CleanTechnica is the #1 cleantech news & analysis site in the world. Subscribe today!The future is now.

Clean Power

Published on February 20th, 2016 | by Zachary Shahan


Sanders vs Clinton vs ?? — Some Thoughts

February 20th, 2016 by  

CleanTechnica‘s top adviser recently reached out to potentially discuss what CleanTechnica‘s position on endorsing a candidate would be. We both felt it was better at this stage to postpone any such endorsement, and I think writers on our team would have some big differences of opinion on who to endorse. So, this is no official endorsement.

Nonetheless, I have gotten the election bug (which has been quite detrimental to my work productivity) and I wanted to throw some thoughts down on CleanTechnica that I think are worth sharing.

Firstly, jumping straight into some energy and climate issues, one thing that is important to me is Hillary Clinton’s ties to Keystone XL (that just keep growing) and her very long delay in opposing it, which she only really did right around the time Obama strongly indicated he wouldn’t approve it (and I’m assuming Clinton got word of that decision and followed suit). If Hillary had to take so long before making a stance on such a topic, and many think she was inclined to approve, it makes me concerned about her strength in opposing fossil fuels. In reality, I think she’d continue an “all of the above” strategy that I think is having and will in the long term have truly disastrous and society-threatening consequences. While I’m sure she’d have stronger climate policy than the legitimate psychopaths leading the race for Republican leadership, as well as the pollution-loving contenders bringing up the rear, I think she’d be far too fossil-friendly for my tastes (not just in rhetoric to win a general election, but also in policy).

To be honest, I don’t recall ever hearing Hillary make a statement that I would classify as a “climate hawk” statement. If someone has a good one or two you can share, I’d love to see it.

Bill Clinton has made some great statements on global warming and climate change in recent years (less constrained by partisan politics, perhaps), and Hillary has made strong statements in support of clean energy, but the point isn’t just to support clean energy, it’s also to strongly cut energy from dirty sources that pollute our world, destroy our health, cause premature death, and warm our world to a species-threatening degree.

Up till August, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley had made many strong policy statements/commitments on climate and energy matters, while Hillary had put very little out there that would make her come across as a climate hawk. Maybe she thought her nomination was a given and didn’t want to weaken her chances of defeating a Republican in the general election, but it’s not particularly uplifting to those of us who see climate change as such a critical matter and think we need a real champion and leader on this topic in the presidency.

Overall, I’m not sure of her sincerity (it may be exceptional), but so much of what she says comes across as political pandering just to win an election. And this is an impression that so many people have, combined with a relentless amount of political and media pressure on several of her past decisions and her honesty, that she is widely seen as untrustworthy. As one political pundit summarizes:

71% of men and 64% of women find Clinton “not honest and trustworthy.”

74% of Independent voters find Clinton “not honest and trustworthy.”

35% of Democrats find Clinton “not honest and trustworthy.” Yes, even Democrats.

Whether it’s based on misperception or valid insight, it is what it is, and beyond being a personal concern of mine, I think it also presents a great threat to Hillary’s chances in a general election in which a large portion of the voters have strong opinions on this matter. (Bernie, on the other hand, seems to have great potential to win over a decent percentage of Republican voters, and is currently the frontrunner in a general election — admittedly, based on premature polling. Overall, his core focus on corruption in politics is something that connects well with Republicans as well. I wonder why….)

Also, in general, I think Hillary’s challenges making people laugh and getting people excited present large challenges in a general election. Even in a primary in which she was basically gifted the nomination (by superdelegates, the mass media, etc), she has been unable to escape a neck-and-neck challenge from Bernie Sanders. Furthermore, there’s a large percentage of Democrats unwilling to support her even in a general election.

But getting back to energy matters and Bernie Sanders, here are some notes on him. We ran an article by Bernie all the way back in 2012, with this photo at the top:


The article detailed Mitt Romney’s relationship to energy, and highlighted Bernie’s strong opposition to subsidies for fossil fuels. Here’s one quote from that:

Romney is right about one thing: The government does pick winners and losers in the energy sector. What Romney has not told the American people, however, is that the big winners of federal support are the already immensely profitable fossil fuel and nuclear industries, not sustainable energy.

Going on:

As a member of both the Senate energy and environment committees, I am working to stop the handouts to the fossil fuel industry. I have introduced legislation called the End Polluter Welfare Act. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) filed the companion bill in the House of Representatives. Our measure calls for the elimination for all subsidies to the oil, gas, and coal industries. Using the best available estimates from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation and other budget experts, we found that over $113 billion in federal subsidies will go to fossil fuel corporations over the next 10 years. These subsidies benefit some of the wealthiest corporations on the planet, including the five largest oil corporations, which made a combined profit of $1 trillion over the last decade. Unlike sustainable energy incentives, many of these fossil fuel subsidies are written permanently into the tax code by industry lobbyists, which means they never expire.

As you can see, this gets into Bernie’s core topic of focus in the debates, and presumably politically — corruption in US politics and policy. Fundamentally, from climate, to broader environmental and energy topics, to equity topics, to economic topics, Bernie highlights that Big Money has far too much influence over our political system and has been rigging the system in the favor of the rich and lucky over the rest of us.

I think that’s a matter that many of us became well aware of years ago, and that has disenfranchised many intelligent citizens who need to be a part of the political process. It’s just a bit of a shock that we finally have a legitimate presidential candidate who is focused on this problem, rather than participating in it.

In a recent article on Think Progress, Emily Atkin did a great job highlighting how Bernie’s deep criticism of US politics guided his response to the Nevada solar crisis compared to Hillary’s. Naturally, recognizing the anti-rooftop solar nightmare that just arrived in a key state at this point of the primaries, both Bernie and Hillary are using the opportunity to try to attract more voters to the Nevada Democratic caucuses.

Here’s the summary of Bernie’s response:

Here’s how Sanders seems to be approaching the issue: Remind voters that a fossil-fuel funded billionaire caused the problem, and empower them to take action themselves.

How did a billionaire cause the problem? In a nutshell, the new solar fees were requested by NV Energy, the state’s energy utility, which is owned by billionaire Warren Buffett. NV Energy argued that solar customers needed to be on equal footing with other sources like fossil fuels, and should not be getting comparatively low fees and high incentives from the state. In addition, the state’s increase in rooftop solar customers was harmful to NV’s business, as solar customers only had to buy electricity from the utility at night.

In addition, Buffett’s NV Energy has “substantial” monetary ties to Nevada Gov. Sandoval, who appointed the PUC members, according to Ecowatch. “First, Sandoval’s two election campaigns have both received the maximum allowed donation under state law from NV Energy,” Ecowatch writes. “Next, two of NV Energy’s primary lobbyists, Pete Ernaut and Gregory W. Ferraro, are two of the Republican governor’s closest advisers.”

In other words, the Nevada solar situation is right up Sanders’ political alley. He is anti-billionaire; anti-money in politics; pro-climate action; and anti-fossil fuel. And in Nevada, a billionaire-owned, fossil fuel-powered energy monopoly is contributing heavily to a Republican governor’s campaign, with the goal of reducing solar power in the state.

In contrast, here’s the summary of Hillary’s response:

Her proposed solution to the problem, however, is different from Sanders’. Instead of appealing to voters individually, she is broadly advocating for the passage of federal law.

Specifically, she cited an amendment to The Energy Policy Modernization Act (EPMA), which would limit the ability of state agencies and utilities — like the PUC and NV Energy — to retroactively change rates and fees for existing customers. The amendment was proposed by Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) in response to Nevada’s struggles.

“Utilities should not be allowed to penalize consumers with retroactive rule changes that cause financial hardship and slow the transition to a clean energy economy,” Clinton said. “[The amendment] would safeguard the benefits that consumers, many in Nevada, believed they would receive by investing in clean energy in their homes and businesses.”

As someone who is very keen on rooting out (as much as possible, at least) the corruption in the US political system, and empowering citizens to be better educated and more active politically in order to do so, I think you can see by now that I’m in obvious support of Bernie Sanders. The fact that he has long been an obvious climate hawk, has pioneered strong clean energy legislation in Congress, and has rolled out truly progressive climate and energy plans (while Hillary has delayed making strong plans and seldom stuck her neck out there to advance climate action and cleantech growth) all come together to make the choice to support Sanders that much easier.

Of course, there are numerous matters outside of climate and energy that are important to consider. The story on most of them tends to be the same, from my perspective.

I think I wouldn’t judge anyone for having a different perspective on this race, but I’d be interested to hear your arguments to the contrary if you disagree.

[Update] And by the way…

Complete our 2017 CleanTechnica Reader Survey — have your opinions, preferences, and deepest wishes heard.

Check out our 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

Tags: , , ,

About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

  • J.H.

    I think that it is clear, as to who we like. The question is who is electable. The other issue is the vacancy on the supreme court. We can all take for granted what the republican party position is going to be, “obstruction”. But the fact of the matter is there are a lot of pissed off republican out their, and for good reason. I like that Bernie may capture some votes from the right, who would of thought. I think this anger within the republican party may open the door for the democrats to regain the majority with in congress especially if Trump wins the nomination. If you think the republicans are in turmoil now, just wait.

    • Agreed. In fact, my greatest fear about Hillary winning the nomination is that I’m afraid she can’t win the general election…

      But it’s looking like a Trump vs Clinton matchup right now, which would be… interesting….

      • J.H.

        I’m not sure, Clinton has some baggage. Emails and Benghazi and what ever else the far right (Rove) Clinton hater spin can dream up.They are going to drag her through the mud again. I think Sanders vs Trump would be more interesting race. I feel both parties are sitting on pins and neddle’s, astonished by the reaction of the people that are fed-up with politicians and special interest groups.

  • Otis11

    “legitimate psychopaths leading the race for Republican leadership” – come on now… let’s keep it clean. If you’re going by the strict definition of psychopaths only two candidates of the 5 possible truly fall into that category, and no, they’re not both Republicans.

    That said, both sides are presenting fairly radical views – but just because you/I/we disagree with the ‘other’ side doesn’t justify calling them psychopaths. (Which is a real medical condition, it’s similar to using the term retarded derogatorily – let’s rise above.)

    Second, as for who to nominate:

    “Bernie, on the other hand, seems to have great potential to win over a decent percentage of Republican voters”
    “Furthermore, there’s a large percentage of Democrats unwilling to support her [Clinton] even in a general election”

    It doesn’t matter if you get the nomination if you can’t win the election!

    Interestingly enough, the more ‘moderate’ one has lower support among the conservative side than the ‘socialist’…

    (Before anyone attacks me – I am a solid Independent and am very equal-opportunity: I pretty much disdain both sides. Also, I’m not a single-issue voter, and I encourage others not to be either – please inform yourself on all of the issues (not just the ones the media likes to highlight) and draw your own conclusions. Going to end before I get off on a rant…)

    • i linked to the Wikipedia page for psychopaths for a reason, but maybe should have just included this line: “defined as a personality disorder characterized by enduring antisocial behavior, diminished empathy and remorse, and disinhibited or bold behavior.”

      2 GOP frontrunners definitely fit that description from what i can see.

      as far as electability, it’s hard to know how things would look by the time the general election comes around, but Bernie is leading everyone else right now according to the polls, and i think there are obvious reasons for that. furthermore, the demographics he is weakest with he could very likely make a lot of progress recruiting in the coming months. of course, smears/fear-mongering from the GOP side could also set him back a bit.

      as far as issues, i definitely agree. given the focus of this site, i only focused on the topics we are “experts” in. but there are several other very important topics i think people should be educated and acting on.

      • neroden

        Ted Cruz scares the living daylights out of me. His father, a minister in a particularly crazy religious cult, apparently brought him up believing that he was destined to become a “king”. (Google Seven Mountains Dominionism and Cruz) It explains a lot.

        • Ha. Yeah, I can hardly consider the option of him winning. He’d be my last choice. Fortunately, I don’t think he can win the nomination. But there’s obviously a chance of it.

          But I’d say my biggest concern, based on what I think is possible/likely, is a Rubio-Clinton matchup where Rubio takes the White House.

          • neroden

            I don’t think the Rubiobot can win the nomination, let alone the White House.

            The thing is: Democratic primaries are proportional representation. So with each getting half the vote, Sanders got half the delegates in Iowa and Clinton got half the delegates (Clinton ahead by 2). Clinton is ahead by one delegate from Nevada. Sanders is ahead by 6 delegates from New Hampshire, thanks to a blowout result. Sanders can “lose” South Carolina and still get nearly half the delegates.

            But Republican primaries are almost all first-past-the-post. So with 30% of the vote, Donald Trump got ALL the South Carolina delegates. This math is killing everyone but Trump. Unless everyone else all drop outs and endorse the same guy (Cruz certainly won’t, and the others seem unwilling to), Trump may have it sewn up by Super Tuesday.

            And Rubio is a poor campaigner. So even if all the others back Rubio… with Cruz in the race, Trump may still come in first and get 100% of the delegates.

          • Hmm, well, I’ll hope for that.

            I’m assuming Carson can’t last much longer and Kasich won’t go much longer either, but I know Kasich has money and has been focusing on Super Tuesday states, so I’m hoping he’ll stick around long enough to hold Rubio off. If Carson & Kasich both drop out, I’d think a lot of money and voters would swing to Rubio and he’d surpass Trump. Question is if it would happen fast enough.

            I don’t see Cruz dropping out unless he’s all but forced to, but can’t see him winning. (But I’ve been wrong before when thinking certain GOP candidates couldn’t possibly be elected and re-elected….)

      • Otis11

        “2 GOP frontrunners” – so 2 out of Trump, Cruz and Rubio? Only one of them is clinical. Not that the others are great, but I think it’s a stretch to say they’re actually psychopaths (Though, the media is trying to paint a second one as such… and is fairly successful at it so far – but it just doesn’t hold up under actual scrutiny.)

        And how do you think the more liberal parts of society would react to that type of accusation? (I’d say they’d be up in arms, but they’re not the ones with guns…)

        We can do better than stooping to the level of tabloid-esque ‘journalists’ who sling mud. I prefer to present a factually backed, logical argument and allow others (especially politicians) to paint themselves into a corner – it’d be quite entertaining to watch if I weren’t so concerned that they (politicians in general) are our leaders…

      • Otis11

        So, while I think you were joking (or at least not being totally serious), I happened to have a very similar discussion in the presence of a friend of mine who just happens to be a psychologist, so I got her input.

        Apparently you “only need 3 [of the 7] traits to qualify, but technically you also need evidence of conduct disorder with onset before age 15.” She went on to describe how almost all mental illnesses are a spectrum to begin with, and that mental patients actually suffer a lot – “Their illness is a disease that handicaps them.” While these politician’s behavior may be “reprehensible” – direct quote here – “categorizing it as mentally ill is a disservice to the mentally ill” (That comment was directed at Hillary, but she went on to make it clear she would absolutely apply that to Trump as well.)

        And yes, for the record, I did take notes and everything in quotes is a direct quote.

        So, with that, it’s official. Can we stop this Rhetoric and stay on point?

        • OK, thanks.

          “only need 3 [of the 7] traits to qualify, but technically you also need evidence of conduct disorder with onset before age 15.”

          I honestly think these 2 people would qualify. But I’m not going to dig into it enough to “safely confirm” that, so I won’t use the term again.

        • Ah, btw, if you are interested in diving further into this matter, this is a highly recommended book that I haven’t yet read but have seen the author talk about it and was quite interesting:

  • Guest

    Mr. Sanders is a badly needed “New Dealer”. I have my misgivings whether Mrs. Clinton can credibly deliver it as well. Back in 1933 American elites got it. I’m not sure they will this time.

  • NRG4All

    Last night Hillery is sounding more like Bernie in her victory speech of the Nevada Caucus win. I truly think that she will say whatever she thinks will get her elected. She doesn’t seem genuine to me. She started using the word “we” instead of “I” and “me” as she did in previous speeches. She even borrowed Bernie’s plea for donations by listing her website. Personally we’re more attracted to

    • newnodm

      I find the speaking fees and other large corporate money she has collected over the years to be unacceptable. However, I think the best candidate is the one with the best chance to beat the Republican nominee.

  • Larry

    “Follow the Money”. We all know who bought and paid for the Republican candidates (except Donald Trump who pays for himself). The $550 million dollar war chest the Koch Bros have established to promote Karl Rove generated misinformation and droid sounding talking points for GOP presidential wannabes should show anyone who is willing to open their eyes what direction they are heading. Hillary has some baggage with Wall Street money showing up in the PACs that are supporting her. Bernie has been able to finance his campaign without selling his soul to the dark money sources so far. Hillary is an ardent advocate for women’s rights (long overdue issue) but is extremely light on clean energy advocacy. How many fossil fuel corporations are somehow involved in those PACs she gets money from? Bernie Sanders doesn’t have any I.O.U’s to pay back to the Kochs or Exxon, etc. His position on fossil fuels and clean energy is far stronger and for a LOT longer than Clinton’s. Both Clinton and Sanders have progressive platforms. I could vote for either, but with one I’d have to hold my nose.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Where can I find a factual comparison of Clinton’s and Sander’s record on fossil fuels and the environment?

    • Well summarized.


    I’m for Bernie Sanders.

  • JeffJL


    What about Donald Trump.

    “Clean Energy Loves Me.”

    You cannot argue with that.

    • LOL 😀 Honestly, I’m super eager to see him get to the general election and what kind of things he says. But am skeptical he can get that far.

  • Kristendkeefe2

    ::c755Work At Home….Special Report….Earn 18k+ per monthfew days ago new McLaren. F1 bought after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a days ..with extra open doors & weekly. paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn. More right Here::c755➤➤➤➤➤­nu .❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:::::::c755…

  • Oraliabwindham

    ::f124Work At Home….Special Report….Earn 18k+ per monthfew days ago new McLaren. F1 bought after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a days ..with extra open doors & weekly. paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn. More right Here::f124➤➤➤➤➤­nu .❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:::::::f124…..

  • Hi Zach, Excellent article and videos. Thanks. Without Dennis Kucinich or Elizabeth Warren in the race, I believe that Bernie is the best candidate for renewable energy.

    As for Hillary, let’s not forget that CT has her full speech posted from the 2014 National Clean Energy Summit (see below link). While she may have been pandering to the greens, I do believe that she’s pro renewables. I consider it likely that the campaign will cause her speeches to be more conservative than she actually is on many topics as she has to attract the centrist independents to get elected.

    Her first comment after her acknowledgements was this:
    “You shouldn’t have to say the obvious, that the data is unforgiving, no matter what the deniers try to assert. Sea levels are rising. Ice caps are melting. Storms, droughts, and wildfires are wreaking havoc. Thirteen of the top fourteen warmest years have all come since 2000. And this July, scientists found levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere not seen in millions of years. So the threat is real.”

    • Great points. Thanks, Daryl.

      • You’re welcome. 🙂
        (By the way, the reason why this article including her speech didn’t show up in the CT Hillary search link that you provided in your article is because, if I’m not mistaken, when posting that article, the poster misspelled her name (one “L” in Hillary) in the URL. Can that be fixed so it shows up in future searches?)

        • Ah, didn’t even realize it wasn’t there. It’s not actually search results but the tag (archives) for Hillary. I’ll go add the tag to the article now.

          • Thank you. That makes sense. Mybad on the tag. Thanks for updating. 🙂

  • chrisbrandow

    i’d stay out of endorsing.

  • Ivor O’Connor

    There is no difference between republicans and democrats. Regardless of the faces they put on for public consumption they are both controlled by the same corporations. Don’t waste your votes on either party. We need real change.

    • Todd

      Here here!

    • Matthew Rose

      That’s what the republicans want of those whom will never vote for a republican to think.

      • Ivor O’Connor

        It is like a “Chinese finger trap”. American’s obviously are not smart enough to see the big picture. Otherwise it wouldn’t still be a two party race. We need a courageous third party that refuses to get co-opted into the bigger parties despite the very real dangers. Perhaps a wind-and-solar party.

        And how do you see California and Mississippi looking so much alike?

        • Omega Centauri

          The way our electoral system is constructed, whomever (left or right or green brown or whatever you want to call it) splits their vote between two similar alternative parties hands the election to the party most opposed to their preferred parties. Canada had two progressive parties, and one conservative one, and was stuck with the very anti-renewable Harper for quite a while because of that. Brittain is stuck with Cameron’s anti-renewables government for a similar reason.

        • Sanders is clearly an Independent who took on the Democrat label so that he’d have a genuine chance of winning the election, which he now has. He is still labeled at I-VT in political press.

    • Omega Centauri

      But, what we have to offer in the near term, is a choice of lesser evils. Its still crucial in this election to support the party favorable to RE, and oppose the party hostile to it. If Republicans run, we will likely drop out of the Paris agreement, and what effect will that have on China/Inida etc.

      Both sides do it has been an effective way to suppress the progressive voter turnout, and is responsible for the terribly anti-renewable congress we have.

      • Todd

        I used to say the “lesser of two evils” comment. Now I realize it’s the choice of death by hanging vs firing squad. Not really much of a choice, is it?

        • Bob_Wallace

          Apparently no one has explained the difference between cooking the planet and not cooking the planet to you.

          One of those is a “less evil”.

    • Shane 2

      It doesn’t make any difference if a Democrat or Republican nominates SCOTUS judges. Bwa ha ha ha ha. The Koch brothers thank you for your service.

      • Ivor O’Connor

        It’s amazing watching all the hoopla currently surrounding the Supreme Court. Makes me wonder…

    • Are you following? Bernie Sanders is clearly not an establishment Democrat.

      Also, I think the point your making is with too broad a brush. Even Noam Chomsky, who I think is one of the thought leaders who has led that argument, notes that there are important differences across parties:

      “Incidentally, I don’t say it’s a charade. There are differences in the parties. I don’t think they’re *great* differences, but they’re *real*. And small differences in a system of great power can have *enormous* consequences.”

      • Ivor O’Connor

        I downloaded and watched Noam. I also downloaded and watched the debate between Clinton vs Sanders. Sanders makes Clinton look like the village idiot in every way. However no good comes out of supporting a two party system. As history has shown repeatedly.

    • Following up, watch Noam’s short response on some of the differences starting 2:15 in:

      There may not be bigger differences than I’d like, but those are some pretty stroking differences, and there are certainly many others.

      • Ivor O’Connor

        I like much of what Chomsky says. Using a “hammer” and carpet bombing everything as the republicans, Obama and Clinton do simply multiplies our problems. As he pointed out. It is what the “terrorists” want us to do. It wastes our money and political goodwill leaving us at a huge loss. However they have already won. We no longer have the money to continue our stupid war mongering ways. We’ll slowly withdraw and in a generation the regions we were in will turn peaceful and join the world economy much like Vietnam did. Likewise economics will also win out on the renewable energy front. Wind is already cheaper than anything and PV is rapidly becoming the second cheapest overall solution. Both are growing at an exponential rate. So crony capitalism built around power plants is no longer a viable option. Voting republican or democrat because of fear of the other simply keeps the evil in office.

    • Karl the brewer

      Billy Connolly sums it up nicely. We have it bad in the UK with our referendum. It’s not going to be safe to turn the TV on for another 4 and a bit months 😉

      Edit – I must add that I do vote though.

  • heinbloed

    Since the first picture in the article is showing Vermont’s Senator we should highlight the Fukushimaartists’ work there as well:

    So we understand what REs are about.

  • Todd

    Why do so many of these clean energy and EV tech sites have to be so extremely leftist? As an engineer who just loves the idea of clean energy and tech, I come here for exciting trends and to learn more, yet we are treated to a post like this where the only possible choices in the presidency are an extremist and a pathological liar? You only see the world through the prism of which one will give you the most stuff of what you want and ban the stuff that you don’t want. Why not be excited about the tech and promote it without forcing it down people’s throats? I think we could appeal to a much larger swath of the population if these things weren’t always painted as a liberal issue. Environmentalism is far from a leftist ideal, yet you paint it as such, alienating conservatives who might like to be more environmental. You forget that a lot of the clean energy things you push for are actually helping the rich and those that can already afford them, which is supposedly opposite of what Sanders believes. I’m against subsidies (for fossil fuels and otherwise), but I gladly accepted my tax break for solar panels and my EV because I see it as finally get back some of the small fortune taken from me over the last couple decades. I implore you to drop the leftist garbage and just focus on how we can make everyone’s lives better through clean energy and technology.

    • vensonata .

      I am going to answer this first, only because I want to give a reasoned response and I feel that some that follow may be more strongly emotional. The core issue is climate change. If it does not trouble you, well then you cannot understand the “liberal” mindset. It is clear to the left that the right is adamantly in denial for reasons that have nothing to do with science. Many on the right actually just don’t like government interference and will reject, without consideration, any suggestion that there are some issues which require an elected government to manage. The left think climate change is a matter of survival that can not be used as an experiment in free market economics.
      That is why these clean tech sites cannot separate technology from politics.

      • Todd

        “That is why these clean tech sites cannot separate technology from politics.”

        Which is what I find unfortunate. Clean technologies have so much momentum and when people focus on one issue that is on the bottom of the list of Americans, it alienates them. Some in the middle or on the right may reject them out of spite because they don’t like being forced by a government.

        It’s one of the things I notice about the EV tech sites. They promote EVs as if their exclusive benefit is that they are “green”. That is a terrible way to promote them. I bought one because they make so much economic sense, are powerful, quiet, all with little maintenance. Oh, and they happen to be “green” too, which is cool. But because the promoters focus on the green aspect, it’s hard to get non-owners to see past that. I get a bit of ridicule for switching to an EV because they think I’m now some “green” weenie. Even an extreme leftist friend of mine makes fun of me, which is ironic.

        • Dan

          “Clean technologies have so much momentum and when people focus on one issue that is on the bottom of the list of Americans, it alienates them. ”

          Back in the day, before the the U.S. entered, WWI, and also before WWII, the American Public did not want to enter the war. At least a great many did not. Xenophobia was prevalent then as it is now. It required the sinking of the Lusitania to galvanize public support for the first great war and the attack on Pearl Harbor for the second.

          Was it inevitable that the U.S. get involved? I’m not certain about the first, although the second was a more sure thing considering…Nazis.

          So my point is, when there is a great threat, the public does not always recognize it until we are already being seriously affected by the threat. The sad thing about global warming, and the less discussed mass extinction, occuring due to human activity is that the effects are spread across distances and time. People scoff at me in my area when I mention data or statistics. Numbers which should invoke a threat analysis often mean nothing to people without some disastrous context involving a foreign enemy and casualties.

          Meanwhile, the fossil fuel and big agriculture lobby is obfuscating the facts.

          The gist of what I’m trying to say is the that reality may beat us to the punch while the blind are leading the blind.

          My deepest appreciatian goes out to all the good people in the clean energy community for their scientific inclination and our common humanity.

          $$$ is not greater than life.

          Ecology comes before economics on the tree of knowledge.

          • Todd

            I get the point your making. Sometimes people do need a push. I just think that science and technology matches on with or without government. So I know it’s inevitable that renewable energy will get better and overtake all other forms whether we like it or not.

          • Dan

            The energy economy should move literally as fast as possible to replace fossil fuels for electricity production since the supply chains make it vulnerable to price fluctuations. Hyperinflation could turn the lights off if any of the fragile major infrastructure legs bottlenecked, but with renewables (once they are built) the ability to generate electricity is less constrained by the global economy.

            Food for thought,

            Getting off Oil completely should be a slightly longer term goal since that exact thing could trigger hyperinflation. Electric transportation needs to develop because that future is inevitable, so urgency is still in order. Without evs we are left stranded without a lifeboat or a paddle to swim up extrament creek. Weening ourselves off oil may ease the petrodollar crisis while we stimulate a whole new sector of a booming renewables industry to offset the loss of the American Dollar hegemony. Perhaps a whole new system could be constructed around a Kilowatt/hour based currency. Energy economics has worked (sort of) for the Petrodollar… just an idea, I have no idea how that would play out. It’s just certain that the Petrodollar isn’t something America should expect to last forever and when we have the rugs pulled out from under us… it’ll be a wild ride.

            The bigger you are…

          • Todd

            Good point about hyperinflation and the petrodollar. I agree that we need to move quickly to increase renewables as a hedge to the petrodollar collapse. Renewables are truly a democratization of energy which gives power back to the individual. My house is now energy neutral and the constant increases in energy prices no longer directly affect me.

          • Dan

            It would be cool if a system like the old gold standard, with a set price per unit of gold, but instead used a unit of electricity in watts. I’m definitely an amateur economist but that appeals to me because of what I’ve learned about the standard international units of measurement, and the derived units.


            An economic unit of currency dervived from watt/hours…

          • Todd

            Yes that would be cool! Maybe in the future it will be something like Bitcoin/kWh.

          • Bob_Wallace

            ” I just think that science and technology matches on with or without government. ”

            How do you view governments that are anti-science? How about governments that support things that science clearly shows to be bad for us?

            I agree that science and technology march on. But some governments assist the march and some slow it.

          • GOP leadership supports subsidies for fossil fuels that make them seem more cost competitive. They support cutting regulations that require a certain base level of clean air and water that don’t reduce our average life expectancy by 2–3 years. They don’t support international cooperation on climate change despite the fact that **every other nation in the modern world** does. Clearly, they put their thumb very heavily on stopping progress, which could delay it enough to result in truly society-threatening global warming and climate change.

            Sorry, I’m a big fan of market forces and work on the market side of things, but to ignore the importance of these factors is to demonstrate a serious flaw in logic… or paid trolling, which I’m not going to assume, but know happens widely and in cleverly deceitful ways.

        • Omega Centauri

          It is true, that we need to try to make these things appeal across the political spectrum. To become mainstream, they gotta be cool be wide swaths of the population.

          I do value your input on these matters, even if I strongly disagree on the politics. Please don’t go away, just because your ideas are not all that popular here.

        • If you follow our site, you know that I primarily promote EVs as more enjoyable, fun, safe to drive and more convenient.

          Yes, it’s election season, and democracy is built on people being informed and engaging in democracy. Everyone should be engaged and discussing the matter, imho, and doing their best to learn everything they can to make a smart decision.

          As a fairly influential member of the media, I feel like it’s my responsibility to present some logical arguments.

          As you can see, I basically just discussed Bernie and Hillary. Anyone who genuinely thinks the GOP will help them and society as a whole is so far out of touch with good logic that I don’t feel compelled to try to educate them. I don’t fully understand how people can be so misinformed when the party leadership has repeatedly tanked the economy, harmed our health, ruined our finances, and decreased our national security. It is stunning to me.

          In the general election, perhaps I’ll post another political piece if I feel it could be helpful.

          • Todd

            “I don’t fully understand how people can be so misinformed when the party leadership has repeatedly tanked the economy, harmed our health, ruined our finances, and decreased our national security. It is stunning to me.”

            Which is exactly what I’m thinking when you claim a Democrat is better. {sigh}

    • John Moore

      Todd, dude, what are you talking about?
      You say “You only see the world through the prism of which one will give you the most stuff of what you want and ban the stuff that you don’t want.”
      Huh? What rubbish. The free stuff is being given to the FF industry, just, by the way.
      If “these” sites seem “leftist” to you, it’s because progressives are for renewable energy, and in case you haven’t noticed, conservatives are not.

      • Todd

        There’s free stuff given all over the place, which is exactly what I already said. And you other comment is incomplete; progressives AND conservatives are for renewable energy. It’s just that progressives believe the way to promote it is to subsidize it. Not everyone believes that.
        Personally, I think that renewable energy is guaranteed to win in the long run and doesn’t require government to dictate it. Technology simply moves too fast for clean energy to not overtake FF on price in the near future.

        • John Moore

          Conservatives are NOT for renewable energy. They don’t even know what it is. Does “Drill baby, drill” ring a bell?

          • Omega Centauri

            Actually a think a plurality of the general “conservative” public support clean energy. But the political class has thrown in with the big money fossil interests, and those pro-green conservatives don’t make enough of an issue that the political class would rather follow the money than the public sentiment
            The conservative political class will become green when the conservative electorate demands it. Otherwise the mega-donar class calls the shots..

          • Todd

            I think you’re correct there, Omega

    • Ivor O’Connor

      Maybe you have found a republican candidate somewhere that supports environmentalism? Last time I tallied the votes every single republican denies AGW. The only “end” they see coming is the one they read about in their bible.

      • Todd

        I believe they all disagree with the AGW theory but I think there might be a couple that accept that the climate does change over time. It’s funny you mention the Bible as the left treat AGW with the religious fervor that Catholics treat the Pope.

        • vensonata .

          No Todd, the left do not treat science like religion. They treat it like science. An overwhelming body of evidence tells us about the present cause of global warming, not faith, not intuition, not prayer. As far as the “couple that accept that climate does change over time”, do you mean that some think the climate never changes? That could only be the ones who believe the earth is 6000 years old. As for the others who sometimes utter the idiotic phrase “the climate has always changed”, they are certainly correct and missing the point entirely, which means they are ineligible to join in a reasoned discussion with adults, let alone be elected to office, even as a dog catcher.

          • Todd

            Those of us actually in the sciences know that consensus is not equal to fact. Nor is there a consensus as to the cause of climate change. The fact that you resort to name calling of those that may not agree shows you are not one of reasonable adults. Do you think reasonable adults must always agree with your opinion?
            In my work, I develop a theory. Then I develop a plan to test my theory. I may find evidence of my theory but I can never prove it for sure. I can only say what I observe. The same goes with AGW. For me, the fact that there is so much money and corruption involved tells me there’s a problem and we should be skeptical of politicians that are fanatics about it.

          • Todd

            By the way, people like you always cite a so called consensus. Yet there is none.

          • Joe Viocoe

            You are confusing the word consensus, with unanimous. Which makes me think you aren’t really in the sciences.
            Finding a small, vocal minority of qualified scientists to decent from AGW… does not break a consensus. The overwhelming majority of those studying climate, agree.

            Those who treat science as a religion,… are the folks who start abandoning reason and the scientific method, to obtain a conclusion that makes them feel better about what they are doing. It is called cognitive dissonance. Some folks are too reluctant to think that the industrial society they are a part of… is harming the environment… so they justify, justify, justify. If that means compromising the science to preserve their self worth, so be it.

          • Todd

            You’re also missing the point of my original post. Renewable energy is not a right/left issue. It’s about technology that marches on with or without your support. We should be here supporting it and helping those that are t in the know the merits of these new and exciting technologies. The name calling that so often goes with the politics just muddies the waters and distracts from the cool stuff.

          • “You’re also missing the point of my original post. Renewable energy is not a right/left issue. It’s about technology that marches on with or without your support.”

            Unfortunately, Republican leadership in DC (not in all states, for obvious reasons) has made it a very right/left issue. A dramatically important one. Despite Republican voters preferring clean energy, candidates for president or Congress are basically not allowed to, or else they get defunded, competed against in primaries, and eventually become unelectable. It is a key talking point of GOP candidates to say they will abolish or defund the EPA, which would make our cities look like Beijing; to spread as much doubt and confusion about the scientific consensus on global warming that is based on a vast amount of empirical evidence collected over the course of several decades; to oppose clean energy; and to oppose getting Big Money out of politics, which is a big reason why GOP leadership can’t publicly concede that the scientific evidence is clear. This is the only major political party in the world that doesn’t accept the science. Do you really think it’s not a completely corrupt and harmful leadership?

          • Todd

            I think both sides have extremely corrupt leadership. Where you see a massive difference between right and left, I see minor differences. Big Money is on both sides as evidenced by Hillary, Obama and Bush. They take in billions and it’s only a GOP issue? I’ll admit that at least Bernie is getting his money from a larger share of the population and not just the big money interests. To me, he’s clearly much more principled than most other candidates, just not the principles that I hold dear.

          • Oh, I fully agree Big Money is a huge problem on both sides.

            However, Big Money on the GOP side is much more Big Oil & Gas, Big Coal, Big Polluting Billionaire, and Big Anti-Government (which includes the very important social safety net and legitimate programs that help boost the economy for the middle class and poor, not just the rich). imho

          • Joe Viocoe

            Environmentalism has been associated with the left for several decades. Renewables are a subset, and thus it is no surprise it is politically polarizing.

          • vensonata .

            Yes, Todd there is a consensus. It is perfectly adequate to peer reviewed science at all respectable institutions. You must know that science does not require unanimous agreement from people in general, nor do dogs get to vote on science issues. Your attempt to defend your notions by saying “I can never prove it for sure” may be an interesting aside from the philosophy of science class 101. There are indeed philosophers who hold “nothing can be known with certainty”. Thank you for the useless statement and now everybody including that philosopher need to actually function. And that is what we are going to do, whether or not bald faced liars continue to be willing to do anything for power and money.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Wrong, Todd.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Todd, if you were in any manner scientifically literate you wouldn’t be bringing up this consensus climate change denier talking point.

            If you knew anything about climate science you’d be familiar with the immense amount of data that backs up climate change models.

            “In my work, I develop a theory. Then I develop a plan to test my theory. I may find evidence of my theory but I can never prove it for sure. I can only say what I observe. ”

            And that is what climate scientists do and have been doing for years. They’ve done thousands of studies. The connection between human behavior and climate change is extremely well supported.

          • Epicurus

            “Nor is there a consensus as to the cause of climate change.”

            You must admit that it’s quite extraordinary that every–EVERY–national scientific organization [url=]IN THE ENTIRE WORLD[/url] like our [url=]National Academy of Sciences and Britain’s Royal Society (founded in 1660)[/url] has accepted anthropogenic climate change (ACC) as scientific fact, as have the [url=]Pentagon[/url], [url=]CIA[/url], [url=]NASA–the National Aeronautics and Space Administration [/url](the people who put men on the moon), and the [url=]National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)[/url].

            That’s quite some conspiracy, isn’t it? It is much more pervasive than the CIA/mafia conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy, yet not one person inside this worldwide climate hoax conspiracy has come forward to provide evidence of its existence.

            There is indeed a conspiracy, but it’s a conspiracy to deny the overwhelming scientific evidence for anthropogenic climate change, and it isn’t worldwide. It’s a conspiracy among a relatively small group of people who utilize numerous front groups with innocuous names to push commercial, profit-driven industry agendas. Remarkably, some of the leaders of this effort are the same people who were involved in similar disinformation campaigns years ago to convince people that there was doubt about the scientific evidence of the dangers of tobacco and DDT. The whole story is presented in a terrific documentary called the “Merchants of Doubt”–a must-see:


    • Epicurus

      “a lot of the clean energy things you push for are actually helping the
      rich and those that can already afford them, which is supposedly
      opposite of what Sanders believes.”

      Where did you get that impression? Talk radio? Bernie has no problem with people getting rich.

      His problem is with a handful of people owning most of the wealth and with people like Mitt Romney making millions of dollars a year and having an effective tax rate of only 15%.

    • Omega Centauri

      The problem is that the right has made stopping or at least slowing clean energy into a tribal position. This is partly a matter of political funding from the fossil fuel interests. Its too much money for them to give up, so they do what they can to delay the energy transition (or at least be seen to be doing so by the monied fossil interests). Doing just technological advancement will be too slow.

    • Tanner

      You have no idea of how much I agree with you.

    • I can’t help you understand why if you genuinely look at the candidates running and think one of the people looking to increase pollution, increase global warming, cut the social safety net for the masses, give more money to the 0.01% percent, subsidize the the 0.01% percent more, subsidize rich fossil industries more, cut spending to stimulate job growth, and basically just rig the system for the rich and harmful are better candidates. Sorry, that shows a massive lack of information or critical thinking that I simply can’t fix for you.

      • Todd

        You’re talking about your opinions. I get that you want someone that will take from some to give to others. I can rattle off a list of Bernie’s right back at you and claim that you are ignoring facts, but I’m not here to convince you that you’re opinions are wrong. We are all here to learn about the technologies that will change the world for the better. Stupid politicians are really such a small part of that there is no need to mix it with tech talk. In the end, the subsidies provided to any of the different types of energies do not make or break them. The market has to be ready for a technology or it will not succeed. Just look at solar. It’s been around for decades, but it’s not until recently that the cost is something the market will buy. That is due to both from economies of scale and improved efficiency. We could argue that subsidies have moved the market up by a few years, but it would have happened regardless. There’s a very interesting article on technology and spending:

        I would hope that as the editor you would tone it down to keep those that enjoy reading about this stuff interested, without having to agree with your opinions.

    • And note that I’m not talking about all Republicans. Not at all. But the way the GOP leadership is organized in DC now is that Republican Congresspeople and presidential candidates are basically not allowed to acknowledge global warming, fight pollution, support clean energy, support the poor and middle class, cut taxes on the rich, or, on the whole, do many of the things Republican voters actually want. It’s a shame. As much as Democratic party leadership is forced into some positions, Republican party leadership is forced into more and much more destructive ones.

      I’m not at all tied to any political party, but reason and research show that the GOP leadership is not for the middle class and below… and arguably not even for the rich.

  • Jan Veselý

    I wonder if Trump will win the Republicans nomination and face the “le Pen” effect as he would have enough supporters to get to the second round but much more haters which would elect anyone but him.

    • Bob_Wallace

      That is how it is looking. Trump is promising to return American white males to their rightful dominate position in the world. That may be enough to gain him the Republican candidacy. But unless he tacked warp speed back to the center I don’t think he could beat either Clinton or Sanders in the general.

      He’d have only a few months to build himself an image as a statesman.

      This guy has very high unfavorables.

    • One can hope. I’m afraid it’ll be much more competitive Rubio (who think he understand much more than he does, clearly), but one can hope.

  • Epicurus

    “Overall, I’m not sure of her sincerity (it may be exceptional), but so
    much of what she says comes across as political pandering just to win an

    I thought it was just me. When I look at her face when she is speaking, she looks remarkably insincere–at the very least.

    It wasn’t just Keystone. She has been late to EVERY major issue that I can think of: gay rights and marriage equality (she was just about the last Democrat through the door on this one), the trade pacts (she has yet to admit NAFTA was a disaster), the drug war (she STILL wants to keep pot on the DEA Drug Schedule moving it from I to II, which is next to nothing), financial reform, etc. She has yet to admit that many of her husband’s Republican policies were a disaster.

    What is laughable, and a true insight into her character, is how she is trying to claim she, Joe Biden, and Obama are “progressives.” Biden was a major architect of the war on drugs with its harsh mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug crimes. She did sign a bill to mitigate the harsh disparities in sentencing between powder and crack cocaine crimes but refused to make it retroactive! Obama has deported more people than the Bushes ever did (how the hell she’s getting the Hispanic vote as his acolyte is beyond me).

    There’s nothing wrong with being a centrist. She should be honest and own it.

    Do I think she’ll stab us in the back on any issue once elected? Yes.

    • Yeah, agreed. Have to say that there are a lot of Democrats I prefer over her.

      I think she has carefully delayed many progressive solutions for years in order to increase her chances of winning a presidential election. But that’s just a hunch. Either way, her record is not one that warrants the term “progressive” in my book.

  • Charlotte Omoto

    Well if we say Bernie can’t get elected and don’t support him, that is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Who would have thought that Bernie would do so well against Hillary. I think we should give him as much as support as possible. He is sure more energetic than Hillary, who comes off more angry than passionate. If people hear his well reasoned argument on many items, I think he will win.

    • I definitely think he could win the general election. Is too early to put much weight on the general election polling, but he beats Trump more than Hillary and also beats every other GOP candidate (while Hillary loses to them). Again, it’s not really the time for such polling, but that’s a good sign nonetheless (for Bernie supporters).

      • Shane 2

        Whatever happens there will be firsts. No women has received the Dem or GOP nomination. No (openly) non-Christian has received the Dem or GOP nomination. No one with Jewish parents has received the Dem or GOP nomination. All other those would be nice firsts. Sadly Hilary is part of a political dynasty. So were female leaders of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and the Philippines.

    • Epicurus

      Agreed, Charlotte. Most people, not all, recognize honesty when they see it.

  • exdent11

    Most important is getting elected; either Bernie or Hilliary would be pro environment; the Republicans would be a disaster. But Republicans have been holding their fire so far against Bernie hoping Hilliary is stopped . Then they will chew him up as too old , too socialist, too inexperienced, too old. I have a problem with his age in that a candidate should be able to serve two terms and Bernie would be almost 80 starting a second term.

    • I think the GOP “leadership” (if we can call them that) right now are 1) just hoping they can get one of their establishment people in office, and 2) assuming they could trash Bernie enough to get the Republican base against him. i’m not convinced of the latter, as I think Bernie’s core messages will ring loud and clear with plenty of Republican voters. But we’ll see…. Bernie is still facing a steep hill to topple who nearly everyone has assumed would be the given Democratic nominee.

  • mikgigs

    Bernie is next president.

  • Some Random Fool

    I tend to vote republican. I voted Ron Paul in 2008 and 2012. I genuinely believe both Obama and Hillary to be classic lying schmuck politicians (as well as many on the Republican ticket). I would be positively excited to have Bernie Sanders in office. While I strongly disagree with many of his economic policies (“wage gap” is a bad joke, as are the analytical skills of those who think male and female incomes not being equal is a sure sign of serious societal moral shortcoming…total joke…just one example), I understand that he is a GENUINE guy who is in politics because he CARES. This man, Bernie Sanders, has the integrity to maintain an Independent party status in his non-presidential election campaigns. He understands and espouses much about the influence of big business in our sellout political atmosphere.
    Being even remotely honest and heart-felt is better than (inaccurate statistic follows) 90% of federal politicians.

    • I could see that sentiment being decent among registered Republicans.

    • Epicurus

      “he is a GENUINE guy who is in politics because he CARES.”

      That is a short list indeed.

  • Ross

    The next 8 years are critical. First priority has to be stopping a climate change denier setting back progress. Obama turned the ship around against implacable, but often incompetent opposition. As Bob points out the Republicans are likely to still have the numbers to block progress legislatively. The next President needs the skills and will to keep the progress up until the resistance fades away.

    • Bob_Wallace

      I think most of the resistance to renewable energy will disappear over the next four years. There’s money to be made in wind and solar and money to be saved by replacing more expensive FF generation with RE generation.
      Coal should have almost no political power four years from now.

      There should be so many people working in the wind and solar industries that politicians in many states will have to work for their votes rather than oil workers votes.

      • Ross

        Agreed. The extension of the PTC in the compromise budget deal was a sign of that. Another 4 years without a climate change denier and the industry exponential trends will have renewable energy and electric transportation almost unassailable. Another 4 years after that to bed it in and make major progress on getting to the deployment levels needed. Ideally by then the next GOP President, when asked about it, will claim to have always supported renewable energy.

      • Omega Centauri

        I’m not too worried abut coal. But, oil and nat gas, which could be expanded via aggressive fracking is a real issue. Also there is enough money to be made their which will translate into major lobbying and Pr efforts. Don’t count these guys out just yet.They’ve figured out how to tap into sources we though were economic as recently as a few years ago, and won’t just roll over and play dead.

        • Bob_Wallace

          I think we have to put up with oil and natural gas for a few more years. We need cheaper EV batteries and cheaper storage which seem to be right around the corner.

          To be honest, I’d rather see oil extracted in the US where we have some environmental regulations rather than places where the environment is not at all protected.

  • omar

    Let’s see the first woman president of US, she believe in climate change but she just traying to be realistic.

    • Bob_Wallace

      I’m pretty much evenly divided between Clinton and Sanders at the moment.

      The big difference I think I see between them is that Sanders is talking about goals that are probably not achievable in the next four to eight years and Clinton is talking more about the steps we need to take to keep working toward those goals.

      I do see Clinton as being much more prepared to deal with foreign affairs, which would be expected. She’s spent over 20 years right in the middle of world politics.

      • Experience is important towards effectively reaching goals. Of course then the issue becomes are they goals that move America in a good direction.

        • Epicurus

          Exactly. Her goals in the Middle East lead to more war.

          • Bob_Wallace


      • I was pretty evenly divided, before my deep dive into the election and candidates this past week. Not at all saying that I 100% have gone the right way, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve read more about it all, but Bernie was the clear choice for me after all of that.

        As far as how Bernie’s idealist goals would really be translated into action as president, it’s hard to know, but right now he is appealing to progressives for the progressive vote, and I think he’s wise enough to make the compromises needed to achieve some results as president.

        As far as foreign affairs, I think Bernie knows how to connect with people and will do that, and that his record on important matters is much better than Hillary’s, who I’m obviously not thrilled with in that regard.

        But I’m hopeful that Hillary would try to go forward with strongly progressive movement if elected president, which I imagine has been the top goal of hers for a very long time.

        • Shane 2

          What ever happens, this idea that one should not vote in the general because one’s favored Dem candidate did not get to be the nominee is absurd. And I’m speaking as a non-US citizen. What the POTUS does affects the rest of us on the planet.

          • I completely agree.

            But I think there are a lot of supporters who won’t “settle for” Hillary. Noam Chomsky makes strong arguments for why they should:


            But many of them will just drop out.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I spend some time reading political sites. The left has somewhat broken itself into “liberals” and “progressives”.

            What I find so very interesting is that many of the extreme Bernie supporters, the progressives, seem to be the same group of people who supported Hillary in 2000 and attacked Obama through the primaries, general and after he was elected. At least it’s the same web sites.

            These folks refused to support Obama. Their war cry after Obama won the primary was “Party Unity, My Ass” and were generally referred to as PUMAs.
            Unrealistic people. If they don’t get everything they want then they want nothing.

          • Well, I definitely agree that Bernie’s supporters include a lot more idealists who would turn too sour and not support Clinton in the general. In fact, that’s one of my concerns about HIllary getting the nomination.

            Bernie is, by focus, bringing people into the political system who are disenfranchised and disillusioned. I think that’s a great thing, but that also leads to the potential for them to become more so if such an establishment Democrat is nominated (and particularly if it is forced through via superdelegates).

            Bernie would happily support Clinton, but many of his supporters wouldn’t.

            I think many Obama supporters are now Bernie supporters, though, and my guess would be there are far more of them than there are Bernie supporters who initially supported Hillary (against Obama), but I’ve seen no data on the matter.

          • neroden

            You’ve got that wrong, Bob. The PUMA’s are supporting Hillary just like they always have. there’s something else going on, and I’ve explained part of it above.

          • Ross

            Remind them of the alternative.

          • We surely will. But really, if you are familiar with these notable subcultures (I am), you know what the result will be for a large number of them — they won’t turn out for Clinton.

            I’ll try to reach who I can, but many will not vote for a centrist Democrat.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I won’t eat my dinner unless I get dessert as well.

            Love those Purity Purple Pony Party members.

          • neroden

            There are a shocking number of “Bernie or Trump, but definitely not Clinton” independents. I actually kind of get where they’re coming from, though I don’t agree with them. They think the system is corrupt — and Clinton is a consummate insider.

            It’s going to be harder for Bernie to win the nomination that it is going to be for him to win the election.

          • 1) I’m sure. People are sick of the insiders.

            2) Definitely. Unfortunately, I’m pessimistic about him getting the nomination, but we’ll see.

          • neroden

            Agree on both counts, Zach. I think the likeliest scenario is Trump Beats Clinton.

            Second-likeliest, I think, is Sanders Beats Trump.

            Thank Goodness Trump seems to be defeating Ted Cruz, because Cruz is *scary*.

          • Hmm, you don’t think Rubio will end up pulling ahead as others drop out?

            I have a hard time seeing Trump win once Carson and Kasich presumably drop out. Definitely think it’s a possibility (this race is very hard to predict), but not my first guess.

            I think Cruz faces a similar ceiling to Trump, but am also afraid of him weaseling his way to the top somehow (i.e., through obsessive and convincing lies). Don’t want to think about that scenario, though. I can see (hope for) Trump making a swing to the middle on a bunch of issues, and accepting advice regarding saner foreign policy if in office, but Cruz is obviously focused on some clearly destructive goals for the US.

          • neroden

            Well, I just don’t see it, unless Cruz drops out (the Cruz voters will not go for Trump, which would giive a huge boost to Rubio or Kasich).

            First of all, Trump is likely to crush it in Nevada. Trump is starting to assemble such commanding leads that for Rubio to win, he’d have to win the votes of *everyone* who isn’t voting for Trump or Cruz. Who do you think the Ben Carson vote is going to when Carson drops out, or voters decide that he’s irrelevant? Carson voters are anti-establishment; I’m betting they’ll go with Trump, which gets Trump close to absolute majorities in the primaries.

            Also, Rubio.exe is an embarassing candidate already — as a very poor campaigner, even Hillary might be able to beat him. I know a lot of people seem to think he’s a danger, but I think he’s very unlikely to win a general election.

            Kasich was actually a much better candidate but it seems he’s crippled in the campaign by not being doctrinaire enough for the establishment Republican voters (which considering how doctrinaire he is, is saying something).

      • Epicurus

        Hillary’s ability “to deal with foreign affairs” is just what I’m afraid of. She’s the war machine’s Democratic candidate.

        She has to prove she can fight a war just like the boys.

        • Bob_Wallace

          I copied this out of the article you linked –

          “Hillary has been much attacked for the deaths of US diplomats in Benghazi.”

          This article was written after the Benghazi hearings. Are you really sure you want to associate yourself with someone who would write a POS like this?

          • Jeffrey Sachs is top notch. I wouldn’t discount his independent and well researched perspective on foreign affairs.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I’m giving him zero respect after writing that sentence.

          • But she has been thoroughly attacked for those. Talk to anyone who watches Fox News and one of the first things they’ll bring up when discussing her is Benghazi. GOP candidates keep bringing it up.

            I don’t take that line from Sachs as an endorsement of the attacks on Clinton, but as an acknowledgement of what we all know all too well. Maybe not worded in the clearest way.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You’re saying we should respect Sachs for making an untrue attack on Clinton because Fox News does it too?

          • I’m saying I don’t think it was an attack but an acknowledgement that that is what everyone has been focusing on, while it shouldn’t be. But maybe I’m reading it wrongly.

          • Here’s Sachs talking a little more about that general topic (some great comments), starting at 18:00 into this video:


            If you keep listening, he addresses the Wall Street concerns as well.

            Sachs is very tied into politics and policy. He’s one of a few experts I have deep respect for.

          • Epicurus

            Hillary hasn’t been much attacked by Republicans for the deaths of U.S.diplomats in Benghazi? Yes, she has. The author is stating a fact, not an opinion about it’s merit. You

            are trying to read something into that statement that isn’t there. That’s obvious to anyone except perhaps to the most Hillary obsessed partisan..

            The rest of the article is about Hillary’s consistent and unending support for war and American interventionism starting with her husband’s administration. Yes, I wholeheartedly recommend this article.

            You are a Hillary “centrist,” Bob. We all get that.

          • Bob_Wallace

            No, I’m attempting to stay neutral. But I find myself pushing back against what I feel is misinformation which has left me making several comments which could be construed as supporting Clinton.

            Were there people here posting things about Bernie which I did not feel accurate then I imagine I’d be labeled a Bernie “extremist” or something.

      • Shane 2

        I am concerned that Clinton is less electable than Sanders. Polling is showing Clinton loses a Clinton/Cruz matchup and a Clinton/Rubio matchup. Those numbers could easily change but YIKES.

        • I’m hugely concerned about that.

          Frankly, a lot of people don’t trust or like Hillary, a lot of people won’t come out to vote for such an establishment/centrist Democrat, and Hillary has been demonized from the right for so long that I think it’s very unlikely many who tune in to that channel would ever vote for her.

          Furthermore, if Rubio is elected, he can play the centrist a little bit and can also probably pull a lot of hispanic voters.

          Bernie has some very strong messages he’s focused on that connect very well to the masses, and initial polls indicate he’d do well against every GOP candidate.

    • TedKidd

      The first woman President will hopefully be named Elizabeth…

      • If she had run, I think she could have gotten very similar support to what Bernie is getting. Would probably have gotten my vote. But she clearly doesn’t have the broad historical experience Bernie has in Congress, so I’m happy she held off and Bernie is running.

        But I do have hope she will run and become president eventually.

        • TedKidd

          I’m glad she didn’t run also.

          • Would love to see Bernie pick her up as VP, though. 😀

          • TedKidd

            I’d like her to stay where she is a bit longer.

          • Epicurus

            She needs to be cloned 538 times.

          • Indeed. And that’s another thing about her and Bernie. They inspire people with their values to get involved in politics, to run for office, and to get broader support. We need good people in politics. We need deep thinkers. If we just accept that politics will be run by corrupt people forever, it will be. And if we don’t hold politicians accountable, we can be sure that others engaged in the political process will…

          • Epicurus

            The dream ticket. Both are fantastic campaigners and speakers.

      • omar

        Hillary is also a nice name…

        • TedKidd

          Just lost my lunch.

          Sold her soul when she was in the Senate. Swapped integrity for expedience and insider membership. Gave up her last ethical bone.

          #establishment #trustissues #ownedbywallstreet #MEnotUS

          • omar

            All politicians are always malignant,

  • Riely Rumfort

    Bernie will more than likely struggle much as Obama has against the majority, but even if a fraction of his goals get through it’s welcome.
    Hillary is a pocketed corporate pawn and will bring about business as usual while making us look stolid and weak to the world at large.
    Bernie isn’t perfect, but when compared to everyone else running he seems the most likely to make mature, mathematically sound decisions. All the rest scare me a bit while all the worry Bernie carries is going a schmidge heavy on public spending, which when compared to the FF and War mongering is definitely the lesser evil.

    • Bob_Wallace

      “a pocketed corporate pawn”?

      Come on. Let’s not drift off into pink pony purity land.

      • Riely Rumfort

        She is though, she is well funded and representing a whole swarm of wall street and big biz. Also I can’t think of one time she’s spoke where it remotely seemed forward thinking or genuine.
        She rubs me wrong, like a teacher’s pet running for class president.

        • John Moore

          Her support of women getting paid equally, an increase in the minimum wage, universal healthcare, Planned Parenthood, Equal Rights, a path to citizenship, are these issues all corporate pandering?

          • Riely Rumfort

            All issues supported by others without all the Massive flaws.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Why don’t you look online and see if you can find her two town hall appearances right before the New Hampshire primary.

          I watched those and the person I saw was nothing like the person you describe.

          • Riely Rumfort

            I judge politicians by actions/track record not words, most are compulsive liars.
            Every politician has blips I don’t care for, some more than others, Ron Paul and Bernie at least bat 80% with my stances, actions of freedom and foresight, Bernie is a bit to the left but with the destabilization I myself foresee a ‘giver’ is fine by me for this coming era. An era rife with greed and deficiency within the same shores.

      • Corporations are not monolithic in their approaches to clean energy. So it would be a question of whose corporate pocket’s she is in. Lets face it, with elections so expensive she is probably rummaging through a lot of different corporate pockets.

        As for pink ponies, they would be knights rather than pawns.

      • Epicurus

        Oh yeah, those millions of dollars of corporate speaking fees haven’t influenced her one bit. I’m sure she really let Goldman Sachs have it with both barrels when they paid her $675,000 for three speeches. And I’m sure she’ll release the transcripts real soon now to put everyone’s doubts at rest.

        • John Moore

          There is a big difference between saying that she would be beholden to Goldman Sachs and a blanket statement that she is a corporate pawn. She is, simply as a matter of fact, NOT a corporate pawn. Corporate pawns don’t try to raise the minimum wage, and get healthcare for everyone, just as examples. I think most people would agree that she does not have totally clean hands (none of them do, their need for money is to great), but calling her a pawn is just a wild exaggeration of her connection to donors.

          • Epicurus

            I didn’t mean to suggest she is wholly owned by Goldman Sachs. She is beholden to a lot more corporations than just Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs accounts for only a fraction of the many millions of dollars she has received, She hauls in $225,000 for one speech yet she begrudges others a minimum wage of a lousy $15 an hour. She is thrilled with Obamacare because her insurance company, drug company and health industry donors have gotten rich off of it while millions of people are still uninsured or underinsured with outrageous deductibles and co-pays while premiums continue to skyrocket. Take a look at the stock prices of the health insurance companies over the last 7 years, like Aetna.


          • Bob_Wallace

            Clinton supported a $12 federal minimum wage and a $15 minimum wage in those places where the economy could absorb that much increase.

            I’m sorry you do not understand that a president does not have dictatorial powers. There was no route for single payer health care and no way to freeze out the pharmaceutical companies.

            Obama care is an extremely important step toward single payer. Right now almost every person living legally in the US would have health insurance were it not for some state governments blocking coverage for some of their poorest people.

            The perfect bill is pretty much never delivered in one step. Fifty years after passing Medicare we’re still working to get it right.

          • Epicurus

            No one==NO ONE–is saying Obamacare wasn’t an improvement. The issue is where we go from here.

            Hillary has rejected the idea of now trying to move to single-payer (she doesn’t want to “open up” the issue or “start over”). She is advocating (apparently) leaving health insurance in the hands of the health insurance companies. She hasn’t made any favorable comment about single payer.

            Bernie (one of the architects of Obamacare) is the one advocating trying to move to single-payer.

          • Riely Rumfort

            The things she is obligated to back as a Democrat does not grant her Sainthood.

    • John Moore

      Reily, regarding Hillary, too far. Gross exaggeration. Not accurate.
      I like Bernie best, but come on. Hillary is not Satan.

      • Riely Rumfort

        She’s not, but she’d make a spineless president.
        Right now Cruz/Trump take the Satan cake.

        • Shane 2

          Cruz is much more dangerous than Trump and both are dangerous. Under Cruz, the probability of war with Iran is one. Cruz is a far-right fundamentalist Christian evangelical gun nut whose father has been saying that Ted has been chosen by God for high office.

          • Riely Rumfort

            Oh I know, that’s why he was given first listing.

        • Bob_Wallace

          The Secretary of State who stood up to foreign leaders and to the assholes on the Benghazi committee is anything but spineless.

          If you like Bernie more, fine. Tell us what you see as the reasons you think he’s make a better president. Do not engage in the sort of character assassination that the right wing does.

          • Riely Rumfort

            I don’t think Bernie will play the money game and abandon the everyday Joe like the dynasty families. Hillary has a net worth of over 31 million, she’s got too much to lose, displayed too frequent a seeking of easy gains. Bernie has a net worth of 700,000, not all that excessive a summation for 74 years of life, moderate. Their voting records also show him to have more character than the rest of the Democratic or Republican candidates.
            As a humane futurist, whom is tired of seeing sadists usher us into a domesticated lull, someone who looks to potentiate/protect the rights of the majority and nature will be my choice. The closest to being up to the task presently is Bernie.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Hillary Clinton has a life full of working to make the world better for others. She did take advantage of her earning power by giving speeches when she was “between jobs”.

            I view the first part as an indication of who she is. The last part as something most of us would do, pick up some easy cash as long as we didn’t have to do anything that violated our principles.

          • Riely Rumfort

            To me, having over 1 million dollars violates my principles.
            People starve and freeze, besides what I require to live, everything is excessive.
            Function/Form, always.

  • Freddy D

    These side by side charts posted here on Cleantechnica a few months back provide me the clearest comparison between the two.

    One issue stands out above all others: putting a price on carbon. Bernie supports, Hillary opposes.

    Without this, fossil fuels might maintain a huge fraction of the market (50%?) for decades if not centuries because they will become so cheap as renewable price drops reduce prices for everything. Imagine a future world with cheap electric cars, cheap natural gas, and $0.99/gallon gasoline. Economics becomes a non-issue at some point and people just don’t care. Just keep using existing technology because we know how. That future doesn’t seem so distant with today’s technologies and prices!

    A price on carbon provides an incentive not only to pollute less, but to try and get direct air carbon capture going, or to restore forests.

    • Bob_Wallace

      A federal tax on carbon is highly unlikely until Democrats regain control of both houses of Congress. Or until the current Tea-Bagger types are no longer sent to Congress by Republican voters.

      A US president cannot create a tax.

      Our hope for a price on carbon is at the state level. Some states will never tax carbon but many of the more populous ones will and they will drag the rest of the country along.

      • Riely Rumfort

        I see it taking until the second term if ever turning federal.

        • Bob_Wallace

          I’m not optimistic about anything happening at the legislative level for at least six years, probably longer.

          When the 2020 census is completed there will be an opportunity to reapportion Congressional districts and, hopefully, Democrats will be ready and tilt things back more in their favor. Democrats might win the Senate back in November but I’m afraid the House is out of reach for several more years.

          What we need, IMO, is a president who can use the powers of the presidency to keep EPA and other agencies working to make life difficult for fossil fuels and help ease things for clean energy.

          • “What we need, IMO, is a president who can use the powers of the presidency to keep EPA and other agencies working to make life difficult for fossil fuels and help ease things for clean energy.”

            -Yes, and I think Bernie would search out those opportunities much more so than Hillary, who would be looking to make incremental progress without stepping on too many toes.

          • neroden

            Well, I think Bernie’s *much* more likely to do the administrative actions.

            Hillary has too much of an “all of the above” record — she was promoting fracking overseas as secretary of state.

            Politically speaking, I think the big hope is that Bernie can use the bully pulpit to win a lot of seats for the good guys in statehouses in the next two elections.

            Obama’s actually been bad for the downticket of the Democratic Party, largely due to appointing a DNC chair who abandoned the 50-state strategy, then practically liquidating OFA. By contrast, the organizations founded for the Dean campaign (DFA) and to oppose the impeachment of Bill Clinton (MoveOn) are still getting out the vote downticket.

            Bernie will pick a better DNC chair than Hillary will. THAT I am *absolutely* sure of. Debbie Wasserman Shultz has been a disaster and you can look that up on other sites.

    • cutter1954

      I agree. And what is more annoying is that according to some studies (REMI)it doesn’t even have to be a big tax,so long as it increases each year.People need an economic signal.But,to borrow a phrase,don’t think that the oil oligarchies like Saudi Arabia,Iran,Texas,and North Dakota don’t realize what their biggest threat is.Its not how much oil Iran needs to produce to keep the democracy lid on.Its how many car drivers discover that going from point A to B is just the same driving an electric car as a gasmobile,and how soon they do so.And the Chinese discover that breathing is not a luxury.

    • TedKidd

      Yeah Baby!!

    • The initial chart (not the latest) is the one that is important to me. I understand her not wanting to make statements the Republicans would attack in the general, but I also think there was far too much lacking on her climate & energy approach.

      The newer one looks better, of course…×685.jpg

  • Bob_Wallace

    This is from Clinton’s web site page on climate change and her plans to comate it.

    “That’s why on day one, Hillary will set bold, national goals that will be achieved within ten years of her taking office:

    Generate enough renewable energy to power every home in America, with half a billion solar panels installed by the end of Hillary’s first term.

    Cut energy waste in American homes, schools, hospitals and offices by a third and make American manufacturing the cleanest and most efficient in the world.

    Reduce American oil consumption by a third through cleaner fuels and more efficient cars, boilers, ships and trucks.

    Hillary’s plan is designed to deliver on the pledge President Obama made at the Paris climate conference last December—without relying on climate deniers in Congress to pass new legislation. Her plan will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30 percent in 2025 relative to 2005 levels and put the country on a path to cut emissions more than 80 percent by 2050. Her approach will catalyze new investment and economic opportunity across the country, create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, reduce energy bills and save families money, make our country more secure, and protect our families and communities from pollution.”

    • vensonata .

      “Generate enough renewable energy to power every home in America, with
      half a billion solar panels installed by the end of Hillary’s first
      term.” By gosh, that is ambitious. In fact, so ambitious, that most of us who think about the realism of that statement would say “can’t be done”. I mean really? Enough renewable energy to power every home in the U.S. in 4 years!!!…Only if it means, enough to contribute “some” power to every home, like one kwh. There are 100 million houses in the U.S. They would each get 5 “solar panels” (whatever that means). I think…impossible.

      • Bob_Wallace

        500,000 solar panels. I assume that’s rooftop and solar farm combined.

        How much solar capacity do we have online already? How much did we add in 2015? (I’m being lazy here.)

        It’s late here. Want to do some math and see how much we’d have to step things up from 2015 to hit 500k panels?

        • Freddy D

          Good question. Often these claims are hollow because they use the term “millions and millions” like Dr. Evil or something sounding big but really not. Let’s run the numbers: 0.5B x 275 watts = 137 GW 2017-2020. Now lets look at natural growth rate if the president did absolutely nothing but let the market develop and cost-reduce: from GTM: US 16GW installed in 2015. Growth rate: 34%. Project that out, turn the crank, and we get 140GW for 2017-2020. Wow, magic!

          I do agree that Hillary would be solid on the issue, but not ambitious. There’s a little bit of “building an information superhighway” element there. Far better than most of the alternatives, however! and if she’s centrist enough and electable….

          • vensonata .

            That 16 Gw is total installed to date. Yearly it is about 6 GW in 2015. Your estimate of .5 billionx 275 W is correct at about 137 Gw. At double the rate of 2015 every year for 4 years is 6×2= 12×4 = 48 Gw. installed by 2020. Not too shabby but just about 35% of what would be needed. Now we could double the rate but even that is optimistic. I personally think they need to quadruple the rate to make any sense, to 24Gw year. Unless it is all from China the U.S. has only about 25% of the production capacity to fill that demand.

          • Omega Centauri

            Wind doesn’t receive much love on the campaign trail. Everyone loves solar, because they think solar means residential distributed generation. But any big fast solar buildout will have to be dominated by large utility scale farms, which some oppose. If we really are on the verge of 7.5MW (and beyond) onshore WTs, then if we run aggressively with wind, it can contribute even more than solar.

          • vensonata .

            Yes, wind can provoke nimby. So better to stay with PV during campaigns.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “Generate enough renewable energy to power every home in America,….”

            4.79 quads of a total of 12.4 quads of US electricity goes to residential use. 39% of US electricity. Renewables now provide about 17% (?).

            We need to average a 6% switch to solar per year for four years.

            Hard, but possible (IMO). 2+% per year for wind, 1+% per year for solar, reduce the job some by lowering demand through continued efficiency.

        • Omega Centauri

          No. It was billion, not million. .5M panels is only 100-150MW. The stated goal is a thousand times bigger.

      • Omega Centauri

        Powering “homes” is often conflated with powering the entire economy.
        So even if we did that, it would only cover 38% (or whatever the current number is) of the electric sector. Not really all that ambitious, unless commercial/industrial and transport also have their own ambitious goals.

        • vensonata .

          The required amount to produce all energy is staggering. All electricity is just daunting. The thing to realize that the amount of PV required can not be manufactured in the U.S. unless they quintuple their manufacturing capacity. It can be done and would be great for the economy, but will it?

        • neroden

          FWIW, electrifying transport *eliminates* most of the energy used in transport, because electric motors are sooooo much more efficient than small internal combustion engines. This is important to remember; the ICEs are just wasting energy, lots and lots of it.

  • Bob_Wallace

    Here’s an excerpt from a speech Clinton made to the League of Women Voters.

    December 2014

    “The science of climate change is unforgiving, no matter what the deniers may say, sea levels are rising, ice caps are melting, storms, droughts and wildfires are wreaking havoc,” Clinton said, according to ABC News.

    “The political challenges are also unforgiving, there is no getting around the fact the kind of ambitious response required to effectively combat climate change is going to be a tough sell at home and around the world at a time when so many countries including our own are grappling with slow growth and stretched budgets.”

    But acknowledging the political challenges did not stop Clinton from calling for action. “If we act decisively now we can still head off the most catastrophic consequences,” she said.

    She expressed hope in technological advancements’ ability to make progress on the issue, calling to “dare greatly and lead boldly” in order to “protect our heritage and preserve our future.”

    • Some good quotes. Of course, would have been great to see her highlight the job-creation and overall economic benefits of clean energy, as Bernie has done in debates.

      But some good lines nonetheless.

    • TedKidd

      Love it if you could find her speach to Goldman Sachs…

      • John Moore

        It began:
        “Thanks for having me. I won’t be long, because
        1) You’re only paying me $250,000 per hour
        2) I have to go to the bank”

        • Bob_Wallace

          3) I’m not going to say a lot of stuff you might find offensive. Making a lot of money off suckers is fun.

  • S Herb

    I must be on the wrong side of some generation gap; I find Bernie’s certainty somewhat disturbing and perhaps mildly fraudulent, and Clinton’s tendency to balance issues sympatico. But beware the last survivor from the Clown Car.

    • Knetter

      The GOP clown car?

      • S Herb

        You bet!

      • Bob_Wallace

        This time out they filled up a bus.

        • Omega Centauri

          As the losers are one by one thrown under the bus’s wheels, the population of clowns will soon fit in a car.

          • Bob_Wallace

            As of a few hours ago they still need a five-seater. Can’t put them in a Volt.

      • Andre Needham

        My favorite recently-read article about the Republican candidates and climate change:

        Favorite quote from that article: ” If I went to 10 doctors and nine said, ‘Hey, you’re gonna die,’ and one says ‘You’re fine,’ why would I believe the one guy?””

        • Yes, I used to cover climate science (years ago), and remember really loving that metaphor. Should be used more often.

        • John Moore

          Or you could say,
          “…… if I went to 65,000 doctors and 64,958 of them said……”

    • I think it’s an understanding of what wins national elections. And that a “target” for 100% gets more done than a target for 50%. He obviously knows how hard it is to get stuff done, and think he expects that voters understand the role of the president isn’t the role of a dictator, but that he will work for ideals (not sell them out). But that’s just my perspective.

      Whatever the results ends up being, it’s certainly an interesting story to watch right now.

      • Bob_Wallace

        The farther to the left or right a candidate moves, the farther from the center, the harder it is to win the general election.

        I think there is basically no difference between Clinton and Sanders in terms of where they would like to take the country.

        I think we need to pick the candidate who 1) can win the general and 2) has the skillset to accomplish the most.

        At this point in time I suspect Clinton would gain more votes in November. I’m still trying to figure out who would be more successful once in office.

        I think the last thing we should do right now is run down either candidate. The very last thing.

        • I think the latter is pretty hard to judge at this point. Sanders has primarily been in a position where he can push a very progressive agenda. But I think he’s a very smart & clever guy who would work to really get things done. How much? Hard to say.

          The first question isn’t easy either, but I feel pretty confident Sanders would have an easier time. He can really appeal to many voters in the conservative camp. Polls already show him doing better than Clinton (beating Trump by more and beating all the other candidates, which Clinton loses to). The Republican prejudice against Hillary from years of media & politicians bashing her is *Huge*. And her personality just doesn’t do much to help her with that base. Watch the 2nd video above if you haven’t, and you can see the way Sanders could pull it off.

          Of course, big money will be pouring in to try to make Bernie look like Satan, and Wall Street will definitely be anti-Bernie, and I don’t think Trump will be the competing nominee.

          But hard to know, of course, which is why both campaign teams are working their butts off right now.

        • Oh, and regarding their agendas, I obviously think Hillary will be much better than the GOP contestants, but I am strongly against her historical positions and work on Wall Street matters, “national security” matters, and economic matters. One can hope she’s learned some things and is learning more during this campaign and will learn more if elected president, but generally speaking, I find her very difficult to support.

          • John Moore

            Zachary, mostly agreed. Until the last sentence. I would in no way find her difficult to support.
            So try this. Just close your eyes. Picture three more Clarence Thomases on the Supreme Court.
            I’m hoping that helps.

          • Oh, sorry, I would definitely vote for her! I just wouldn’t feel good about it.

          • Omega Centauri

            I’m not so worried about the Wall Street connection. A well respected member of the Wall Street commentariat rated her as roughly neutral. She wouldn’t make overt hostility a part of her appeal, as Bernie has done, but I don’t think she would be a pushover either.

          • I don’t think she’d go backward, but Wall Street is still practically unchecked and economic inequality continues to flourish. The US economy is massively damaged by this and needs repair.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Things are very much changed when it comes to financial institutions.

            The federal government has much more power to regulate and take over failing institutions now thanks to legislation passed since PBO became president.

            As for further fixes, it doesn’t matter which of the two are elected. Without a Democratic Congress there will almost certainly be no fixes occurring.

          • Bernie has talked about improving the federal justice system to better address this matter.

          • Bob_Wallace

            And here’s Hillary’s page on reforming our federal justice system….


            Here’s some of the page –

            Hillary will:

            End the era of mass incarceration, reform mandatory minimum sentences, and end private prisons.

            Encourage the use of smart strategies—like police body cameras—and end racial profiling to rebuild trust between law enforcement and communities. –

            Help formerly incarcerated individuals successfully re-enter society.

            “I will never stop working on issues of equality and opportunity, race, and justice. That is a promise. I’ve done it my entire adult life. I will always be in your corner.”

            HILLARY, JULY 31, 2015

            *Hillary believes our criminal justice system is out of balance. In her first major speech of the campaign, she said we have to come to terms with some hard truths about race and justice in America and called for an end to the “era of mass incarceration.” *


            *As far as I can tell there is no difference between Bernie and Hillary in terms of goals. They seem to talk about different goals more often, but when it comes down to it they seem to totally agree on where the country needs to go.*

          • neroden

            The foreclosure frauds are still continuing. I don’t see any fixes.

            The foreclosure fraud could be fixed with *executive action*, by having the Department of Justice actually start *arresting people* for the crimes. SEC action would also help, as would Federal Reserve action and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency action.

            It doesn’t require Congress to do ANYTHING. This has been one of Obama’s and Holder’s biggest failures. And yes, these were actual crimes committed by bankers, contrary to Clinton’s disingenuous claims; Bill Black has laid out some of the criminal cases in detail and so have several other people.

        • Oh yeah, thirdly, I think it’s important to consider who would inspire more voters to come to the polls and vote out the cancer cells in Congress. I think the case can strongly be made that Bernie would.

          • Ross

            On the electability of Bernie


          • Yeah. It’s a bit early to read much into the polls, but certainly another point on his side.

          • Omega Centauri

            But the smear machine has been targeting Hillary for twenty five years, its been silent on Bernie. But the minute he locks down the nomination it will go after with full intensity. Hillary has presumably already suffered as much reputational loss under that attack. What it will do to Bernie is a big unknown.

          • It definitely has, which makes it very deep and broad.

            As far as Bernie, it’s hard to know how GOP smears would affect him, but I think he’d have great responses that rally more troops and the spears would do about as well as Hillary’s anti-Bernie arguments have done.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I suspect Hillary would bring out more women, blacks, gays, and Latinos.

            Bernie’s base is largely, from what I can see, are the anti-corporation folks.

          • It’s hard to know at this point.

            Bernie has a stronger record against structural racism. There’s also video of him protesting segregation as a college student and a newspaper article about him getting arrested for it (the video is of the arrest). His message of corruption in politics rings loud and clear by those who have been ripped off the worst for decades (and his criticism of Bill Clinton’s DREAM Act). His focus on the broken criminal justice system and ridiculously high black incarceration rates, particularly for marijuana, is much stronger. And I think if he had the Democratic machine behind him, he’d be able to make a great amount of progress there. Right now, he is playing catchup on the messaging and national PR front via millions of small donations, and most people don’t know who he is but are well aware of Clinton and have good impressions of Bill Clinton. With more funding and a national focus against a horrible GOP nominee, I think he’d do well… and better than Hillary at pulling the Independent and Republican voters over.

          • Ross

            He’s doing well with the youths but will they actually vote?

        • John Moore

          Bob, I’m in general agreement with your take. However, regarding who would be more successful in office, I’m thinking Hillary. She has a toughness, a competitiveness, a confidence, a mean streak necessary to do battle with the Republican Congress. My sense is that she might be more energetic and successful in the day to day knife fight that a Democratic president will face.
          That said, I just sent Bernie 50 bucks.

          • Omega Centauri

            No doubt, she has just about the toughest skin of anyone we’ve ever seen. I don’t know how she puts up with the abuse.

          • I’m sure it’s tough. But she knows they are nasty prejudiced people who are going for blood in order to win more for themselves. She understands that politics is dirty and full of liars and a**holes about as well as anybody. And I think she’s been determined for a long time to push through all of that to become the first woman president. I wouldn’t be surprised if this has been her goal since she was quite young.

          • neroden

            “And I think she’s been determined for a long time to push through all of that to become the first woman president. I wouldn’t be surprised if this has been her goal since she was quite young.”

            That’s unfortunately a problem. People are looking for a candidate who is working for an agenda first, not a candidate who’s working for “becoming President” first.

            Think about why Musk is beloved, while your average corporate CEO is detested even if they are running a great corporation. The others are perceived as trying to make money and doing good work as a side effect. Musk is perceived as trying to do good work and making money as a side effect.

            Likewise, Hillary and Trump are perceived as trying to “be President” with good work as a side effect. Bernie is (correctly) perceived as trying to do good work, and if he’s President, that’s a side effect.

            I’d be voting for Elizabeth Warren in a heartbeat if she were running, but she isn’t; Bernie is.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I basically agree with you. I think Hillary wants it more and wants to achieve more. I’m pretty sure she is more ready.

            I watched the two town halls right before the New Hampshire primary and came away impressed with her.

            And, at the same time, I think Bernie could catch up and would try to catch up. What I haven’t seen out of Bernie yet is the analytical brain that’s needed. I’m currently watching for signs.

          • Ross

            Hillary seems more wonkish. She seems to be more policy based than Bernie. I think this hurts her because she comes across as less caring but it could make her a more effective President.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Here’s a list of Sander’s legislative achievements.
            I can’t determine his wonk abilities. Probably need to find someone who knows more about this stuff.

          • Hahaha, this comment is a gem… particularly because of the surprise ending.

            As far as who can get more done with Congress, it’s a very hard call. I see advantages on both sides. I think Bernie could get away with more and could sweet talk his way into more progressive deals. But it’s a hard call. He hasn’t built up his resume to run for president in a general election. He has been about as progressive as possible for decades.

            Hillary is aimed at cutting deals, but I’m nervous about the deals she’d cut. Also, I would expect at least as much obstructionism with her as with Obama. She’s a woman, a Clinton, and has been the face of the devil to Republican leaders and the media for a long time. I don’t think being “mean” helps her there, but who knows?

          • neroden

            Hillary lost her Hillarycare battle. I don’t think her brand of “toughness” actually helps get things through a Republican Congress.

            Bernie is openly stating that he isn’t going to get things through a Republican Congress.

            Bernie’s going to challenge them with major proposals, make Republicans look bad when they refuse to implement his proposals, and try to turn people out to vote Democrats into Congress in both 2016 and 2018. Truman ran against a “do-nothing Congress” and it worked, so it’s a worth a try…

            Meanwhile Bernie says he’ll do what he can with executive powers. I already *know* that Obama has refused to do progressive things with executive powers which he could have done, and unfortunately I’m afraid Hillary will make the same mistake.

        • Omega Centauri

          “I think there is basically no difference between Clinton and Sanders in terms of where they would like to take the country.”
          I would disagree, but mainly in foreign policy, where I loath Clinton, who would largely continue our destructive ways.

          But, i don’t think its so much about what the president in his/her heart of hearts wants to do that matters, not unless they have an unusually compliant congress. But, that is exceedingly unlikely. Often in politics trying to push a right thing that the country isn’t ready for can seriously backfire.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “our destructive ways”

            The US, under Bush, caused many of the problems the world now faces in the Middle East.

            But aside from that the US has been a positive force starting with WWII and the rebuilding of Europe through the neutralization of Communism, and continuing through many regional and inter-country conflicts. None of which were caused by the US.

            The US, whether we like it or not, is frequently called on to be a player in solving the world’s problems.

          • neroden

            Have you looked into the 1953 coup engineered by the CIA against the democratically elected government of Iran, in order to secure Iran’s oil supply for what is now British Petroleum? The CIA admitted to it in 2013.

            The fact is that the US has often been a negative force in large parts of the world for a large portion of post-Korean-War history. And they know it, although people in the US often don’t know it. There’s a reason South American and Central American populations are naturally hostile to the US government; the sheer number of times the US has overthrown their democratically elected governments, often replacing them with fascists (Pinochet is the most famous). Also, ask people in Namibia, Angola, Mozambique, or South Africa about US government support for apartheid South African anti-democratic interventions there.

            And then, of course, there’s Vietnam, where the US supported the French colonialists and opposed the genuine native independence advocate Ho Chi Minh. This drove him into the arms of the Communists — purely tactically — you can see just now not-Communist Vietnam is today. The US then proceeded to poison the country with Agent Orange.

            Unfortunately Hillary is listening to Kissinger (backer of Pinochet and the illegal Cambodian bombing) which I consider disqualifying in foreign policy. And honestly I consider it pretty stupid; I don’t think she has an ideological attachment to Kissinger or anything, so I have no idea why she’d consider him a “mentor”, unless she’s just kind of dumb about foreign policy.

        • Brooks Bridges

          “I think the last thing we should do right now is run down either candidate. The very last thing.”
          Totally agree. But talking about past actions truthfully should be fair game – as Zach did in his article.
          And yes, I will vote for Hillary.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I’d like to see people dig a bit deeper than the talking point that they’ve latched on to. Often things are different if one looks into the details a bit.

          • I completely agree. But it seems that the more I dig with regard to Hillary, the more I wish I hadn’t….

            Bernie’s record has been pretty clear, and he’s clearly kept a bit of a distance from the Democratic party for ages due to his more progressive stances. Overall, whether simply through important talking points or getting people to learn much more about how the political system works, I think his run for president is quite helpful to the Democratic party and the US.

        • Larry

          Agreed, Bob! Another factor is whose coattails may bring along enough progressive Senators and Representatives to eliminate the gridlock at least for 2 years

        • neroden

          You just made a provably false claim:

          “The farther to the left or right a candidate moves, the farther from the center, the harder it is to win the general election.”

          This is absolute unmitigated bullshit. I really advise that you study some political science. This is just totally, utterly, completely wrong.

          There is no “center”. There are now more “independents” than there are Democrats, and more than there are Republicans, and basically *none of them are in the center*. They are, rather, way out on the extremes. Some of them have extreme combinations of hard-right views (“deport all the Mexicans”) and hard-left views (“400% tax rate on the billionaires!”)

          Being in the “center” gets you *nothing*.

      • Omega Centauri

        I’m old enough to remember Carter. He had great ideas, but was ineffective dealing with congress. Since he pushed conservation, and got clobbered in his re-election bid, conservation became something that politicians avoided touching even with a ten foot pole after that. I fear a Sanders presidency would resemble the Carter presidency.

        • Shane 2

          Neither Clinton nor Sanders will get any cooperation from a Republican House of Reps unless they adopt Republican policy positions that favor big money interests.The Senate could go Dem but then you have filibuster overload. A Dem POTUS can use the bully pulpit to move the national conversation to the left. I don’t see Hilary doing that. She has been bought by big money. A Dem POTUS can shift policy direction in agencies such as the EPA. Most importantly, a Dem POTUS can nominate SCOTUS judges. Scalia will need to be replaced. How old is Ginsburg?

          • “A Dem POTUS can use the bully pulpit to move the national conversation to the left. I don’t see Hilary doing that.”

            Completely agree.

            As well as with your other points.

            Who’s likely to nominate a more progressive judge?

            And implement stronger executive actions to deal with global warming and social justice issues?

          • Bob_Wallace

            I think what Bernie has done better than Hillary is to pitch his message in a way that includes people. “We can do this.”

            Hillary’s message has been more along the lines of “I can do this for you.”
            People, especially young people, want to be involved. I think many are responding positively to Bernie’s messaging.

        • I think that, like Reagan, Carter is remember through very warped glasses. Carter did some great things, that few give him credit for achieving. In the end, broader society wasn’t in a place to grant him a 2nd term, but I think Carter was quite effective for the 4 years he served.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Carter set the US on a path that would have likely seen us driving EVs and getting a large portion of our electricity from renewable sources today had Reagan not gained the White House and reversed everything.

            Carter lost his reelection for three reasons, IMO. First, he was too nice a person to fight back against the personal attacks from the right.

            Second, his attempt to rescue the hostages failed due to problems with the helicopters the military was using. Carter took the blame even though he wasn’t running the operation.

            Third, Reagan made a secret deal with the Iranians to keep the American hostages captive rather than releasing them in time for Carter to get credit for the negotiating his administration had been doing. What Reagan did was criminal.

            And I’ll throw in a fourth reason. Democrats elected Carter but they did not stand up for him and help him push back against the right. The same thing has happened with Obama. We elected him and then many of those who voted for him started attacking him because he wasn’t making major changes overnight.

          • Completely agree.

            And I think it is very disappointing that so many people have expected something more from Obama on many topics when faced with such a historically radical and obstructionist GOP “leadership.”

          • Bob_Wallace

            What makes me so very sad is how little most people on the left know about what PBO has accomplished.

          • Same here.

          • Ross

            It’s an impressive list.

          • neroden

            I know more about what he’s accomplished than you do; I can guarantee that. I’m a complete political/governmental information junkie.

            He has accomplished a number of very important things.

            Some of these were under extreme pressure from the left, while he resisted doing anything, which is practically incomprehensible to me. If he’d done them voluntarily he would have gotten a lot more credit. The Clean Power Plan, for example, was created solely because Bush lost a lawsuit by several Northeastern states and so the President was *required* to regulate CO2. He managed to delay for 6 years.

          • neroden

            No, that is not why we attacked Obama. Rahm Emmanuel called us “fucking retards”, he took both single-payer and the public option off the table *preemptively* (tactical errors), and then he basically told us to shut up and go home.

            Not to mention the business with the FIFA Amendments Act — the “let the NSA spy on everyone without warrants” thing — where he promised to vote against it, voted for it, then claimed it had been changed (it hadn’t). That was pure dishonesty.

            Not to mention that we all expected that he’d stop arguing that people should be held without trial and then sent to “military commissions”, but instead he copied the Bush government claims *exactly* and precisely in court.

            And I’ve already mentioned making the Bush tax cuts for the super-rich permanent. That was the last straw for me.

          • Well, yeah, no argument with these points.

            But there were a lot of accomplishments that get overlooked or are completely unknown to many people.

            Of course, focusing only on the failures is a good way to come to the conclusion the guy was as bad as anyone on the right (which is obviously not the case).

            But, yes, these are the kind of things I don’t see Hillary changing, and whether he wins or not, Bernie is working to get the progressive base going again to wake up to such things and hold Democrats more accountable.

          • neroden

            Well, personally, the tax cuts for the super-rich were the key issue for me, because of this reasoning:
            (1) The reason we have so much trouble is that a few extremely rich people are corrupting our politics, buying Congress, buying statehouses, buying the media, etc.
            (2) Things like campaign finance limits haven’t worked for stopping this.
            (3) The simplest way to stop this, which probably would work, is to take their money away. By taxing them.

            Basically I think making the tax cuts for the super-rich permanent was simply handing ammunition — in the form of money — to Obama’s enemies. After that, every time they attacked Obama, *he had given them some of the money to do that*, which is just crazy politics.

            You don’t have to be a good person to realize that giving loads of money to your enemies may be tactically stupid. I was tearing my hair out at that one.

            Anyway, I vote in every election, but I basically couldn’t tell any of my friends to vote in 2010. What was the point? On the issues they cared about, whether it was money or civil liberties, they’d been betrayed. If they said “I’d rather work for the Green Party” or “I’m going to ignore politics”, I had no comeback.

          • Yeah, that was one of a few huge letdowns for me. Probably the biggest. Not thinking of another one that was bigger for me.

    • John Moore

      The last survivor from the clown car will be Marco Rubio. Nikki Haley will be his running mate, which will improve their chances enormously. I’m optimistic, yet still worried about the outcome..

    • neroden

      If you’re over 45, you’re on the wrong side of the generation gap.

      Hillary is pretty much doomed. She loses under-35 voters by spectacularly huge margins. Unfortunately and distressingly, those voters have a serious chance of going to Trump or staying home.

      • S Herb

        The biggest contribution of Bernie will be if, after Hillary’s nomination, he can keep these under-35s in the game. This would be smart move for all involved.

  • TedKidd

    Nicely written!

    • Thanks. Muchos appreciation, esp. since I know you have such a keen critical eye.

      • TedKidd


  • Harry Johnson

    The only thing that matters is that one those “legitimate psychopaths” doesn’t get elected. This truly is our last hope to change the direction of the activist Supreme Court which installed Dubya and permitted elections to be controlled by those with the most money. Will young people bother to vote if Clinton wins the nomination? Will blacks and Latinos bother to vote if Sanders gets it? With a Republican majority Congress, it likely won’t matter which Democrat wins.
    This election is about the Supreme Court which holds our environmental future in their hands.

    • Omega Centauri

      I strongly agree with you. I am undecided for the same reasons as you expect, hard to determine who will do better. I don’t trust polls showing Bernie would do better in the general. The right wing smear campaign has been running for decades against Hillary, I think they are strategically holding their fire for Bernie until he wins the nomination, presumably they think he will be easier to defeat. In any case the word Socialist has long been highly radioactive with the US electorate, I’m not convinced this will change.

      I think Hillary’s negatives are also a worry, and lots of young Bernie fans may not vote if he isn’t the nominee. I think her rep for dishonesty is mostly undeserved, but as Zac said, it is the perception that matters. So given the large uncertainties it is a tough call to make.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Hillary has negatives created by the right wing disinformation machine.

        Bernie has a disadvantage with minority groups. Don’t forget, he’s represented a very white state his entire political life. He hasn’t needed to be involved with non-whites. I’m not saying that Bernie is in any way a racist, just that he is less experienced.

        • Brooks Bridges

          I agree Benghazi! Benghazi! and such were right-wing caused. But you ignore many of the points RIRedinPA and Zach made about Hillary which are clear policy matters; TPP, NAFTA, private prisons etc. Those are the negatives I consider important.
          And if you read the speech by Bernie against the Iraq resolution you will see he exhibits an understanding of foreign policy, at least about Iraq, that Hillary lacked at the time. I think every single one of his concerns proved very so very accurate.
          Finally, Bernie started out with a name recognition deficit that was enormous. That’s finally changing.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I basically support free trade. I have spent time in countries with very restrictive trade laws and having them, IMO, is not a good thing.

            NAFTA seems to have been neither good nor bad, twenty years on. Of course we don’t actually know how it would have played out had China not emerged and taken many of the jobs away from all three NAFTA countries.

            As for the TPP, when the idea was introduced she said that she hoped it would be a good thing. She expected it to protect workers and the environment. She now says that she has concerns with its present form.

            What role did Hillary play in creating the private prison system? I know she has said that she will work to close them.

          • Brooks Bridges

            I admit I have no idea of what part she played in the 1994 omnibus crime bill. All credit is given to Bill.


            But also found that she has been recipient of millions from federally registered lobbyists or PACs for private prison companies.

            Below link gives details. Says she will now turn over contributions to charities – but took months of hounding from various groups.


            It is the accumulation of a number of about faces like this that reduce my trust in her promises.

          • Brooks Bridges


            It was written almost totally by corporations and for corporations – zero input from consumer organizations. It has very little to do with trade. It is loaded with provisions for corps to sue in some sort of investor court if a country has laws that cause them to lose profits, e.g., for environmental protection legislation. It is mostly entirely about copyrights and patent protections – e.g. drug companies.

            Under previous such “trade” agreements tobacco companies sued Australia and a small south american company to change their cigarette labeling laws because current labels were working – reducing smoking. The TPP did eliminate this ability (suing for loss of profits) from tobacco companies. Just a couple of months ago Transcanada sued US for $15 billion for loss of KXL under just such a provision in NAFTA.

            In its entire 33,000 pages climate change is mentioned zero times.

            Wikileaks leaked enough to show it was a big win for the 1% (or .1%) and very bad for the rest of us.

            Bernie and Hillary had access to same info yet he was immediately against it – now she is.

            BTW: Hillary’s state dept pushed KXL and in fact picked a company to do environmental impact study that had previously worked for Transcanada.

          • “BTW: Hillary’s state dept pushed KXL and in fact picked a company to do environmental impact study that had previously worked for Transcanada.”

            -Ah, I knew about that but then forgot that’s what the big scandal was between her & Transcanada…

          • neroden

            Mexican experts consider NAFTA to have been a disaster; it decimated Mexican agriculture and shoved the resulting unemployed people into abusive, no-working-standards maquilodora work.

            Hillary Clinton takes money from the private prison lobbyists. Sure she says she’ll work to close them, but follow the money and all that.

        • Larry

          Hello Bob: I can’t find your reply to my earlier comment so I’m attaching this information here. I got this from a friend (retired environmental reporter for Mpls. Tribune).
          Hillary Clinton Picks Up Endorsement Of League Of Conservation Voters

          This is the first time in decades the environmental group has endorsed before the primary elections.

          11/09/2015 09:15 am ET | Updated Nov 09, 2015

          Amanda Terkel Senior Political Reporter, The Huffington Post


          The League of Conservation Voters endorsed Hillary Clinton Monday, giving her a boost from a major environmental group in the Democratic presidential primary.

          it comes to fighting the climate crisis, the stakes couldn’t be
          higher — and we are confident that Hillary Clinton is the right person
          for the job,” LCV Action Fund President Gene Karpinski said in a
          statement. “With her proven history of leadership, strong environmental
          record, and a campaign committed to building a clean energy future,
          Hillary Clinton is without a doubt the most effective leader to stand up
          to Big Polluters and push forward an aggressive plan to tackle climate
          change and get it done.”

          The Clinton endorsement is the earliest the group has ever come out in favor of a presidential candidate.

          President Gene Karpinski and Board Chairwoman Carol Browner, who served
          as Environmental Protection Agency administrator under President Bill
          Clinton, will make their announcement Monday during a campaign appearance with the former secretary of state in Nashua, New Hampshire.

          Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has a stronger voting record in Congress than
          Clinton on environmental issues, according to LCV’s scorecard. A
          spokesman for the group told The Washington Post,
          which first reported the news of the endorsement, that it counts votes
          where a lawmaker was absent as a “no” vote, so Clinton’s score as a New
          York senator was lower because she was often away from Washington while
          running for president in 2008.

          In late September, Clinton announced her opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline —
          long after her primary competitors had done so. Labor and environmental
          groups were relieved when she finally made a decision.

          LCV spent $30 million in the 2014 elections, a record amount for the group.

          Clinton has steadily been amassing endorsements from outside groups, far outpacing both Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D).
          Want more updates from Amanda? Sign up for her newsletter, Piping Hot Tru

      • neroden

        The trendlines are damning for Hillary. I’m also an “electability” voter, and this is what I see:

        You already know that Bernie does better in head-to-heads against any Republican candidate than Hillary does.

        If you want to know why — then we’re just speculating. My answer is that Bernie is credibly perceived as an outsider, Hillary is the consumate insider, and this election is all about “to hell with the insiders”. This is also the reason Trump is trouncing most of the other Republicans, and the reason Cruz is doing second-best in the Republican field.

        As for “socialism”, the word is popular among people under the age of 45. If the Republicans try red-baiting, socialism will just become *more* popular. The USSR is ancient history, and Stalin is even more ancient history.

        Finally, Hillary Clinton is just a poor campaigner. She lost in 2008 to an unknown, a black man with a Muslim name.

        I live in upstate New York. Her New York Senate elections were cakewalks: the Democratic party establishment threatened away any primary competition, and the Republicans didn’t put up serious opposition. (Lazio was a joke and doomed from the start, because he was a Long Island Republican, and a Long Island candidate can’t win upstate voters, not even the Republican voters; it’s a fault line. This may not be understood by people from outside NY, but it’s common knowledge here.)

        • Yep, well said. Also, Bernie is an old white man (i’m very saddened to admit it, but that means more old white men on the GOP side will accept him) and his focus is on improving the economy by getting wealth back from the 0.01%. That is a message that rings well with voters across the spectrum.

          And as I wrote elsewhere, Hillary is one of the people who has been most demonized by right-wing media and politicians (as well as plenty of people on the left). She’s going to have a very hard time getting Republicans as well as far-left progressives to vote for her. I’m not really concerned about her facing Trump (though, there is some concern there). I’m really concerned about her facing Rubio (who I think is now the likely nominee on the right).

          And, of course, several big differences between Bernie and Hillary are important to me.

  • Frank

    The renewable business is better for business than the fossil business, but unfortunately, the fossil business is still bigger. I can’t wait till the fossil business weakens enough for significant republican defections.

  • vensonata

    Bernie articulates the climate change situation so brazenly that I half expected him to be arrested in the middle of the speech by Koch militiamen. Listening to him is like staring into the sun. He is so bright and truthful that it makes you squint.

    • Hahaha, so well said. 😀

    • Bob_Wallace

      Does he promise things he can’t deliver?

      • vensonata

        This I do not know. Since I don’t watch TV, this is the first time I have seen him speak. Again, it seems the American President has limited powers when the Republicans hold a majority in the Supreme court or either or both houses, that is why we must remember that when a Presidential candidate promises something it must always be understood as conditional on getting it past the empowered opposition.

      • Right. Or is he smart enough to put it out there as a really strong negotiating starting point. A lot of Democrats (Obama anyone) seem to start out with a pre-compromised position only to end up with a lot less than they could have gotten (Trump’s politicing promise).

        • Indeed. Was one of just a few big Obama failures, imho. Think he’s been a superb president, but do wish he had taken more of a Trump approach with Congress. The right wing media and politicians couldn’t have painted him to be more of a demon anyway, and think the compromises he landed would have been much better.

          • Ross

            Whenever he’s faced them down, they’ve crumbled. It played out multiple times over the borrowing limit and most recently the budget.

          • Yes. Unfortunately, almost no one really saw the obstructionism coming that hit him from Congress. And his ideal of “working with” the opposition and compromising turned out to be a weakness that he didn’t turn around until relatively late. A shame that what should be a politically respected ideal ended up being a problem to getting the country and world more help.

          • Harry Johnson

            American voters wasted Obama’s election in 2010 by not being bothered to vote as they think every four years is enough. With the new Census and a majority Republican House, we are stuck with them until after the next Census. Voters are ultimately always the problem.

          • No disagreement there!!

            As I learned as a sociology student ~15 years ago, “democracy” is built on the widespread availability of information, the people consuming that information, and the people acting on that information. I don’t have to say anything about how far we are from those underlying needs…

          • Bob_Wallace

            Not a weakness. An honest attempt to heal the political divide that is making our government almost non-functional.

            Almost anyone paying attention to government saw the obstructionism coming. It had been in place since Newt took control of the House. It started during Bill Clinton’s tenure and has continued since.

            PBO has done an excellent job of working around the obstructions thrown up in an attempt to stop progress. I really don’t think very many people on the left have paid attention to what the President has accomplished.

          • neroden

            Barack Obama made the Bush tax cuts for the super-rich permanent. They were going to expire on their own. All he had to do was, literally, NOTHING. He chose to specifically extend them, and got nothing of value in exchange.

            This was an unforced error. Not the only one of this sort.

            I have been paying very close attention to what Obama has accomplished. His obsession with “bipartisanship” and with conventional wisdom severely damaged his agenda for his entire first term and much of his second term. He started really cutting loose and using his executive powers to say “to hell with you, Congress” only in 2014, and has made more progress since then.

          • neroden

            I saw the obstruction coming. Actually, it was bloody obvious by 2009; it was forgivable to not see it for the first year, maybe, but the fact that Obama *kept* pursuing “compromise” and “bipartisanship” *well into his second term* was really, really out of touch with reality. I just don’t know what he was thinking.

          • Oh, yes!! By that point, it was clear. I meant before he was elected.

            I also don’t know what he/his advisors were thinking. Saw a bit of distinct blame going to his top advisors, but obviously, the buck stopped at him, so he could have changed course if he decided to.

        • Oraliabwindham

          ::f124Work At Home….Special Report….Earn 18k+ per monthfew days ago new McLaren. F1 bought after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a days ..with extra open doors & weekly. paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn. More right Here::f124➤➤➤➤➤­nu .❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:::::::f124……

        • Kristendkeefe2

          ::c755Work At Home….Special Report….Earn 18k+ per monthfew days ago new McLaren. F1 bought after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a days ..with extra open doors & weekly. paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn. More right Here::c755➤➤➤➤➤­nu .❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:::::::c755..

      • RIRedinPA

        I think that’s a bit of a straw man, each politician campaigning promises things they can’t deliver. I don’t listen to Sanders or Clinton and look to each specific thing they say and think if I vote for them they can deliver that. There is a Congress and Court System that also has a say. But a President has great influence to move the conversation and national agenda.

        Sanders campaign is important in three aspects to me:

        First, it is push back from the left which this country has needed for a long time. We are terribly unbalanced towards the right and whenever a nation lingers to long in either deep end of a political wing bad things happen within it.

        Secondly, he is proving by his actions that liberalism is not dead in America. That there is a large segment of the American population that is open to liberal ideas and thought. He’s essentially telling the Democratic party that they can stop behaving as the Clintons and Obama have for the past 30 years. Clinton and Obama essentially came to and retained power by being GOPLite, more so Clinton than Obama but there’s a reason Obama is compared to Eisenhower and not Kennedy or Roosevelt.

        Clinton gave us DOMA, don’t ask, don’t tell, welfare reform, increased federal sentencing that lead to the prison boom, NAFTA, the chipping away at Glass-Steagal, the romance with Wall Street, etc. They have both said look, we do the same things Republicans do but occasionally we add a new public park or present a centrist view on abortion to make you think we’re still Democrats. And the rank and file DNC members followed in step, with the exception of a few outliers here and there. There was this innate fear amongst Democrats of looking weak to Republicans, blame Dukakis for that.

        So for 30 years we’ve had Democrats trying to act like Republicans. And what did the GOP do? The closer Democrats cozied up to conservative ideology and policies, the further the GOP slid to the right to distinguish themselves from the Democrats. So you then get a nation where tax cutting is just a centrist policy, union busting is a center right one and to be truly conservative you have to go full on Trump levels of xenophobia and bigotry. Sanders is showing that you can be seen as strong without giving up your core ideology, without having to worship at the altar of Wall Street and without having to be crass. He is providing the cover needed for a lot of young, liberal people to enter into politics and to bring that balance back to this nation.

        Finally, he is, as someone said, shining a bright light on a lot of things that are wrong with America, and income inequality being the main focal point. His message is pretty simple, the last thirty years have not been a success for this country because we have hollowed out the middle class, we have become a corporate run oligarchy and by being feed a series of unkempt promises from trickle down economics to NAFTA to the latest trade agreement proposed by Obama we, have instituted our own demise.

        I look at Clinton and I see someone content with the status quo. She will not bring about the disruptive change needed to get this country back to a level of equity that is needed for a society to exists. When you have wealth centralized to a small percentage of society with the remaining larger percentage there to continue to provide for that wealth bad things happen, France 1789, Russia 1917, America 1929, Germany 1936, America 2009. It is in the interest of the wealthy class to see that balance returned.

        • Bob_Wallace


          What a pile of poop.

          Were Bill Clinton and Barack Obama “GOPLite” women would no longer have choice, gays would still be forced into the closet, women would be dealing with a much lower glass ceiling, we’d be far, far behind with clean tech, and on and on.

          “I look at Clinton and I see someone content with the status quo. She will not bring about the disruptive change needed to get this country back to a level of equity that is needed for a society to exists”

          If you look at Clinton and see someone content with the status quo then you have never taken a serious look at Clinton. The woman has worked her entire adult life to move the country forward.

          Sanders can’t create disruptive change. A President Sanders would face the same oppositional Congress and non-cooperative Republican governors and state legislatures.

          Truthfully, I do not know if Clinton or Sanders would make more progress. I suspect they would be roughly equally successful based on their similar goals and what I’ve seen so far of their skills. I think Clinton has a significant head start on Sanders. Sanders is behind in social issues and foreign affairs.

          • RIRedinPA

            Right, they throw the social issues at you in the same way right wing politicians throw abortion and flag waving to their constituents. Great, gays can marry, I’m all for that, but what good is it when the greater notion of everyone’s economic freedom is slowly being strangled? The net increase in annual income for middle class workers over the last 50 years has been $300.

            And all those progressive items you listed have come under Obama’s watch, not Clinton’s. I said Obama was less GOPLite than Clinton but he is all the same.

            But hey, rejoice in her win and enjoy her eventual coronation. In four years lets meet again and discuss if income inequality has improved, or if she continued Obama’s clean energy initiative or killed it, if we are not in another war where we have thousands of ground troops in harms way.

          • neroden

            Sanders is way ahead in foreign affairs.

            Clinton is listing HENRY KISSINGER as her mentor for foreign policy. War criminal – bombing of Cambodia – Henry Kissinger. This probably explains the incompetent and counterproductive bombing-campaign foreign policy she’s pursued, as well as the support for the right-wing military coup in Honduras, and a lot of other awful decisions.

            I’d trust Sanders on foreign affairs over Clinton any day.

            Assertions that Clinton has worked to move the country forward require evidence. On some issues, she certainly has. On foreign policy, the evidence is against that claim.

          • Honestly, that’s one of the places where I see him having the strongest advantage over Hillary (foreign affairs).

        • “First, it is push back from the left which this country has needed for a long time. We are terribly unbalanced towards the right and whenever a nation lingers to long in either deep end of a political wing bad things happen within it.

          “Secondly, he is proving by his actions that liberalism is not dead in America. That there is a large segment of the American population that is open to liberal ideas and thought. He’s essentially telling the Democratic party that they can stop behaving as the Clintons and Obama have for the past 30 years. Clinton and Obama essentially came to and retained power by being GOPLite, more so Clinton than Obama but there’s a reason Obama is compared to Eisenhower and not Kennedy or Roosevelt.”

          -Hugely agree. As with the bits about bringing more progressives into the political system, and practically everything else you wrote.

  • jburt56

    1 TW of solar for the US.

    • Freddy D

      That’s a good start- actually the US would need about 3-5 TW of solar and wind combined to be mostly renewable.

      • jburt56

        Baby steps. . .

Back to Top ↑