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Proposed UN resolution demands immediate cease-fire in Libya

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 16:16

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A proposed U.N. resolution demands that all parties in Libya immediately de-escalate the fighting and commit to a cease-fire.


Notre Dame Cathedral Fire Conspiracy Theories Flourish After Investigators Say There’s No Proof of Terrorism

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 16:04

Stephane De Sakutin/GettyThis story originally appeared in Right Richter, a newsletter by Will Sommer. Subscribe now to see what's happening in right-wing media from the safety of your inbox.Right-wing personalities are pushing conspiracy theories about Monday’s fire at Notre Dame Cathedral, even after French investigators said the case is not being investigated as arson or terrorism. Within minutes of the fire breaking out yesterday, pro-Trump commentators rushed to portray it as a symbol of Western decline. “The West has fallen,” declared Mike Cernovich. Others were eager to suggest, without evidence, that Muslims were behind the fire. Gateway Pundit dredged up a three-year-old terrorist plot to blow up Notre Dame as proof that this fire was caused by terrorists. Fox News anchors had to repeatedly shut down guests who tried to push the idea that the fire was caused by terrorists. QAnon believers produced a wide range of theories, blaming the fire on everyone Michelle Obama to the deep-state to Pope Francis. On Tuesday, French fire investigators said there was no evidence that the fire was caused by arsonists or terrorists. Rather than tamping down the conspiracy theories, though, the French statement has only fueled the idea on the right that terrorists were behind the fire. Instead, they’re treating the announcement as proof that the investigators can’t be trusted. Pardes Seleh, a former Mediaite writer and Ben Shapiro acolyte, has become one of the leading arson truthers. “Lemme put it this way: i'd be very shocked if it was an accident,” Seleh tweeted on Tuesday. “And no, french authorities announcing at the start of an investigation that they're ‘treating it as an accident’ doesn't count. french authorities are incompetent, we'd confirmed that long ago.” Pizzagate promoter Jack Posobiec, now a reporter at the pro-Trump One America News cable channel, also suggested without evidence that the fire investigation was a coverup. “Fastest arson investigation in history,” Posobiec tweeted. The groundwork for the idea that the French investigation can’t be trusted was laid out Monday night by Glenn Beck, who has recently abandoned his attempts to style himself as a lonely voice of reason in the Trump era and gone back to his conspiracy theory roots.Beck claimed that, if the fire was caused by terrorists, the truth would never be revealed. “If this was started by Islamists, I don’t think you’ll find out about it,” Beck said in an appearance on The Blaze. “Because I think it would set the entire country on fire.” Since the French investigators announced the lack of arson evidence, Beck has been joined by several other right-wing figures. Stefan Molyneux, a Canadian YouTube personality, questioned the validity of the fire investigation. So did Emerald Robinson, another reporter at One America News. “Dear media: you are already reporting that Notre Dame has been declared an accident. But the investigation just started,” Robinson tweeted. “And the restorers had already left for the day. And the scaffolding had just gone up with no ‘welding equipment’ there yet. Tell me again how it started?”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here


Bernie Sanders leads Joe Biden in Emerson national poll of 2020 contenders

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 15:42

"Biden has seen his support drop. In February, he led Sanders 27% to 17%, and in March, the two were tied," said Emerson Polling's director.


Macron vows to rebuild a 'more beautiful' Notre-Dame in 5 years

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 15:17

President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday vowed to rebuild Notre-Dame cathedral "even more beautifully" within five years, as France reeled with shock from the fire that gutted the great Paris landmark. Macron announced the fast timescale -- for a process some experts said would take decades -- in an address to the nation where he hailed how the disaster had shown the capacity of France to mobilise and unite. Macron's defiant comments indicated he wants the reconstruction of the cathedral to be completed by the time Paris hosts the Olympic Games in 2024.


All the Times Notre Dame Was Almost Destroyed in the Past

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 15:12

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/GettyOn Monday just before 8 p.m. local time, an audible gasp rippled through the streets of Paris as bystanders watched the spire that towered above the Notre Dame Cathedral topple over in a fiery rush. The steeple had served as a symbol of cultural achievement, national pride, and faith for generations in France and the world over, and it was now gone.It wasn’t the first time that the spire had been forcibly separated from the cathedral, but it was the most devastating. Since the very first stones were put in place for a grand church that would rise on the banks of the River Seine over 850 years ago, Notre Dame has not just borne witness to history, it has had parts of that history inscribed into its very architectural bones.As the centuries passed, Notre Dame has garnered attention from forces both good and evil. There were the insurgents during the French Revolution who took issue with the church’s symbol of authority and decided to do some painful redecorating, and then their ideological descendants less than 100 years later, whose attempt to burn it down was thwarted. There were prominent cultural figures whose misguided aesthetic judgements resulted in painful losses, and those who came after to right the damage with a little extra editorializing. And then, of course, there were the everyday challenges of a massive cultural monument—maintenance, upkeep, and extreme weather.The back of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris around 1880.Unidentified Author/Alinari via GettyEach time Notre Dame Cathedral has been imperiled, whether by acts of human or God, it has risen stronger than before and as an even greater beacon for the universal hopes of humanity. But after suffering a devastating fire on Monday that began in the roof and quickly spread, “Our Lady in Paris” faces its greatest challenge yet. Construction on Notre Dame began in the 1160s and didn’t stop until well into the 14th century. One could say destruction was built into its foundation—a Romanesque church was torn down to make way for the cathedral, as had been done to a pagan temple before that. But on this patch of the Île de la Cité that had been selected for worship by prior generations, a magnificent French Gothic cathedral rose from the rubble. It was a towering achievement and one that continued to evolve for over 100 years as new advancements were made in the field of architecture. By the end of the 14th century, the grand Notre Dame Cathedral was complete—for now—and it had taken its place on an island in the Seine in both the heart of the Catholic Church and of the city.“Paris in the Middle Ages is a very international, cosmopolitan place, probably much more multicultural than most people today tend to assume,” Jacqueline Jung, associate professor of art history at Yale and a specialist in medieval art and architecture, tells The Daily Beast. “People are coming from all over to study at the university there and, while they are there, they’re seeing this Cathedral because it’s visible from all over the place.”For over 300 years, the cathedral was largely left alone to be admired. Then, in the 1770s, the first misguided attempts at improvement began. Apparently, clear glass windows were all the rage at the time, and the beautiful, stained glass masterpieces that filled the cathedral were deemed déclassé. So the glassmaker Pierre Le Vieil was hired to remove some of the latter and replace them with the former.As he smashed the rejected, “very crude” panes to bits, he “paused for a moment to admire the ‘brilliance of the colors, particularly the blue,’” according to a 1963 article in Life Magazine.Installation works at the cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris around 1900. Imagno/GettyAround this time, it was also decided that the Portal of Judgement on the Western facade of the church, the one that has become the iconic photograph prized by tourists, wasn’t sufficiently large enough to stage grand processions. So, the entryway was widened, sacrificing some of the original masonry and at least one major sculpture.But the real trouble for the cathedral began with the 18th century rumbles of revolution. Before the tragic fire of 2019, it was during the French Revolution that the cathedral took its biggest hit. When the commoners rose up against their class overlords, they not only took down the rulers of the country, they also wanted to do away with the symbols of their oppression, including the Catholic church. No king was safe and in 1793, the sights of the new government turned on Notre Dame. Nine months after King Louis XVI was introduced to Madame Guillotine, 28 stone sculptures depicting the Kings of Judah were removed from the facade of the cathedral and beheaded by the fearsome lady. Nearly 200 years later, 21 of these heads were discovered. (Only fragments of their other remains were found.) The revolutionaries renamed the cathedral the Temple of Reason, staging festivals that pilloried its religious roots and promoted the ideals of the Enlightenment. During the course of the merriment, the treasures inside were fair game and much of the interior was looted. While the spire didn’t seem to engender any specific ire in the revolutionaries, it had fallen into disrepair and was starting to loll. In the interest of safety, it was removed.Sandbags are stacked up against Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, to try and prevent any war damage, ca. 1916.Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via GettyNotre Dame might not have been respected by the leaders of the French Revolution, but its star had not dimmed in the eyes of the world. Almost immediately after Napoleon seized power, he set about the rehabilitation of the church namely by staging his 1804 coronation in the cathedral. But it was the French author Victor Hugo who sealed its fate. In 1831, he published The Hunchback of Notre Dame which was in many ways a love letter to the cathedral and a call to action to right the cultural wrongs of its neglected state.“Victor Hugo used it as a kind of rallying cry for people to look at these monuments like Notre Dame that seemed to represent a sort of old order that was really dead, but now to look at it as a historical monument, as a sign of French ingenuity, French pride, French history, European history, human history,” Jung says. It worked. A massive renovation was undertaken under the guidance of Eugene Viollet-le-Duc in the 1860s. While the architect deserves commendation for the work he did, he went far beyond bringing the building back to its former glory. As Jung explains, the project became a “showpiece of the restorer’s art” and he rehabilitated the building and its decorations according to what the then-modern day view dictated a medieval showstopper should be. The gargoyles, for instance—those are a Viollet-le-Duc original.Clearing of sandbag protection from the facade of Notre Dame, German-occupied Paris, 1940. Art Media/Print Collector/GettyJung says that it is nearly impossible for a casual observer today to distinguish between the original medieval features and the restorer’s additions—the original and the restoration have been intertwined and the latter masked to look like the former as was Viollet-le-Duc’s intention. “The things that he did were imposing much more of the individual 19th-century man’s craft onto the building that today we wouldn’t really like to see. But on the other hand, you know, it’s a pretty good job,” Jung laughs. In the centuries following Viollet-le-Duc’s restoration of the Cathedral to its original glory (and beyond), Notre Dame has become more than just a beacon of the church; it is a global symbol of humanity and our feats of cultural heritage. This high profile has helped to protect the building through the tumultuous waves of history, though there have been a few near misses over the decades. During the Paris Commune in the spring of 1871, left-wing revolutionaries took over the streets of the city and set their sights on important landmarks including Notre Dame. Historian Robert Tombs writes in The Paris Commune 1871 that they began to set buildings on fire “partly to block the way of the advancing troops, and also as symbolic acts of defiance.” Notre Dame stood as a symbol of the “superstition” of the state, but when a group of revolutionaries tried to set the cathedral on fire, a fire brigade intervened.The World Wars that ripped apart the global fabric and stitched it back up with new boundaries and new ideologies in the first half of the twentieth century also managed to largely bypass one of the most recognizable landmarks in Paris despite the City of Lights becoming a key battleground.Powerful black and white pictures attest to the vulnerability of the cathedral: sandbags packed tall and dense in its doorways during WWI; machine guns stationed in the Square Jean-XXIII; and armored tanks flanking the building and filled with American soldiers and celebrating locals following the city’s liberation at the end of WWII. Liberation of Paris. American soldiers on the Notre Dame of Paris square, Aug. 25, 1944.Pierre Jahan/Roger Viollet/GettyThe church didn’t survive completely unscathed—in October 1914 a German bomb struck the roof of the church—but the damage was relatively minor. This escape was perhaps miraculous given that, as scholar Ronald C. Rosbottom wrote in 2014, the Germans dropped over 200 bombs on Paris in early 1918 in a desperate attempt to make inroads in the city, and a large portion of these fell on the neighborhoods surrounding the cathedral. It turned out, the Germans were using Notre Dame as a guiding landmark from the air. But the cathedral was not so lucky a century later when a fire that authorities believe started in the roof broke out. While the blaze was eventually extinguished, and some of the art is believed to have been saved, a few aspects of Notre Dame’s history have been lost forever.Some of the medieval stained glass that escaped Le Vieil’s hammer is thought to have been lost (though the stunning Rose windows are believed safe). Jung says that the deeply saturated colors of these 800 year old works, the texture and thickness of the glass, the compositions that tell of sacred history, and the medieval artisans’ hours of labor and unique talent that they represented are irreplaceable. Also, much of the timber work that sat between the stone vaults and the roof was part of the original 13th-century construction, a very rare find in Gothic cathedrals today. All of it is thought to have gone up in flames.But still, there is hope. Pledges are already rolling in from both the French government and wealthy donors committed to helping Notre Dame rise from destruction once again. While there will be features that cannot be saved, the restoration will add a new mark of tragedy and survival onto the bones of the church.As Jung says, the history Notre Dame Cathedral has witnessed has mapped itself onto the building, often in physical ways. In return, “It’s played a role in all of these [historical events] and, along the way, it’s become this symbol of Frenchness, of great design, of intelligence, of religious devotion, of politics. Every aspect of human culture is embedded into this building…[Notre Dame] has shaped this place and it has shaped people’s thinking and imaginations in a way that few other buildings have.”Read more at The Daily Beast.


Fried chicken vs $13: Apple, Qualcomm explain claims to jury as trial opens

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 15:05

Apple Inc and Qualcomm Inc on Tuesday opened a complex trial with the iPhone maker using a fried chicken analogy to illustrate its claim the chip company is abusing its market power while Qualcomm alleged a years-long plan by Apple to deprive it of billions in revenue, $13 at a time. The fate of Qualcomm's business model, which involves licensing more than 130,000 patents in addition to selling chips, is at stake in the case, which consolidates related lawsuits and countersuits. Apple alleges that Qualcomm's patent practices were an illegal move to maintain a monopoly on the market for premium modem chips that connect smart phones to wireless data networks.


Pete Buttigieg’s Abortion Extremism Hurts His Religious Appeal

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 14:53

With every passing day, it seems we see yet another piece about South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg’s progressive Christianity. His faith is going to shake the race. He’s going to challenge the GOP monopoly on “God talk.” Here, for example, is the opening paragraph of an NBC News analysis posted yesterday afternoon:> Religious conservatives who have long been a reliable voting bloc for Republicans are grappling with a new challenge in Pete Buttigieg: how to respond to a Democratic presidential candidate who is leaning into the discussion about faith and its role in political life.I’ll agree that there are religious conservatives who are “grappling” with a challenge from Buttigieg, but that challenge is theological and cultural, not political. Buttigieg’s religious arguments have triggered important online debates about the differences between mainline and Evangelical Christianity, about when religious teachings should influence public policy, and about how to interpret the history of the gay-marriage debate.But religious conservatives are not grappling with the key political question — whether any meaningful number of Evangelicals or conservative Catholics would cross the aisle to cast a ballot for Mayor Pete. The reason is simple. Buttigieg is a pro-choice extremist, and no pro-choice extremist will ever meaningfully compete for the conservative Christian vote.In fact, in at least one key way, Buttigieg’s record on abortion is even worse than that of his Democratic peers. He is of course in lockstep agreement with them on support for late-term abortion, and he made that clear last month on Morning Joe:> .@PeteButtigieg explains his support for late-term abortion bills in New York and Virginia: > > ”When we’re talking about some of those situations covered by that law … the involvement of a male government official like me is not helpful.” pic.twitter.com/6lQrLLhwhW> > -- Matthew Schmitz (@matthewschmitz) March 31, 2019But he’s done what many of them have not — he’s actually blocked a crisis-pregnancy center from opening at its chosen location. He not only supports abortion rights, he’s taken action against law-abiding Americans who merely wanted to make the case for life.Last April, Buttigieg vetoed a rezoning plan that would have permitted a crisis-pregnancy center to open next door to a proposed abortion clinic. In his statement justifying the veto, Buttigieg said, “I don’t think it would be responsible to situate two groups, literally right next to each other, in a neighborhood, that have diametrically opposed views on the most divisive social issue of our time.”And so, given the conflict, he chose to privilege the abortion clinic’s location over the pregnancy center. Thankfully, the center found a new location across the street from the proposed clinic — a location that didn’t require a rezoning vote. But that does not excuse or justify Buttigieg’s veto. He favored abortion rights over pro-life speech, and he likely violated the Constitution in doing so.While Buttigieg, to his credit, did not demonize his opponents in the South Bend dispute ( “Many people that I respect and admire and appreciate have very passionate and very opposite views on what is the right thing to do,” he said of the dispute), actions speak louder than words. And this action echoes a dangerous Democratic trend in pro-choice governance: the attack against pro-life pregnancy clinics.Across the United States, progressive legislatures have passed laws aimed at crisis-pregnancy centers, including a California law the Supreme Court struck down just last summer. Buttigieg hasn’t gone as far as California, which actually required pro-life pregnancy centers to promote state-funded free and low-cost abortions. But he had an opportunity to fully respect the constitutional rights of his pro-life opponents, and he chose not to do so.Many young Evangelicals, including young Evangelical activists, are divided over matters such as same-sex marriage. Some believe Obergefell v. Hodges was wrongly decided, others support legal recognition of same-sex marriage so long as the state doesn’t interfere with the church’s ability to define marriage according to the historic doctrines of the Christian faith. Others support same-sex marriage constitutionally and theologically.These same young Christians are often appalled that their older brothers and sisters in the faith have so easily overlooked Donald Trump’s multitude of sins. But they will not support politicians who support legal protections for late-term abortions. They won’t. The will not support politicians who don’t go beyond “respecting” pro-life Americans to also protecting their rights to free speech with the same vigor that they protect the First Amendment rights of pro-choice Americans.In the summer of 2016, I had hours of conversations with anguished Evangelical activists. They did not like Donald Trump. They could not believe the hypocrisy of some pastors defending a man whom they’d condemn if he had a “D” by his name. But they also could not believe that the Democrats wouldn’t compromise at all on abortion, not even in the third trimester. More than one person told me of this issue, “If only they’d moderate a little, I’d consider crossing the aisle. But they won’t, so I can’t.”Those words will still be true in 2020, and while Buttigieg’s lack of overt hostility to pro-life citizens is welcome — and conversations about America’s competing Christian world views are interesting — he has zero appeal to religious conservatives so long as he holds to the Democratic party line on the right of a woman to hire a doctor to kill a viable, living unborn baby. There is nothing to “grapple” with. There is no “challenge.” There are lines that Christian conservatives must not — and will not — cross.


Barn find 1955 Chevy Corvette Hasn't Seen Daylight In 40 Years

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 14:13

Tucked away for 40 years, this 1955 Chevrolet Corvette looks worse-for-wear in its hiding place – but now it's out, don't even think about trying to buy it. Anyone who owns a rare classic car like a 1955 Corvette could tell you that car collectors are constantly trying to buy them up, and that’s the exact reason Bob Doucette put his 1955 Corvette into hiding — that, and wanting a safe place to preserve the car.


'I don't have words for this': Devastated Parisians watch in shock as Notre Dame Cathedral burns

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 13:25

When the spire fell soon after the blaze started, the crowd on the Right Bank and on the Pont Saint-Michel collectively groaned.


US STOCKS-Wall St treads water after mixed earnings; Netflix in focus

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 13:13

U.S. stocks treaded water on Tuesday, as a surge in healthcare companies fizzled out and ahead of earnings reports from other big names including Netflix. Johnson & Johnson pared gains and was up 1.8%, while insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc reversed course to trade down 4.5%, pulling the healthcare sector 1.1% lower.


The Notre Dame Fire Put Priceless Art and Artifacts at Risk. Here's What Survived — and What Didn't

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 12:45

Many of the most vital pieces were rescued, but the fate of other works remains unclear


UPDATE 3-U.S. FDA orders transvaginal surgical mesh pulled from market

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 12:45

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday ordered makers of transvaginal surgical mesh implants to immediately stop their sale and distribution in the United States, the latest action by the agency to tackle safety issues related to the devices. The FDA said Boston Scientific Corp and Coloplast A/S did not demonstrate a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness of these devices in their premarket applications. The companies will have 10 days to submit their plan to withdraw these products from the market, the FDA said in a statement https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm636114.htm.


Best Grocery Stores and Supermarkets

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 12:39

America’s grocery shoppers have spoken, and they’ve said they like their regional chains. In Consumer Reports’ latest grocery store ratings of 96 chains, five regional grocers shared top marks fo...


Hybrids vs. Plug-In Hybrids

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 12:01

Here are the differences between these two types of complex automobiles and the pros and cons of each.


India acts against Tiktok app over pornography concerns

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 11:54

The Indian government on Tuesday ordered tech giants Google and Apple to take down the Chinese-owned Tiktok video app after a court expressed concerns over the spread of pornographic material, sources told AFP. Tiktok has already been banned in neighbouring Bangladesh and hit with an enormous fine in the United States for illegally collecting information from children. The app, which claims to have 500 million users worldwide with more than 120 million in India, has been fighting the effort to shut it down after a high court in Chennai called for the ban on April 3.


Stung by the IRS on Your 2018 Taxes

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 11:47

Stung by the IRS on Your 2018 Taxes? Here's How to Fix It. If your tax refund was smaller this tax season—or you're shocked at how much you owe—you're not alone. Data from the Internal Revenue S...


Syria, Iran say US is waging 'economic terrorism'

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 11:45

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria and Iran said Tuesday the United States is waging "economic terrorism" against countries that have different opinions and should pursue its aims through diplomacy instead.


SpaceX lost its Falcon Heavy core booster to the ocean

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 11:23

Last week, SpaceX finally accomplished something it had never done before. It launched the Falcon Heavy on its first commercial mission, and when its trio of boosters came back to Earth, it nailed all three of the landings. It was an incredible accomplishment, and still is, but unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans for Falcon Heavy's core booster.In an announcement that the company certainly wishes it didn't have to give, SpaceX revealed to The Verge that the Falcon Heavy center booster was swallowed up by the ocean after it landed safely on the company's drone ship.SpaceX described the unfortunate event thusly:> Over the weekend, due to rough sea conditions, SpaceX's recovery team was unable to secure the center core booster for its return trip to Port Canaveral. As conditions worsened with eight to ten foot swells, the booster began to shift and ultimately was unable to remain upright. While we had hoped to bring the booster back intact, the safety of our team always takes precedence. We do not expect future missions to be impacted.The company did apparently manage to recover the booster from the ocean, with Elon Musk revealing on Twitter that the booster's engines appeared "ok," but would have to be inspected closely:https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1118017021612937216Seawater can seriously damage many sensitive rocket components, and ensuring that any piece of hardware that endured a dunk in the ocean is completely free of any corrosion or buildup is a difficult task.Nevertheless, SpaceX has already announced that it plans to reuse the nosecone fairings of Falcon Heavy in another launch before the end of the year. The fairings splashed down in the ocean as well, and were quickly scooped up by SpaceX, so it seems the company is confident it can negate the effects of seawater on at least some of its pricey rocket parts.SpaceX almost hit a total home run with the second Falcon Heavy launch, but it seems there's still room for improvement. Maybe next time.


How wide is Bernie Sanders' appeal? This cheering Fox News audience is a clue

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 11:20

The US senator drew cheers from the audience when he spoke about healthcare, revealing just how popular his policies areBernie Sanders was supposed to be deep behind enemy lines on Monday night. He was in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for a live town hall, hosted by Fox News, a network “not everyone thought [he] should come on”. It was a resounding success, and a reminder that Bernie, not Trump, can actually rally together a majority of Americans.The Fox News moderators Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum didn’t figure that out at first. Early on Baier asked those in the audience with employer-sponsored health insurance to raise their hands. Then he asked those among them who would be willing to switch to government-run health insurance to raise their hands. The hands stayed up, the crowd cheered.Bernie Sanders didn’t shift his rhetoric to the right to accommodate his hosts, or what many would assume to be the preconceptions of his audience. Instead, he was simply Bernie. Straightforward, honest and pivoting brilliantly to his strongest talking points.When faced right off the bat with questions about his tax returns, which showed that he had earned a healthy sum off book royalties, he joked that he couldn’t apologize for that and that it was a “pretty good book” that the Fox News hosts “might want to read”.When an audience member asked him about why he calls himself a democratic socialist, he didn’t shy away from the term: “Democratic socialism to me is creating a government, and an economy, and a society that works for all rather than just the top 1%.” He denounced “absurd inequalities” and said that human beings were entitled to basic rights to health and education, things that shouldn’t be privileges, the result of accidents of birth. An audience that we’ve been told hated socialism, and feared government, applauded.Failing to tar him as a millionaire hypocrite, Baier shifted gears and tried to depict him as a bad socialist: wasn’t making money off a bestselling book the definition of capitalism, a sign that the system was rewarding good effort? Sanders had a ready reply: “What we are fighting for is a society where not just a few people can make a whole lot of money but a society where everybody can have the ability to live in security and dignity.”Sanders fended off hard questions, about his age, and about whether his ideas were too radical, with appeals to a majoritarian commonsense that the United States should not wage foreign wars, that everyone deserves a living wage, healthcare, and protection in old age. While other candidates fumble with word salads calling for things like “affordable access” to social goods, Sanders speaks about social rights and the obligations that a state has to its citizens, and why we need to tax the income of the wealthy to pay for it.Compare it with the message millions have been getting from elites over the years: struggling with addiction to opioids? You must be morally weak. Your plant closed down? Stop whining and take a coding class. Can’t afford to see a doctor? Why don’t you eat better and try some yoga. In other words, it’s your fault. And those working harder or with better habits are the ones getting ahead.Trump spoke to some of this anger, but directed it at immigrants and others also looking for a better life. And once elected he’s used his office to further boost the wealth and power of the 1%. Against this, the reminder from Sanders is simple: it’s not your fault. You’re doing what you can, but you need help and the society that helps you will enable you to help yourself and others. “We are the wealthiest country in the history of the world … why should we be the major country with the highest rate of childhood poverty?” It’s a good question, one that Trump would never ask.But it’s not simply enough to say that we all deserve nice things. Sanders was keen to remind the audience that we’d have to go up against a powerful political establishment, against big corporations and against the military-industrial complex to reshape the United States. He provided, in other words, an object of scorn, a proper place to direct anger – not other bullied people, but those benefiting from oppression and exploitation.Sanders wasn’t speaking to Fox News, he wasn’t speaking to a “red state” crowd, he was speaking to a progressive majority that exists everywhere – from the country’s large cities (home, mostly, to working people not “coastal elites”) to its rural heartland – and it showed.He did stumble a bit talking about immigration, professing a view that acknowledged the humanity of those attempting to enter this country, but not pushing against the narrative of false scarcity that tells us that the United States is full and that there’s a finite amount of good jobs to go around. But overall, he spoke with moral urgency, emphasizing not just economic justice, but social, environmental and racial justice too.Though he often attacked Trump, he did more than that, offering dreams, ambitions, and real policy for a working class that has seen its wages and living standards stagnant for decades to aspire to. He didn’t mention Russia once; he focused on the issues that he could discuss with the most clarity. This is the type of formula that can win an election, that can counter Trump’s dangerous right-populism, that can unite those struggling for a better life across the country.There’s a small fringe of racists and backward-looking people that Sanders will never be able to win over, but for the vast, alienated majority, Bernie laid out a vision for progress and prosperity. He may just march that majority into the White House. * Bhaskar Sunkara is the founding editor of Jacobin magazine and a Guardian US columnist. He is the author of The Socialist Manifesto: The Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extreme Inequality


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