endorse Bernie Sanders for President of the United States. He’s leading a movement to reclaim America for the many, not the few. And such a political mobilization – a “political revolution,” as he puts it — is the only means by which we can get the nation back from the moneyed interests that now control so much of our economy and democracy.
This extraordinary concentration of income, wealth, and political power at the very top imperils all else – our economy, our democracy, the revival of the American middle class, the prospects for the poor and for people of color, the necessity of slowing and reversing climate change, and a sensible foreign policy not influenced by the “military-industrial complex,” as President Dwight Eisenhower once called it. It is the fundamental prerequisite: We have little hope of achieving positive change on any front unless the American people are once again in control.
I have the deepest respect and admiration for Hillary Clinton, and if she wins the Democratic primary I’ll work my heart out to help her become president. But I believe Bernie Sanders is the agent of change this nation so desperately needs.
Many Democrats will tell you that there has rarely, if ever, been a more menacing or evil presidential candidate than Donald Trump. “Trump is the most dangerous major candidate for president in memory,” pronounced Vox’s Ezra Klein two weeks ago. With a consensus now emerging that the real estate mogul is the likely GOP nominee, it would stand to reason that the most important factor for many Democrats in choosing their own nominee is electability: meaning, who has the best chance of defeating the GOP Satan in the general election? In light of that, can Democrats really afford to take such a risky gamble by nominating Hillary Clinton?
In virtually every poll, her rival, Bernie Sanders, does better, often much better, in head-to-head match-ups against every possible GOP candidate. Here, for instance, is a compilation of how Clinton does against Ted Cruz in recent polls: She trails the Texas senator in all but one poll, and in the one poll she leads, it is by a paltry 2 points:
By stark contrast, Sanders leads Cruz in every poll, including by substantial margins in some:
A similar story is seen in their match-ups against Trump. Although they both end up ahead in most polls, Sanders’ margin over Trump is generally very comfortable, while Clinton’s is smaller. Clinton’s average lead over Trump is just 2.8 percent, while Sanders’ lead is a full 6 points:
Then there’s the data about how each candidate is perceived. Put simply, Hillary Clinton is an extremely unpopular political figure. By contrast, even after enduring months of attacks from the Clinton camp and its large number of media surrogates, Sanders remains a popular figure.
A Gallup poll released this week reported that “29 percent of Americans offer a positive observation about Clinton while 51 percent express something negative.” As Gallup rather starkly put it: “Unfortunately for Clinton, the negative associations currently outnumber the positive ones by a sizable margin, and even among Democrats, the negatives are fairly high.” Sanders is, of course, a more unknown quantity, but “the public’s comments about Sanders can be summarized as 26 percent positive and 20 percent negative, with the rest categorized as neutral, other or no opinion.”
In fact, the more the public gets to see of both candidates, the more popular Sanders becomes, and the more unpopular Clinton becomes. Here’s Quinnipiac explaining that dynamic in one graph just a few days ago:
This Huffington Post chart, compiling recent polls, shows not only that Clinton is deeply unpopular among the electorate, but becomes increasingly unpopular the more the public is exposed to her during this campaign:
Or look at the same metric for critical states. In Ohio, for example, Sanders’ favorability rating is +3 (44-41 percent), while Clinton’s is negative 20 (37-57 percent).
Then there’s the particular climate of the electorate. While it’s undoubtedly true that racism and ethno-nationalism are significant factors in Trump’s appeal, also quite significant is a pervasive, long-standing contempt for the political establishment, combined with enduring rage at Wall Street and corporate America, which — along with the bipartisan agenda of globalization and free trade — have spawned intense economic suffering and deprivation among a huge number of Americans. This article by the conservative writer Michael Brendan Dougherty is the best I’ve read explaining the sustained success of Trump’s candidacy, and it very convincingly documents those factors: “There are a number of Americans who are losers from a process of economic globalization that enriches a transnational global elite.”
In this type of climate, why would anyone assume that a candidate who is the very embodiment of Globalist Establishment Power (see her new, shiny endorsement from Tony Blair), who is virtually drowning both personally and politically in Wall Street cash, has “electability” in her favor? Maybe one can find reasons to support a candidate like that. But in this environment, “electability” is most certainly not one of them. Has anyone made a convincing case why someone with those attributes would be a strong candidate in 2016?
Despite this mountain of data, the pundit consensus — which has been wrong about essentially everything — is that Hillary Clinton is electable and Bernie Sanders is not. There’s virtually no data to support this assertion. All of the relevant data compels the opposite conclusion. Rather than data, the assertion relies on highly speculative, evidence-free claims: Sanders will also become unpopular once he’s the target of GOP attacks; nobody who self-identifies as a “socialist” can win a national election; he’s too old or too ethnic to win, etc. The very same supporters of Hillary Clinton were saying very similar things just eight years ago about an unknown African-American first-term senator with the name Barack Hussein Obama.
Perhaps those claims are true this time. But given the stakes we’re being told are at play if Trump is nominated, wouldn’t one want to base one’s assessment in empirical evidence rather than pundit assertions, no matter how authoritative the tone used to express them?
It’s possible to argue that electability should not be the primary factor. That’s certainly reasonable: Elections often are and should be about aspirations, ideology, and opinion-changing leaders. But given the lurking possibility of a Trump presidency, is now really the time to gamble on such a risky general election candidate as Hillary Clinton?
By Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept
The Martin County Sheriff’s Office likely would rearrange its zones of service to provide lifesaving services on both sides of the railroad tracks should All Aboard Florida begin Brightline passenger rail service through the Treasure Coast.
Sheriff William Snyder has long decried the dangers posed by increased rail traffic, and, in particular, the possibility that first responders could be delayed trying to reach scenes or hospitals.
“It’s not so much that people are afraid they’re going to get hit by trains — people know if you stop at the train bars you’ll be OK — but people want reassurance they’re not going to be cut off when seconds matter,” Snyder said. “A fire, a child being abducted from a school, a heart attack. You can just go down the list.”
All Aboard Florida officials on Tuesday said improved track infrastructure would mitigate delays caused by Brightline.
The company pointed to a rail-traffic study, commissioned last year by Indian River County, that indicates delays caused by Brightline could be shorter than they currently are with only freight-train traffic along the corridor.
For Snyder, the St. Lucie River train bridge is of particular concern.
Together, Brightline and freight trains from Florida East Coast Railway — the sister companies would share the existing tracks — could force up to 50 daily closures of the 75-year-old drawbridge. It takes about 20 minutes to open and close the bridge, and most boats cannot pass under the low-clearance bridge when it’s closed, according to Martin County.
“All of the waterways we patrol could be cut off. I have to be very cognizant of that and keep a boat west at all times,” Snyder said.
For the time being, however, the Sheriff’s Office is monitoring All Aboard Florida’s progress, not taking action.
“My sense is that the rail is not imminent right now. If it does become imminent, then we will start addressing the concerns,” Snyder said.
Last year, Snyder and sheriffs Ken Mascara, St. Lucie County, and Deryl Loar, Indian River County, released an open letter warning the public of All Aboard Florida’s potential dangers.
Construction of the $3.1 billion passenger railroad already has begun between Miami and West Palm Beach. Passenger service there is to begin in early 2017, with full service — through the Treasure Coast and on to Orlando International Airport — beginning in late 2017.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today signaled its approval for a proposed new rail station at the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), after the agency issued a “finding of no significant impact” in its environmental assessment of the project.
The finding allows Maryland to secure funds for the station’s final design and construction. The project includes adding a fourth track to 9 miles of the Northeast Corridor surrounding BWI and reconfiguring platforms to allow boarding from all four tracks, according to an FRA press release.
Amtrak and Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) trains provide passenger-rail service at the station, where ridership by daily commuters and airline passengers has been increasing. Amtrak considers the station its 13th busiest in the nation.
The U.S. Department of Transportation projects a population growth of 70 million more Americans over the next 30 years. The Northeast megaregion, which includes Baltimore, is projected to add 18.4 million people over that time period.
“The current rail station and infrastructure at BWI was built more than 30 years ago and does not support today’s needs or the region’s expected growth,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The completion of the environmental review for this project brings BWI one step closer to a safer rail station, reduced rail congestion, and increased reliability.”
Currently, only three tracks exist between the Grove Interlocking to the south near Odenton, Md., and the Winans Interlocking to the north near Halethorpe, Md. Adding a fourth track would increase rail capacity and reliability, FRA officials said.
“A new BWI rail station will allow both airline and rail passengers to get to their destinations safely, reliably and efficiently,” said FRA Administrator Sarah Feinberg. “Today’s announcement is a significant step toward achieving that goal.”
In fiscal-year 2010, the FRA awarded a $9.4 million High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail grant funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to the Maryland Department of Transportation to pay for the environmental analysis and conduct preliminary engineering work.
Funding for final design and construction has not yet been identified.
Backed by goals from Alexandre Grenier and Jordan Subban, the Utica Comets defeated the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for the third time this season with a 2-1 win at the PPL Center on Saturday night.
Joe Cannata made 20 saves in the win, while Alexandre Grenier (1-0-1), and Jordan Subban (1-0-1) accounted for all the scoring.
After a scoreless first period the Comets wasted little time in the second period to get on the board. Just 2:28 into the middle frame Ronalds Kenins received a pass as he stepped out of the penalty box, which sprung the boys in blue on a three-on-one odd man rush. After gaining the zone, the former Latvian Olympian slipped a pass through the defender and over to Grenier who one-timed a shot past Stolarz for his ninth goal of the season. With the assist, Kenins now has a point in four straight games, and 10 points (1-9-10) in the team’s last eight games.
For 40 minutes and 33 seconds the Comets kept the Phantoms off the scoreboard entirely. That changed about halfway through the third period when Phil DeSimone one-timed a shot over the glove of Cannata to knot the game at 1-1.
The Comets restored the lead a little over eight minutes later when Jordan Subban came up clutch with a rocket of a slap shot from the point to beat Stolarz. The goal was his ninth of the season, and was assisted by Brandon Prust and Andrey Pedan.
The Comets improve to 27-18-5-3 on the season, and 69-0-4-0 all-time when leading after two periods.
The Comets wrap up their three-in-three weekend in Chocolatetown, USA against the Hershey Bears tomorrow evening. Puck drop is scheduled for 5pm from the GIANT Center in Hershey, PA.