Feeling down after Bernie endorsed Hillary? This short farewell speech should cheer you up

Originally published July 12, 2016 on RawStory

As everyone by now knows, Senator Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton today. If you’re feeling a little down about Bernie Sanders stepping down from the race, this farewell speech may make you laugh instead of cry. I’ve written about the comedic duo behind the Trump Vs. Bernie show. Here is James Adomian’s Bernie Sanders explaining what he and Hillary share and encouraging the movement to keep on keeping on.

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Laugh instead of cry about the anti-Sanders media bias

image via youtube
Originally published May 30, 2016 on RawStory

If you’re not living under a rock, you may have noticed just a slight media bias against Bernie Sanders. Although, in all seriousness, you may not have noticed it, since the biased media doesn’t tend to report on its own bias.

You don’t actually have to be a Sanders supporter to acknowledge the media bias. I would argue, in all seriousness, that Clinton supporters who admit that there is negative coverage of Sanders make much better spokespeople for their candidate because they have credibility, or at the very least, the air of credibility.

But I digress. This post is supposed to be fun and funny. Back to how you can laugh instead of cry, or, say, fall asleep.

Through their live tour and  Web/TV Series, comedic geniuses James Adomian and Anthony Atamanuik have been holding Trump vs Bernie debates since the fall, long before The Donald agreed to, and then chickened out on, debating The Bernie. Last week, I posted one of their videos to give people a sense of what the debate could look like. The video below offers not only Trump on Sanders hilarity, but takes on the media bias found at MSNBC.  Adomian’s Chris Matthews impersonation is as impeccable as his Bernie Sanders one and Atamanuik is dead-on as Trump and as Rachel Maddow.

Surprise! Author of viral ‘Becoming Anti-Bernie’ piece is corporate lawyer who defends hedge funds

image via Medium
image via Medium

Originally posted April 19, 2016 on RawStory

You may have seen this “On Becoming Anti-Bernie” piece, which is going around the internets. It’s one of the top three most popular posts on Medium’s politics section, has 1.4k likes, and over 600 comments. But who is the author? Robin Alperstein? She’s a corporate lawyer who specializes in defending hedge funds but also represents the occasional nanny-abusing, jet-setting, Chilean aristocratic Upper East Side couple.

Lest you think I’m bringing up Alperstein’s biography because I can’t rebut the substance of her argument, I’ll go through a mere sampling of its flaws.

Let’s start with one of her bald-faced lies. Alperstein writes that Sanders, “literally pushed his wife away from a lectern (‘don’t stand there!’) on the air.” Actually, Bernie gestured. He never touched her. And there is video. So Alperstein either didn’t watch it (is “lazy and unprepared,” which are literally the words she uses to describe Sanders) or she’s a liar.

Also, as a Clinton supporter, does Alperstein really want to make this election about the relationship between the candidate and his or her spouse. By all means, as a Bernie supporter, I’d be happy to.

But the piece is generally chock full of distortions and myths that persist despite lack of evidence: Sanders hasn’t accomplished anything (which is weird because he has and his nickname is the Amendment King); he never compromises (which is even weirder since Alperstein points to examples of compromise in the same piece); has no foreign policy experience (he has more foreign policy experience than Ronald Reagan or Barack Obama did when they ran for first election, was right on Iraq. And Clinton was wrong on Iraq, but to be fair, her being wrong shouldn’t be limited to that one incident. She’s also been wrong on Libya, Haiti and Honduras, where she legitimized a coup that has rendered the country the “murder capital of the world.”)

The piece also uses glaring double standards. It smears Sanders as “lazy,” while attacking Sanders for his tone. I guess she’s showing instead of telling. So, well played Alperstein. It attacks Sanders on his temperament, which is so important, it has its own “temperament” subsection: “Sanders is crotchety,” Alperstein writes. And, when questioned, he apparently becomes, “testy and sarcastic.” If temperament is fair game, that’s great news for Sanders supporters. Because we can now talk about Hillary’s cold yet fake, awkward yet disingenuous demeanor, yes?

Alperstein condescendingly writes that Sanders “doesn’t seem to have an ‘inside voice’.” Shall we talk about the cadence or volume of Clinton’s voice?

Perhaps my favorite critique is that he gets “red-faced.” I won’t dignify this by responding to it beyond saying talking about a candidate’s physical appearance is not a good look.

OK. Now back to Alperstein. Who is she, you ask? Well, she’s a partner at Becker Glynn. And, according to the website, she specializes in

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The Katie Halper Show Live! #BernieMadeMeWhite with Erika Andiola, Leslie Lee, Jacob Bridge

This month’s show features guests who shatter the myth of the Bernie Bro, the alleged white male millennials, living in their parents’ basements, harassing women online and supporting Bernie Sanders. Leslie Lee, a Black writer and teacher was so frustrated with the misrepresentation of Sanders fans and the erasure of his supporters of color, he created the spot on and very funny #BernieMadeMeWhite hashtag, which went viral. Erika Andiola is a dreamer, organizer and she happens to be a National Press Secretary for Bernie Sanders Campaign for President. Jacob Bridge, a VeteranForBernie and conscientious objector who has organized around LGBT rights, is also far from a Bernie Bro. So, come, learn, laugh, nosh and drink at this live and free talk show! livestream here https://livestream.com/thecommons/events/5125512

Wednesday, April 6 at 6:00 p.m. at Brooklyn Commons (388 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11217)

#BernieMadeMeWhite: Meet the Black writer who called out the media for erasing people of color

image via Leslie Lee III
Image via Leslie Lee III
Originally posted on March 28, 2016 on RawStory

Leslie Lee III is a writer and English teacher from Baton Rouge, LA who lives in Yokahama, Japan with his wife, Kelly, and their dog, Taco. His writing ranges from essays and articles on politics and Japanese wrestling, to the novel he is working on with his father about Kentucky’s Black coal miners. But according to some sources, Lee does not actually exist. He’s a figment of the imagination. Because he’s both Black and a supporter of Bernie Sanders.

The nice thing about the notion of the unbearable whiteness of being a Sanders supporter is that it doesn’t need to be based in reality. On Saturday, for example, CNN attributed Sanders’ landslide victories in Alaska, Hawaii and Washington primaries to the whitey-mcwhiteyness of the states:

These caucus states — largely white and rural — are the type of places Sanders traditionally does well. In order to win the nomination, he must replicate this success in other, more ethnically diverse states that hold primaries, as he did in Michigan last month. In theory, it’s possible. But the reality is tough.

Likewise, in theory, it’s possible to portray these states as white. But the reality is tough. Because they’re not. Washington state is literally the seventh most diverse state in the Nation. Two (if not three) of the five most diverse counties in the country are found in Alaska, which CNN itself described as “the most diverse place in America,” in an article in January. And Hawaii, according the Pew Research Center,

stands out… more than any other state… when it comes to its racial and ethnic diversity… The Rainbow State has never had a white majority. In fact, non-Hispanic whites, the largest group in most states, account for only 23% of the population, according to 2013 census figures.

But you know the old adage, necessity (to correct irresponsible journalism and media bias) is the mother of (viral) invention. And So, Mr. Lee launched his epic #BernieMadeMeWhite hashtag, mocking the idea that all supporters of Sanders are white. Its debut appearance was:

 

I decided I would ask Mr. Lee, or @tokyovampires as he’s known on Twitter,  about what inspired the hashtag, though merely ignoring it and him would have been a very meta demonstration of the very erasure he’s protesting.

He explained, “The common narrative in this election that Bernie has a ‘minority problem’ or that all his supporters are ‘bros’ is pervasive, and insulting to the POCs [People of Color] and women who support [him].” But, “it hit a peak… when Hawaii, the least white state in the nation, retroactively became white or ‘not diverse’ due to the fact that Bernie won it. So, I started #BernieMadeMeWhite.”  And, Lee tweeted to me, “since my real existence as a black person who supports Bernie is ignored…  might as well embrace my new whiteness.”

Lee was kind enough to answer some more questions over e-mail, probably out of a sense of solidarity, since I’m a female Bernie bro and don’t really exist either.

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Larry David has the best rebuttal for people accusing Bernie Sanders of hiding his Jewish identity

LarryDavidDec09

Originally posted on March 25, 2016 on RawStory

Countless people, newspapers, pundits, self-appointed definers of all things Jewish have challenged, questioned or even denied Bernie Sanders’ Jewish identity… because it’s a Friday. Speaking of which, good shabbos!

It’s hard to keep up with all the self-righteous attacks and denouncements lobbed at Sanders but one of my favorites from this week alone was the nuanced and understated headline which graced the schlock-filled right wing rag that is Front Page:

HOW BERNIE SANDERS SOLD HIS SOUL TO BE AN AUTHENTIC LEFTIST

This soul selling was, of course, a reference to Sanders’ decision not to the annual AIPAC conference.

But I don’t want to leave out Jeffrey Goldberg, whose condescending and catty tweets about how Jewish identity is appropriately defined, was stunningly unaware. Goldberg tweeted truth to power during the Sanders-Clinton debate in Flint Michigan from earlier this month when host Anderson Cooper said the following:

Just this weekend there was an article I read in the Detroit News saying that you keep your Judaism in the background, and that’s disappointing some Jewish leaders. Is that intentional?

(Because if there is one publication that represents THE JEWS it’s definitely the Detroit News or DN, as we Jews like to call it. And if there is one group of people who speaks for the Jews, it’s definitely “some Jewish leaders.” But that’s neither here nor though, so moving on.) Bernie made the mistake of saying that part of his Jewish identity was shaped by the Holocaust, during which his father’s side of the family was “wiped out.” Well, that didn’t sit too well with Jeffrey Goldberg, who sanctimoniously tweeted:

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The feminist, anti-racist educator Killer Mike quoted and the media calls ‘a woman’

Killer Mike introduces Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during a campaign rally in Atlanta on Nov. 23, 2015. [YouTube]
Killer Mike introduces Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during a campaign rally in Atlanta on Nov. 23, 2015. [YouTube]

Originally posted on RawStory on February 17, 2016

Rapper and Bernie Sanders endorser Killer Mike made a terrible mistake on Tuesday night when he quoted “a woman” who used the word “uterus,” during a speech at Morehouse College in Atlanta. Twitter and several media outlets blasted Michael Render, AKA Killer Mike,  for sexism. Interestingly, most of them didn’t bother to explain what he was really saying or who the woman he had cited was: feminist, anti-racist educator and activist Jane Elliott.

Here is what he said:

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When people tell us ‘hold on, wait a while’ – that’s what the other Democrat is telling you,  ‘Hold on Black Lives Matter, just wait a while. Hold on young people in this country, just wait a while,’ And then she get good, she have your own momma come to you, your momma sit down and say, ‘Well you’re a woman.’

Render is describing what he sees as an attempt on Clinton’s part to appeal to gender identity to get the vote. Whether or not you think this is accurate is another question. But we can all agree on what he’s saying. He goes on:

I talked to Jane Elliott a few weeks ago, and Jane said, ‘Michael, a uterus doesn’t qualify you to be president of the United States. You have to have policies that’s reflective of social justice.’ ”

To me, it’s pretty clear what Render is saying here. Again, you don’t have to agree with him, but the point he is making is that policies and not gender determine whether someone is actually promoting social justice.

Somehow the takeaway from this was,”Killer Mike Quotes Woman Saying ‘Having a Uterus Doesn’t Qualify You to Be POTUS’” as Blue Nation Review headline put it. The Hill said, “Rapper Killer Mike drew attention late Tuesday after saying during a rally for Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders that a “uterus doesn’t qualify you to be president.” And Mediaite wrote that he “got pretty fired up about Team Clinton saying “just wait a while” and quoted a woman who told him, “A uterus doesn’t qualify you to be President of the United States.”

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headline originally referred to Jane Elliott as a lesbian. She is an activist around LGBT rights, in addition to being a feminist and anti-racist educator.

Eric Garner’s daughter — and 20 women you might not know back Bernie Sanders

Originally posted February 12, 2016 on RawStory

Erica Garner-Snipes, whose unarmed father was murdered by police, released an extremely moving video endorsing Bernie Sanders on Thursday. Garner joins a long list of women who don’t fit into the stereotype of the white millenial, skinny-jeans-wearing, Brooklyn-gentrifying Bernie Babe.

The issue of female support for Bernie Sander’s has been in the headlines ever since Gloria Steinem commented on it during an appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher last Friday. When  Maher asked his guest why so many women support Senator Sanders, Steinem explained, “when you’re young, you’re thinking, ‘Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie’.”

Many responded my attacking Steinem’s statements and her approach to feminism. While a debate over intersectionalist feminism has it’s place, I do think it’s unfair to trash Steinem and throw out her invaluable contributions to feminist and progressive movements. And, as the video I made below shows, Steinem herself “felt the Bern” so much, she declared him “an honorary woman” at a campaign event in the fall of 1996.

But this isn’t about Steinem or individual surrogates or endorsements. Her turn of phrase about “where the boys are” does give us an important opportunity to explore exactly who some of the women and girls supporting Sanders actually are and why they are choosing to support him.

 

And here is the amazing video from Erica Garner-Snipes, about why she’s supporting Sanders.

Hillary Clinton on Reparations, Bernie Sanders & Killer Mike Cop Buddy Movies

On this episode of The Katie Halper Show, we are joined by Fusion journalist Nando Vila, the man who asked Bernie Sanders about his position on reparations which reignited the debate started by Ta-Nehisi Coates. While Sanders is being criticized about his position of the issue, what is Clinton’s position? Find out here, where we play the response she gave which nobody is talking about for some reason. Plus Reagan’s reparations support, Killer Mike and Bernie Sanders cop buddy films and more! Next Wednesday, Feb 3, join us on the radio at 6pm AND In person at 8pm for our #OscarsNotAtAllWhite ceremony and show!

How Bernie Sanders Won Hillary’s Vote & 13 other Deep Thoughts on the Democratic Debate

Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 10.25.54 PM

Originally posted October 13, 2015 on RawStory

If you read one summary of the Democratic Debate, don’t read this one. But if you read a few and want to hear some observations and thoughts, insights and questions, straight from the gut, via the twitter, of Katie Halper you won’t be disappointed.

  • Having GOP debates before is terrible event planning. You put the funnier act last, not first. Dems have no chance.
  • Waiting for the narrator to say, “in a world!”
  • I’m fluent in New York accents and am available for simultaneous translation of
  • Lincoln Chafee is so awkward it’s endearing. He could be a sleeper. Dunno whether to cry or vote for him or both.
  • It’s hard to get excited about a debate when everyone on stage believes in things like vaccines & evolution.
  • “Is anyone else on the stage not a capitalist?” – Music to my ears!
  • “You supported Sandinistas, you said you’re not a capitalist.” Anderson Cooper questioning a candidate? Or me vetting boyfriends?
  • The block of granite known as Lincoln Chafee & the robot inside of Jim Webb’s skin are doing surprisingly well.
  • You know Jim Webb can’t keep the terms “people of color” & “colored people” straight.
  • hearing Bernie Sanders say, “I come from a rural state” in his thick Brooklynese accent is amazeballs.
  • Say “R” where there is no “R”: (idear) Don’t say “R” where there is one: (motha).
  • And that, little children, was how Bernie Sanders won Hillary Clinton’s vote!
  • Did Hillary just humblebrag that she’s made an enemy of a country consisting of over 70 million people?
  • I’m still waiting for to peel off Jim Webb’s skin suit and declare that he’s throwing his hat into the ring.