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Monday, February 08, 2016

Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders dashed the hopes of some atheists when he declared he had "very strong religious and spiritual feelings" at a Democratic town hall.

"It's a guiding principle in my life, absolutely, it is," Sanders said Wednesday when a New Hampshire voter asked him about his faith. "Everybody practices religion in a different way. To me, I would not be here tonight, I would not be running for president of the United States, if I did not have very strong religious and spiritual feelings."

The statement came a week after the Vermont senator told The Washington Post he is "not active in any organized religion" but believes in God. That statement prompted a number of pundits -- atheist and otherwise -- to describe Sanders as the first "none" to run for president, referring to people who have no religious preference. read more

Before the Iowa Democratic caucuses, Bernie Sanders announced, "We will win tonight if turnout is high. We will struggle tonight if the turnout is low." Although the turnout was high by historical standards, it fell short of the approximately 200,000 Iowa Democrats that many thought were necessary for Sanders to win. It also fell short of the turnout in 2008.

One reason was lower turnout among new voters, especially young voters. Overall, 30,800 young voters (ages 17 to 29) turned out for the Democratic caucuses, making up 18 percent of all Democratic caucus-goers.

This was lower in both absolute and relative terms than in 2008, when 52,580 young Democrats turned out and made up 22 percent of the electorate. And, overall, first-time caucus-goers made up only 40 percent of caucus-goers this time as compared with 57 percent in 2008. read more

Sunday, February 07, 2016

[Bernie] Sanders is like the rare punk rocker who never sold out, never signed with a big label and doesn't see why you'd want to buy designer jeans when thrift store Levis fit just fine and are less than $10. Also, he still has a flip phone. But as the campaign has progressed, and Sanders' political revolution has gained steam, Sanders and his campaign have begun doing and saying things that look an awful lot like a traditional campaign. (This isn't to say Hillary Clinton isn't doing some of these same things, like flying in a charter jet and spending lots of money on polling. She is. But Clinton is a professional politician and owns it.) read more

Sen Al Franken (D-Minn.) opened for Hillary Clinton Saturday night in Portsmouth with one very important message: she's good enough, she's smart enough, and doggone it, she's a Paul Wellstone progressive.

Clinton's final pitch to New Hampshire voters is as much about the people she surrounds herself with as it is the former secretary of state herself.

"Let my clarify something: why they let a guy up here," Franken began, flanked by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Gov. Maggie Hassan, and the former secretary of state. He didn't waste any time invoking the legacy of the late Minnesota senator, a progressive icon who died in a plane crash in 2002 shortly before the midterm elections: read more

Saturday, February 06, 2016

There were reports of secret waiting lists to hide long delays in care. Whistle-blowers said as many as 40 veterans had died waiting for appointments. And Congress was demanding answers.

Despite mounting evidence of trouble at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Senator Bernie Sanders, then the chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, initially regarded the complaints as overblown, and as a play by conservatives to weaken one of the country's largest social welfare institutions. read more


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