't understand life-experienced taxpayers buying his spiel.

            Sure we want change, but geesh, a carnival barker would love to have the response Sanders is getting.

            GA

            1. PrettyPanther profile image83
              PrettyPantherposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

              To be honest, I don't. think most of his supporters could tell you the specifics of how he would pay for his proposals and I don't think they really care. Sort of like Trump and his wall. This is just my take, but I think it's more about how Bernie has fought for workers and health care his entire life and is authentic in his beliefs. He will not be able to enact all of his programs; Congress will not go for it. But people know he will fight for them and not allow Congress to further gut needed programs, and maybe make some legitimate gains for regular people.

              Just my take.

              1. GA Anderson profile image92
                GA Andersonposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

                Okay, I can understand your take. I just don't understand how sensible people can accept his policies as realistic.

                GA

                1. PrettyPanther profile image83
                  PrettyPantherposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

                  Lol, with Trump as president, there is much I don't understand about what sensible people will swallow. Is Bernie really any more "out there" than Trump?

                  1. GA Anderson profile image92
                    GA Andersonposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

                    Damn, I don't have a response to that. ;-)

                    GA

                2. Credence2 profile image80
                  Credence2posted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

                  I did not think that Trump was believable in his manner or policies for him to have won the the Presidency. The rightwingers were willing to ignore all the dead bodies in his wake as long as he adheres to their reactionary principles.

                  I will take my chances with Sanders or Warren that start with the correct prospective even though we all know that their challenge will be uphill against a troublesome GOP dominated congress, unless we can dispense with Mitch McConnell.

                  I am not a kid and I believe that my faculties are just fine and I have no qualms about supporting either Liz or Bernie.

                  1. Randy Godwin profile image91
                    Randy Godwinposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

                    Anyone but the traitor Trump!

                  2. GA Anderson profile image92
                    GA Andersonposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

                    I understand what you are saying Cred, but my resistance to Sanders is not the political challenges his policies will face, but the fiscal realities that they are completely unaffordable.

                    My perspective is that if you have two, (or three), progressive choices—all going in the desired direction, how can you justify supporting the one that is demonstrably unattainable?

                    Do you really believe our economy and social contract can afford; $25 trillion additional government healthcare expense, $1 trillion in student loan forgiveness, $.5 trillion in increased public college costs, etc. etc. (note: those were all 10-year costs)

                    Do you believe the average taxpayer—who will be footing these bills, (as Sanders admits), will be as okay with paying those costs as you are?

                    Those objections have nothing to do with "political challenges."

                    GA

    2. GA Anderson profile image92
      GA Andersonposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

      I liked Klobuchar too. I think she presented herself well. Her experience and policies would be the factors that get my vote over Buttigieg. But Buttigieg was still as impressive as hell in his town hall performance.

      GA

  3. Randy Godwin profile image91
    Randy Godwinposted 6 weeks ago

    What does this tell you about Trump's supporter's response, Gus?  A carnival barker would love even more Trump's enablers. What a damn mess!  yikes

  4. profile image0
    Onusonusposted 6 weeks ago

    https://scontent-sea1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/87024588_1333320123540686_872236084619116544_n.jpg?_nc_cat=106&_nc_ohc=_hWVK4sAS9IAX9zVW94&_nc_ht=scontent-sea1-1.xx&oh=4d2badbff126342f8f11d62840f059a4&oe=5EC323A0

    1. Readmikenow profile image96
      Readmikenowposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

      This is spot on!

      1. profile image0
        Onusonusposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

        Liberals bank on the poor, they love having plenty of poor people around, they make people poor, they keep people poor. Which is why they gravitate towards economic policies that make more poor people.

        1. Randy Godwin profile image91
          Randy Godwinposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

          Sounds like you know what Liberals think, Joey? Ever been one? Or just Trumping it as usual?

          Let me tell you what the Right thinks.

          Conservatives bank on the rich, they love having plenty of rich people around, they make rich people richer, while the poor get poorer. Which is why they gravitate towards economic policies that make poor people poorer.

          Hey, that was easy and fun. tongue

        2. Readmikenow profile image96
          Readmikenowposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

          Many people in the Democrat party are catching onto their games.  The Democrats are in REAL bad shape right now.  The good thing is they are so detached from reality, they don't know it.  If Bernie Sanders wins the Democrat nomination, it's all over  He only appeals to a very small segment of the United States.  He will get wiped out in a general election. 

          I hope he does win.  t would be fun to watch that communist try and convince Republicans to vote for him.  Should be fun.

 
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