Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, the self-proclaimed socialist and lone independent in the United States Senate, has declared he will and seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2016. Sanders will make his announcement on Thursday, April 30, 2015, and his campaign will become official.

Report from WKRC:

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will announce his plans to seek the Democratic nomination for president on Thursday, presenting a liberal challenge to Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Sanders, an independent who describes himself as a “democratic socialist,” will follow a statement with a major campaign kickoff in his home state in several weeks. Two people familiar with his announcement spoke to The Associated Press under condition of anonymity to describe internal planning.

Sanders will become the second major Democrat in the race, joining Clinton. He has urged the former secretary of state to speak out strongly about issues related to income inequality and climate change. The former first lady and New York senator is viewed as a heavy favorite in the primary and entered the race earlier this month.

The white-haired senator and former mayor of Burlington, Vermont, has been a liberal firebrand, blasting the concentration of wealth in America and assailing a “billionaire class” that he says has taken over the nation’s politics. His entry could be embraced by some liberals in the party who have been disenchanted with Clinton and have unsuccessfully urged Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to join the race.

In recent weeks, Sanders has been a forceful critic of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, which would eliminate tariffs and other trade barriers for the U.S., Canada and Asian countries conducting commerce with each other.

Sanders probably won’t make it very far in the primaries, but if he gets on the debate stage, which I presume is his goal, he will become another progressive voice forcing Hillary Clinton to veer left. Hillary’s team is well aware of this and she will now have two candidates, the other being Martin O’Malley, who will attack her as being too tied to Wall Street interests and too moderate on many key democratic issues.


  1. Instead of the boring old debates we usually get, wouldn’t it be incredible to see a debate–now–between Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz. Forget the parties.

    We would get the issues out there. We’d probably still end up with Hillary vs. JEB, but at least we’d have some substance first.

    • America would get more interested if there was a Debate Bracket to fill out.

      Sanders v. Cruz
      O’Malley v. Bush
      Webb v. Walker
      Chafee v. Rubio
      Clinton v. Paul

      Winners move on to the next round.. losers go home.

      • Nate: Precisely. The primaries we have had are about to what degree they agree. It’d be fascinating to see that ideas can be wildly divergent, yet honestly and sincerely held.

        I like your choices. I would love to watch any of THOSE debates! (To tell you the truth, I seldom watch what we have.)

    • Goethe Bore — what utter nonsense (on par with your standard tripe here).

      As usual, but you can’t help yourself and gotta post on each topic.

      Do you ever shut up, kid…?

      Do your parents know where you are…?

  2. There is something about Bernie Sanders that makes you believe he would actually make the world right again.. Of course, he is probably too old, too set in what is right and wrong, too determined to help all people have a chance at the good life to get the nomination or the presidency. His idealism is in sync with the present Pope although Sanders is Jewish.
    Sanders thoughts for the USA:

    On our present casino capitalism, the economy should serve the people, not the people serving the economy.

    Unfettered free trade has been a disaster for the American people.

    The middle class is being destroyed. Since 2000, nearly 12
    million Americans have slipped out of the middle class and into poverty.

    In terms of higher education, college and graduate schools should be free. Outrageous tuition increases are leaving the average American student some $80,000 in debt just to learn to make a living.

    I say: the Constitution is alive in Bernie Sanders.

    • I totally agree, tuition is out of control. The liberal Democrats who have a monopoly on the higher education system are criminally over-charging students for worthless degrees.

      The notion that “everyone needs a degree” is what helped created a market for a liberal arts degree at $50k a year. It’s outdated thinking. That’s why the PayPal founder, who has no degree, is actually encouraging kids to avoid college and blaze their own trails.

      Some degrees are completely worthless. Those are the ones who leave 22 year olds with $100k in debt and nearly no way to pay it off. They over-paid.

      College shouldn’t be free, that would make it worthless and lower the quality. Plus, there’s no such thing as “free,” it just means someone else is paying for it.

      The only type of reform I’d support is requiring colleges to provide figures, up front, updated annually, for what a degree is actually worth in the market place. It should be disclosed to where a student has to sign an acknowledgment of the numbers. As in, “don’t say we didn’t warn you!”

      Don’t make it “free,” just make it a competitive market. Make colleges justify charging the same amount for a degree in Basket-Weaving as they do for a degree in Computer Science.

      Also, reduce federal student loans and college tuition will drop accordingly.

      • I totally disagree. You see everything as a liberal plot.

        Public education was developed during the Industrial Revolution to teach farm kids how to sit down and shut up–so they could get used to running a machine, and not bother management.

        It has worked, to minimize the aspirations and expectations of the masses, so that the precious few could take the road less traveled and be incredibly successful.

        Stephens is a case in point. Never set foot in a school and was handed a hundred-thousand dollars at the age of 19. Brilliant plan! Why doesn’t everyone do that?!

        It’s as dumb for him to say you don’t need college as those who say everyone should go to college. Ben Carson could have become a presidential candidate without college, but he couldn’t have become a brain surgeon.

        Ditto your idea of having colleges give you a guaranteed income if you take classes. They could show you proof that people are making a LOT of money at designing buggy whips or 8-track tape players or fax machines–but there’s no guarantee that that profession will make money in the future.

        I think the area where colleges really fail is in guidance counseling. “Who are you?” “What do you want out of life?” “What kind of things do you ENJOY doing?” “What have you excelled at?” “Have you ever considered doing this?” It’s more about finding innate skills and capabilities, not about funneling folks into today’s hip fields.

        [A good example of this is teaching. About every five years, the media are packed with stories about a “teacher shortage,” and ask, “HOW can we EVER pay teachers enough to keep them in the schools???” So kids go into the education curriculum, and when they get out, there’s already a teacher-glut and they gladly work for peanuts.]

        Part of the process of finding hidden talents is to FORCE kids to take a wide range of classes. We have all heard stories of people going in with one goal, and then finding they can do something else much better. MAKE them see the options before they go down the wrong road too-much-traveled.

        • And you naively give everyone a pass.

          I didn’t say guaranteed income. Where are you getting that?

          I said a breakdown of what a degree in a particular field *might* be worth in the job market. Like low end to high end.

          Right now, college is like stepping on a car dealer lot where the Yugo is priced the same as the Cadillac.

          Thus, we have a student loan bubble where students can’t get a job that pays enough to repay their debt. They have an overpriced degree.

          Go ahead, tell me colleges aren’t run by left wing individuals who decry income inequality while jacking tuition through the roof and raking in the dough.

          The plot is called greed.

          • You said, and I quote, “requiring colleges to provide figures, up front, updated annually, for what a degree is actually worth in the market place.”

            If a stumblebum goes to college, is it right or fair to tell him that he will earn a hundred grand if he takes class track A? Conversely, should the college tell the next Stephen Hawking not to study pure science, since applied science is where the money is?

            I agree that it would be a good idea, as PART of the guidance program, to provide current average salaries per profession. That would put things into perspective. But it’s insane to charge different rates for different courses–aside from actual costs.

            So you’re saying if someone wants to go into a high paying profession, they should have to pay a LOT more than the guy who is curious about philosophy or art history? Wouldn’t that just encourage students to go into philosophy and art history??

            YES, I am “naive enough to give everyone a pass.” It’s called “innocent until proven guilty.” I think it’s better than SOME people here, who begin with hatred and then try to find evidence that rationalizes their hatred.

            For instance, I thought the birthers were idiots, because they had no proof. But Bob showed me that an author defined the term “natural born” before it was in the Constitution. I still don’t hate Obama or Rubio or Cruz, but I don’t believe that the Founding Fathers wanted any of them to be president.

            P.S. I love words like Stumblebum and Flibbertygibbet.

            • How do you like being called “dumb ass” because I never said any such thing. I know damn well I never got into any “Birther argument’ with you or anyone else. But you and Tess were always fast and loose with the facts.

            • Bob…Thanks for remembering my name so, as an accused, I feel free to tell you that I always have a fact sheet. Although I have never written you a thank you note, I find many of your posts agreeable but as for the above not so much. An honest discussion is simply where each person is allowed to present their outlook and the reasoning for it without rancor from others. Being from the wide open space, I can tell you, it is dangerous to kick a wasp nest, regardless of intent.

            • “Family matters” Really Dude? Then it must be going around because I recall Sam and Surfisher also lacing into you recently after you pissed them off ! Resorting to this childish put down makes you seem like an even lower POS than I already gave you credit for. You don’t even have the balls to address it to me but to Tess.

              Now you want an example of you playing fast and loose with facts ? I refer you to the thread entitled “2016 Candidates Weigh in On Indiana Religious Freedom Bill” dated 1 April 2015. According to you
              “All 100 senators
              All 435 Representatives
              The President and Vice President
              And all the Supreme Court
              Are Roman Catholic except for 3 Jews”


              P.S. Tess; you seem to have an adult grasp of the definition of what a conversation involves. Why don’t you adhere to it then? Yeah sure Tess you have a fact sheet in front of you just like you claim to be an independent and don’t care for Hillary also.

            • Yes, that was an inconsequential factual error (that didn’t make any difference in the gist of what I was saying).

              It was based on reports that when Eric Cantor lost his seat that he was the only REPUBLICAN non-Christian in either the House or Senate. When I heard the report, I thought it said “only non-Christian in the House or Senate.”

              But that doesn’t change the fact that the entire government is Christian except for a few Jewish people. It’s still an unrepresentative body, and your guys are still firmly in control of just about everything.

              Can you find anything that was not a minor error that didn’t change the argument? Man, you do need to get laid, dude.

            • Bob…to clarify: I am an independent. I do believe William Jefferson Clinton did more to restore the US financially than any president in the last 80 years. I am not a big supporter of Hillary Clinton but I do support women’s causes. Therefore, the caricatures, the references to her as a bitch, to her dressing style, and the vile innuendoes that seem to be reserved for women mean that I will defend her from unwarranted attacks. The truth is, like it or not, she is very intelligentand capable. I am not a supporter of the Bush Brigade but I voted for George HW because I felt he was the most qualified at the time. And just so you will know in advance, I am a big fan of Elizabeth Warren and some days I actually appreciate Rand Paul and give him his dues.

              If you find something I have taken from my fact sheet that you find unacceptable how about using facts as a reply. Insinuations are not facts.

            • Don’t get your panties in a bind. Cripes, what a drama queen.

              Yes, it was a typo. I meant Sam. But the irony is that I was paying homage to him.

              Yep, sorry that I accidentally gave you credit for something you couldn’t come up with. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!!

              But please come up with an example of “fast and loose with the facts.” You might disagree with my conclusions, but I defy you to find where I got a fact wrong.

            • I understand what you’re saying, but you think students would see it as:

              This Degree = This income

              Right now, they see *ANY* degree equals $100k entry-level salary, corner office, and instant respect. They’re shocked to learn otherwise.

              You’re using the extreme case by invoking Stephen Hawking.

              That’s probably 0.01% (or less) of students. I’m talking about the large chunk who waste money in college, come out with $100k in debt and are shocked at the real world. Parents don’t counsel kids now, they coddle them. So flibbertygibbet stumblebums think, “I got lots of participation awards in grammar school, I’m sure I’ll get them in life.”

              I think, with the right counseling as you note, it wouldn’t funnel everyone into the cheapest program. I think it would discourage people from wasting money on degrees with don’t pay back anything near what you pay.

              However, this is all a pipe dream because colleges will tell you every degree is priceless and would fight this tooth and nail… so I’m really just yelling into the wind.

              Schools don’t want students to know that their Philosophy Major will leave them lots of time after graduation with their masters to sit around philosophizing since there is no job market. Better get those waiter/waitress skills in order.

            • I would have to talk to current students. Have you?

              When I was in college, we had no such fantasies. College was a place to learn about the world and life and to try to find a career that worked for us.

              I’d hate to think that today’s students see nothing but dollar signs. But I also don’t think they are so stupid as to think ANY degree = $100,000. If they are that stupid, they deserve what they get.

              I agree that parents should ALSO counsel, but you’re thinking of the elite. My parents were from the Depression. She didn’t finish high school, he didn’t finish grade school. How could they counsel me?

              Clearly, if it were up to you, we would never have any more teachers, artists, historians, musicians, or other humanities professions, because life is a waste of time if you’re not a money-grubbing jerk.

              And you’re wrong about a liberal education being a waste of time. What it does is give a student sophistication and creativity. They see that their little peek hole to the world is not enough.

              [Side note: words are the building blocks of thinking. And the structure of the language allows, but also limits, the way a person CAN think. I’m sick of those who say we should learn a second language just to figure out how to rip off foreign businessmen. The real benefit of a second language is to expand the way our brains can work.]

              And although I don’t think money is the only thing of value in life, FORBES (yes, Forbes) directly disagrees with you. They say a liberal arts degree is the BEST if you want to find a job.


              While I agree that college is not for everyone, and I think there should be better counseling, and while I wish that I never had to worry about how to pay a bill again, I get really sick of the idea that money is the be-all and end-all of life. People who think that way find emptiness and often, suicide.

            • No, you’re missing my point. It’s not about the money or encouraging students to only get degrees which support high paying jobs. That’s not, at all, what I’m saying. Didn’t say it was a waste of time.

              It’s about your (the student’s) ability to repay student loan debt and realistic expectations of what a career path may be. If someone wants to be a teacher, they should pursue that and they probably already know you won’t get rich from that career. Ditto with artist or music major..

              Therefore, don’t go into $100k in debt for a teaching degree, you’ll be a slave to the lender for decades. It’s like a mortgage for most people.

              Nobody sets the expectations other than, “you need a college degree to get a job.”

              Really? What kind of job? What kind of degree? How much should I spend? Is it worth it? Can I repay the debt? Will I struggle financially? Will it delay starting a family? How long will it take to land a job after college?

              Also, yes I talk to current students and former students.

              I’m much closer to my college graduation date than you are I believe. I have friends who I’ve watched go through this in recent years.

              Two examples. One of my best friends pursued a masters degree in Art History. He’s a ridiculously gifted artist in painting, drawing, graphic design, etc… his talent is amazing.

              However, he realized that basically, his degree was good for a high school art teacher position and eventually had to settle on that. Not what he saw himself doing with his talent, but that’s what pays the bills. He’s got lots of debt and will be paying it for a while.

              Another friend, with a degree in Dance, had to eventually realize the degree was not going to win many jobs even though it was her passion. Eventually she found it was useful getting into some kind of recreational therapy. Not what she envisioned, but again, pays the bills with a steady salary working for the county in a mental health program. Again, lots of debt to pay off with minimal salary.

              They both came out quite shocked and stumbled for years to find decent jobs in their fields. Not that it doesn’t take a struggle and perseverance, but more so I wish students could be made more aware up front.

              Keep in mind, I say this all in a very loving way.

              I don’t want to discourage dreams, I want to keep people, especially young people, free from paralyzing debt.

              What I want to do is discourage financial ruin and struggling for decades to come when students take on so much debt with so little return.

            • As usual, you and I mostly agree, but terminology gets in the way.

              Again, if today’s students assume degree = $100, counselors are failing–in high school as well as college.

              The counseling I got in high school was having the nun pointing at us, one at a time–during class–and saying, “you could make it in college, you can’t.” When she got to me, she paused, and then said, “yeah.”

              In college, I do remember speaking with a counselor, but they are overworked, so his recommendations were superficial. It was like, “what do you want to do? OK, do that. Next!”

              But counseling is one of those things you can’t do a definite ROI on, so it’s hard to justify the expenditure.

              Things are different now. When I was a student, I was able to pay ALL of my college tuition and books and living expenses with a full-time factory job in the summer, and a part-time retail job during school. And that’s being married, both going to college, having our own apartment, and not getting a cent from either family.

              With lack of counseling, I saw Ozzie Nelson, Fred MacMurray, and Brian Keith on TV, and assumed a degree meant a “nice” job, but I never expected to get rich, as today’s kids seem to.

              Yes, I also see banks as bloodsuckers who drain kids of their life and future with their loans (and not even having bankruptcy relief). I’d like to see public credit against loans for teachers, nurses, and other professions that help society–and to encourage companies to take over the debt if the person is successful there.

            • Laudable but totally unheard of today and you just explained the problem in a nutshell:

              “Things are different now. When I was a student, I was able to pay ALL of my college tuition and books and living expenses with a full-time factory job in the summer, and a part-time retail job during school. And that’s being married, both going to college, having our own apartment, and not getting a cent from either family.”

              That behavior requires discipline today to pay cash, avoid debt, and maintain a lifestyle every 20 year old thinks they’re entitled to now. It’s so rare, you’re more likely to find the Lochness Monster than someone who pays cash for their college education. There are new iPhones to be had..

              Average annual tuition at private college not including room and board:

              1974: $10k per year
              2014: $31k per year

              So an entire degree in 1974 was around $40k. Now it’s near $150k not even including room and board.

              It’s not the banks, it’s the federal student loan program which guarantees, regardless of ability to repay, student loans to every student. The Dept. of Education is the loan guarantor so the bank makes the loan. Bank doesn’t care, because government says they have to make the loan and the gov’t will cover it if/when student defaults.

              If you take a PRIVATE student loan, it’s based solely on your credit or a co-signer. Most banks stopped offering the private student loans over the past decade because of enormous default rates. Banks want to make money, and students who can’t pay back loans doesn’t earn money.

              Also, you summed up counseling in college and high school. It’s a joke as was my high school “guidance counselor” experience.

              But hence my original statement that colleges themselves must do a better job at entrance counseling so kids completely understand the ramifications. The problem is that it may mean they enroll fewer students which hurts their bottom line.

              As it stands, if a kid goes into $100k debt, graduates, then defaults on his loans, the college does not care. Does not affect them at all, they already got paid. They have zero incentive to prevent such stupidity. In fact, they totally encourage it.

              There has to be a consequence. Some schools started offering guarantees like if you didn’t get a job in a year, they’d make some of your loan payments.

            • I went to a State university (WMU), back in the 60’s, so my tuition, as I recall, was about $1750 per semester–or $14k total.

              But, anyway, if you had said colleges needed to offer better individual counseling, we would not have had this thread. What you said was that colleges (not counselors) should provide a generic menu of costs of curricula, and what kids could earn if they took each curriculum.

              That could be part of the counseling, but if you distill a degree down to a way to rationalize high pay, it takes individual capability and interest out of the equation.

              I might not have taken my religion minor if I was told it was a total waste of money, but the point is, it wasn’t.

            • No, that’s still not what I said.

              It’s not “here’s what you can earn by taking this degree.” That is entirely the wrong message and, again, not what I said. If it sounded that way, it’s not what I’m saying. I want to do the opposite of that. Kids think every degree is worth more than it is, that’s already the problem. They think degree automatically equals money. It does not.

              It’s more like, “here’s the entry-level crap salary you may theoretically earn the five years following graduation and does this amount jive with the amount you’re paying for the degree program?”

              It’s just comparing the cost of the program, to the return on your investment. Some kids would be stunned to see that any given degree doesn’t equate to what they think it does. That should affect how much debt you take out, how you pay for schooling, etc… It will make you consider it more before signing your name on the equivalent of a second mortgage for your education.

              Just like a brokerage must give you a prospectus before you invest. Think of it as a college prospectus. Here are the financial “risks” you must know up front before investing your time and money in a degree.

              I see complaints about banks fooling people into sub-prime mortgages. This is exactly the same thing. Colleges (with the help of clueless parents and guidance counselors) lure kids into sub-prime degree programs which make it near impossible to pay back their loans.

              I’m telling you, it sounds so basic and mundane, but the crop of kids entering college age now is pretty averse to common sense unless you slap them over the head with it, especially when it comes to debt and finances.

              BTW, today the average cost of books for a semester is $1,168. I think you got a steal. I had software packages for some classes that were $500 a piece… at a state school.

            • I had a prof who was very popular, so he would prune his classes by giving the bookstore a LONG list of books to stock for him–but they were just “recommended” reading. He only actually referred to two or three. Kids would go to the bookstore, see his long list, and not take his class.

              Anyway, we do agree that high schools and colleges should do a better job of advising individual students, but I think if it were any other product or service, you’d be saying, let the buyer beware–and any additional rules or regulations would be unnecessary nanny state meddling that is trying to baby the consumer and overburden the supplier.

            • Gabby Gertie — do you ever shut up…?

              For a “moderator” you seem to spend your entire life posting non-stop nonsense here….

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