Thursday, October 29, 2015

For people who see no significant difference between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton

Perhaps the most damning complaint about him is that he voted in favor of four of the last ten war spending bills. The official explanation from Bernie Sanders on Iraq:
Why did Bernie vote in favor of those four bills?

First, it may help to explain why he had voted against the other six. The Bush administration, backed by a Republican-controlled Congress, made a habit of funding its occupation of Iraq on an emergency basis in order to minimize congressional scrutiny, circumvent legal limits on the federal government’s debt ceiling, and understate the true cost of the war.

The first time Bernie voted for an Iraq war spending bill was in 2006, when the bill included funding for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. The second time, in 2007, he did so because he managed to insert an amendment into the bill giving a $1 million grant to the Vermont Department of Veterans Affairs (the VA) to help returning veterans cope with their health care and mental health needs upon returning home. The third time was when the 2008 legislation incorporated a massive expansion of G.I. Bill benefits that Bernie co-sponsored — and which the Bush administration opposed — that guaranteed full scholarships to veterans, including activated National Guard troops and reservists, with three years of service attending any public, in-state university and expanded benefits for students at private colleges and for graduate schools. Finally, in 2011, he voted for another spending bill, with the understanding that it would fund the conclusion to the war in Iraq as President Obama removed U.S. troops from the country.
Equally important to many is his take on Muslims: Watch: Bernie Sanders Pledges to Muslim Student That He'll Fight Islamophobia | Alternet.