Incorrect. I am defending the statements of several international bodies that observed the election. There is no doubt many things that the Sandinistas did was terrible. But it is possible for there to have been a fair election and for that still to have been the case. Of course, who knows what they could have done if not for the contras... Are you seriously trying to argue that prior to the Sandinistas, Nicaragua was in an equivalent state, in terms of rights and freedoms, as the United States has now? Again, international observers said the election was fair. International observers said the ballots were secret. International observers said that there was no vote tampering. It is entirely irrelevant if the election was perfect, or if the election fit what we'd most like. Those who actually observed the election said it was fair. It was not perfect. Btw, it is telling that American gov't considered the El Salvador election results legitimate, but not Nicaragua. That should tell you something about why our gov't objected.
It is telling that you need to cite an article that distorts the words of the Dutch report, because the Dutch report says the election was fair and free. It was not a perfect election, but fug, not like ours are either. BTW, LASA, a group observing the elections, disputes your author's account of non-secret ballots. Instead, they argue that the ballots were cast into non-translucent ballot boxes, quite different from the situation in El Salvador or under the 'elections' of the Somoza-era, where boxes were cast into translucent boxes AND the ballots were flimsy. Not so here. Again, the observers argued strongly thre was NO evidence of vote tampering... It was primarily US journalists (hmm!) that thought otherwise, not people actually observing it. It was not perfect, but it appears there was no vote tampering You are advancing the opinion of an author that had to defend his piece from the very observers he quoted out of context. Chomsky covers the Nicaraguan election in quite a bit of detail in Manufacturing Consent. Worth a read.
No opposition? There were 7 parties, all of whom had the same period to campaign, there was opposition press, and there was ZERO evidence of ballot tampering. Considering a huge percentage of the population voted for opposition parties, I don't think that you can argue the populace was afraid to vote against the ruling party. I'm not going to argue with you about whether or not the elections were free. The results were ratified by international organizations, religious groups, and representatives from democratic nations. You can take the opinion they were all wrong and mislead, if you want, but I think it is just as likely the American press back then was more than a little bit bias, considering the circumstances. The elections were not perfect, could have been better, etc... but international observers, the ACTUAL observes, not writers who decided to pick at single statements made out of context form the overall reports, seemed to agree they were fair.
Leiken actually got into a pretty big editorial fight with actual observers of the election. What most observers argued is that relative to the times and the location, the election was largely fair and there was no evidence of vote tampering. Whether or not it was "the most fair election" is hard to say. Some might argue US elections are not fair either, given the difference in campaign funding allowed. And btw, Nicaragua moved up their elections, at least supposedly, out of fear of a US invasion. edit: From reading about the legislation involved, all parties had from August to November to campaign. Before that there was voter registration and party declarations. Because of the move up in the election, there was a little less time than anticipated, and because the FSLN didn't want to negotiate with the contras, some parties didn't participate. Other sources also ratified the elections as fair and open. From http://www.envio.org.ni/articulo/2578,
After reading the article, nothing in it is that bad. For one, Castro DID transform Cuba, but he wasn't perfect. THe point Bernie was making though was less about Castro being great or something and more about how when these leaders improve the lot of so many people, there is much less likely to be a popular uprising as the US had thought there would be.
So... does this mean we get to bring up Iran Contra again?
btw, when Sanders visited, I am pretty sure it was just after a fair and democratic election (or so international observes seem to have concluded) that Ortega won. Worth noting that, because it is different than if he had visited earlier.
I've talked with a lot of people locally about him, trying to convert some of the Ready For Hillary folks around here. One of the first obstacles is just to educate people. Quite a few people think he is running in the general vs Hillary and Jeb and thus think even paying attention to him at all is a waste of time.
1) A majority does not mean that they can just do whatever they want whenever they want. Public perception still matters, and that is a major place where Democrats in VT failed to educate folks. 2) Shumlin had said he was going to implement single payer but he was reluctant early, despite his claims. I don't expect you to believe me here, but I am more closely tied to this process than most. 3) General education level is irrelevant to public education campaigns on something like the health care system. There was not enough done here to educate people on the issue early, and once the Dems tried it was so late in the process it was pretty hard. 4) Agreed, though that is purely because of how entrenched this system is right now, regardless of how good it is for the long-term costs of the health care system
So what you want is for a symbolic gesture of a politician to cut their own pay before they close tax loopholes etc? Because let's be realistic about what increases revenues...
btw, Bernie may believe in single payer but he isn't running on it for President afaik.
1) Presidential elections don't solely determine how much freedom the Democratic party has to act within a state. Vermont's governor nearly lost his re-election, because his base was dissatisfied and his opponent galvanized people against single payer. Whether or not Vermont has 1% more liberals or fewer conservatives than other east coast states, or how it voted for Obama, really doesn't matter, Vermont dems still have to worry about their seats. Though I think Shumlin himself isn't going for another term, other Dems have to be concerned with how the election went, given the incredibly low democratic turnout for Shumlin. 2) Politics is a possible reason. It's also very possible it was an unbias estimate that he came up with. 3) Are you seriously arguing that high school is a place where individuals are educated on campaign issues, taxes, and health care costs? lol. Good job. As to the plan 'not being liberal enough,' it has nothing to do with that. One of the biggest advantages of single payer is that it cuts out a lot of redundancy and complexity of multiple competing healthcare systems for different classes of Americans, as we have right now - Vermont's plan failed to do that, and combined with exemptions to some of the larger employers, it also undercut the base of the funding for the plan. Which is why, as I keep saying, single payer makes more sense at a national level.
http://www.nbcnews.com/business/economy/bernie-sanders-asks-if-american-economy-moral-n364541 He was answering a question sarcastically about the tax rate during Eisenhower's time, but he did say he didn't think it was too high. He wouldn't propose it though, and when pushed for details on his tax plans more recently he has said income tax isnt something he has settled on yet edit: darn it, video appears to be gone. A google search turned up this thinkprogress link: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2015/05/26/3662773/sanders-90-percent-tax/ No idea how valid it is, haven't read through it, so take it with a grain of salt, but you get the jist.
Fwiw I don't think Bernie is going to raise any marginal tax rate to 90 percent. He hasn't said what he'd do with personal income tax yet. He just doesn't think ideologically that is too high a rate, from what I've read.