USA/Canada

Democrats in disarray as Trump’s popularity soars

Published on: Sun, 29/03/2020 - 14:32
Author

Eric Lee

The coronavirus pandemic has created a new reality in the United States, as it has all over the world. And coming as it has during a presidential election, it has completely upended the political map.

Just a month ago, Bernie Sanders was the leading Democratic candidate and polls showed him defeating Donald Trump in November. Joe Biden’s campaign was sputtering along, as he polled poorly in early primary and caucus states.

But on 29 February, Biden won the South Carolina primary as expected. Biden’s campaign roared back to life. Three days later, on “Super Tuesday”, though Bernie Sanders won

Does America need a socialist party?

Published on: Tue, 24/03/2020 - 21:38
Author

Eric Lee

In the aftermath of the disappointing results for the Sanders campaign in the primaries following Nevada, supporters of the self-described “democratic socialist” Senator from Vermont have been discussing what happens next.

If Sanders chooses to leave the race, he has already announced – many months ago – that he will endorse and campaign for any candidate chosen by the Democratic Party. Most of his supporters will follow Sanders’ lead, as they did in 2016 when he endorsed Clinton. Sanders has made clear that the top priority must be to defeat Trump, and if that means campaigning for the tired

Sanders' socialist plan for the pandemic

Published on: Wed, 18/03/2020 - 11:01
Author

Eric Lee

The mainstream media has already written off Bernie Sanders and crowned Joe Biden as the Democratic candidate to challenge Donald Trump (despite the primaries being far from over). But that hasn’t silenced the Vermont senator.

Sanders has long seen himself as more than just a conventional politician and acts as the voice for a movement. This last week, he laid out a socialist programme for the pandemic.

Sanders began with a recognition of the severity of the crisis, saying that “the crisis we face from coronavirus is on the scale of a major war, and we must act accordingly. Nobody knows how

Sanders, Biden, and the movement

Published on: Tue, 17/03/2020 - 15:19
Author

Daniel Randall

The movement around Bernie Sanders' bid for the US presidency represents an opportunity to advance socialist politics in that country in a way not seen for a generation or more. The ongoing detoxification of the word and idea of “socialism” in American political life, to the extent that one 2019 poll showed that 61% of Americans aged between 18-24 preferred “socialism” to “capitalism” [bit.ly/genZs], is both a consequence of, and a catalyst for, the Sanders phenomenon.

The immense damage done to the ideological mystique of free-market, neoliberal capitalism by the 2008 crash has, on the whole

Political revolution in the age of pandemics

Published on: Wed, 11/03/2020 - 11:12
Author

Eric Lee

The decision by the AFL-CIO to cancel the planned candidates’ forum in Florida this week is bad news for Bernie Sanders.

This would have been the perfect opportunity for Sanders to challenge his sole remaining rival for the Democratic nomination, former Vice President Joe Biden, on the issues which divide them. On all those issues – social security, Medicare for all, trade deals like NAFTA and TPP – Sanders’ views are much closer to those of the unions. Biden’s neo-liberal agenda would have been exposed.

This is now something we are going to have to get used to as more and more events are

Why is Biden winning?

Published on: Wed, 11/03/2020 - 09:46
Author

Dan La Botz

Joe Biden turned out to be the big winner on Super Tuesday. While not all of the votes have been counted, Biden seems likely to end up with a majority. He is now positioned to do well in the rest of the primaries and is likely to come into the Democratic Party Convention with majority of delegates. The major media, as to be expected, are hailing him as the Democratic Party saviour.

Bernie might make a comeback. Perhaps, as some have suggested, Elizabeth Warren, whose own campaign has no way forward, might endorse him. Sanders and Warren aides are reportedly discussing that possibility. That

Dark waters, darker corporate power

Published on: Wed, 11/03/2020 - 07:42
Author

Janet Burstall

In the film Dark Waters, released in the UK on 28 February, Robert Bilottt (played by Mark Ruffalo) is a lawyer who takes us through an exposé of chemical giant Dupont’s cover up of its toxic product PFOA.

The film shows us the obstacles thrown up by the legal system and US government agencies to redress for residents of West Virginia who had been exposed to dangerous levels of PFOA. It has parallels with other heroic corporate whistle-blower movies from the USA, such as The Informant (2009) and The Insider (2009).

It’s an excellent exposé, explaining enough of the science and the victims’

Who can stop Trump?

Published on: Tue, 10/03/2020 - 19:52
Author

Vicki Morris

Elizabeth Warren, would-be Democratic presidential nominee candidate, had a great line in the TV debate on 19 Feb:

“I’d like to talk about who we’re running against: a billionaire who calls women ‘fat broads’ and ‘horse-faced lesbians’. And no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump, I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg.”

Michael Bloomberg: the billionaire candidate spending vast sums in his attempt to win the Democratic nomination, who bought himself a podium on the platform that night – the one, uncomfortably, next to Warren, as luck would have it.

For that great put-down Warren garnered much

Bernie Sanders' Cuba problem

Published on: Wed, 04/03/2020 - 11:53
Author

Eric Lee

As the possibility grows of Bernie Sanders winning the Democratic nomination for President, his opponents are looking for vulnerabilities that can be exploited.

This shouldn’t be difficult, as Sanders has been politically active for some six decades. Surely he has written or said something embarrassing during that period.

But after trawling through the various archives, they have found very little to work with. Until now.

Last week, the attention of the mainstream media focussed on things that Sanders had said about Cuba in the past.

It seems that many years ago, Sanders made reference to two

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