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All Bernie’s Socialists

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Just wow.   :bonk:

 

All Bernie’s Socialists

The candidate’s advisers want America to be more like Venezuela.

By

The Editorial Board
The Wall Street Journal
April 8, 2019 6:37 p.m. ET
 

Socialism is cool again, and Bernie Sanders wants to reassure voters that there’s nothing to worry about. “I think what we have to do, and I will be doing it, is to do a better job maybe in explaining what we mean by socialism—democratic socialism,” Mr. Sanders said last month. He has also said that conservatives portray his brand of socialism “as authoritarianism and communism and Venezuela, and that’s nonsense.”

***

We wish that were true. But we’ve been reading the work of Bernie’s senior political advisers, and their words deserve more attention. Take speechwriter David Sirota, who joined the Sanders campaign in March, though he had been attacking the Vermont Senator’s Democratic opponents on Twitter for months.

Mr. Sirota wrote an op-ed for Salon in 2013 titled “Hugo Chávez’s Economic Miracle.” Mr. Sirota conceded, Chávez “was no saint” and “amassed a troubling record when it came to protecting human rights and basic democratic freedoms.” Those pesky disclaimers aside, Mr. Sirota suggested that there’s plenty to learn from Chávez.

 

“For example, the United States has adamantly rejected the concept of nationalization and instead pursued a bailout/subsidy strategy when it comes to rapacious banks and oil companies—and those firms have often gone on to wreak economic havoc. Are there any lessons to be learned from Venezuela’s decision to avoid that subsidization route and instead pursue full-on nationalization?” Mr. Sirota wrote. “And in a United States that has become more unequal than many Latin American nations, are there any constructive lessons to be learned from Chávez’s grand experiment with more aggressive redistribution?”

 

He wrote this in 2013, nearly 15 years after Chávez took power. Mr. Sirota has also opposed nearly all U.S. military actions abroad, and he blames the U.S. for inciting terrorism. Days after the Boston marathon bombing in 2013, Mr. Sirota wrote that “with America having killed thousands of civilians in its wars, we should be appalled by acts of terrorism—but we shouldn’t be surprised by them.” His disclaimer: “Noting this is not to argue that such attacks are justified or that we deserve them.”

Mr. Sanders’ political director, Analilia Mejia, spent part of her childhood in Venezuela and told the Atlantic in 2016 that “it was better to live on poverty-level wages in a shantytown in Venezuela than on a garment-worker’s salary in Elizabeth, New Jersey.”

 

Mr. Sanders’ senior policy adviser Heather Gautney visited Caracas in 2006 to attend the World Social Forum. The event featured a two-hour speech by Chávez lauding Karl Marx and Fidel Castro and pledging to “bury the U.S. empire.” Ms. Gautney admitted the event had “a militarized feel” but wrote about how Chávez had “implemented a serious [sic] of programs to redistribute the wealth of the country and bolster social welfare.”

 

She defended Chávez’s nationalization of private industry and efforts to rewrite the Venezuelan constitution on grounds that Chávez’s “proposals advocated for a system in which the presidency would be decided via popular vote.” She also wrote that “today’s neoliberal capitalist system has become utterly incompatible with the requisites of democratic freedom.” And she says that “as it stands, US representative political and economic institutions are not structured as representative bodies in any real sort of way.”

 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/all-bernies-socialists-11554763031

 


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Ah, yes -- Venezuela = paradise.

Tell that to the flood of asylum-seekers here (called "squalids" by Maduro's goons).


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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