Elizabeth Warren

Other than offering some vague nods to “border security,” Democrats never put forth any policy that would prevent the hundreds of thousands of unknown people streaming into the U.S. Yet if you point out that the party doesn’t care about securing the border, a confounded news anchor will insist, “Silly fool! Why, everyone supports border security!”

It’s a cover-up for what Democrats truly believe in: An open border that discriminates against no one from anywhere.

Look at any one of the Democrats running for the party’s presidential nomination, and you will not find a single policy proposal that would stop a single illegal entrant. Or even just the top five of them in the RealClearPolitics national average.

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s plan on his website: “We have got to address the root causes of migration that push people to leave behind their homes and everything they know to undertake a dangerous journey for the chance at a better life.” It says nothing about halting the obscene numbers of migrants showing up at the border with bogus claims for asylum or the illegal border crossers with histories of child sex abuse and violent gang affiliations caught daily. Ah, but it does check the empty “secure our border and enforce our laws” banality.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders calls for expanding protections for illegal immigrants already in the U.S., “developing a humane policy for those seeking asylum,” and virtually eliminating the deportation and detention of illegal aliens altogether. Sanders’ website doesn’t even bother nodding to the “border security” cliché.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren doesn’t mention immigration at all on her website. But in interviews, she says the same nothing that every Democrat says. “We need an immigration system that is effective, that focuses on where problems are,” she said Wednesday on CNN, though Democrats never seem to find “where the problems are” when talking about the topic. They deny that even one illegal immigrant might be a rapist or drug dealer, even though there are scores of them. They deny that there’s a “crisis” at the border, where five children have died in recent weeks. They deny that illegal immigrants soak up welfare benefits (even though they do). So where exactly are the “problems”? Warren said in the interview that “we need immigration laws that focus on people who pose a real threat,” but how exactly do Democrats define “real threat”? They apparently see no threat, otherwise they wouldn’t oppose the construction of a border wall with the fury of a volcano god.

California Sen. Kamala Harris has compared Immigration and Customs Enforcement to the Ku Klux Klan, called on Senate Democrats to resist funding any measure or resource on the border that functions to apprehend and detain illegal border crossers, and made protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients among her top issues. I think we know where she stands on “border security.”

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg finally got some policy positions on his website and he proposes “immigration laws to reflect today’s humanitarian and economic needs” as well as “reasonable security measures at the border.” Well, I feel better now, how about you? Last month, Buttigieg said he would be happy to welcome an infinite number of immigrants, legal or not, to his city, where he thought they would contribute to the snowplowing and need for more firefighters. Aw, shucks! Is that what the tiny Guatemalan woman who arrived at the Texas border with seven children wanted to do all along? Why didn’t they say so? Hand them each a helmet and hose!

The 2020 Democrats, with the media’s help, will either avoid the immigration issue as long as possible, or keep repeating “border security, border security, border security” in hopes that no one notices what they’re really after: Open borders and unabated immigration.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., decries big money in politics, but her presidential campaign treasurer embodies it, The Center for Public Integrity is reporting.

“Corruption, the influence of money, touches every decision that gets made in Washington,” Warren said at a campaign rally last week in Virginia. “Whatever issue brought you here today, I guarantee if there’s a decision to be made in Washington, it’s been touched, pushed, massaged, tilted over, just a little, so the folks with money do better than everyone else.”

But a headline for a 2007 profile in The Boston Globe dubbed her now-treasurer, Paul Egerman a “personal PAC man.” The profile noted Egerman, a self-made millionaire, and his wife Joanne, had donated more than $1 million to support numerous election campaigns, including Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign.

And according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of Center for Responsive Politics data, Egerman and his wife have now given more than $8.4 million to various Democratic candidates and PACs since 1995.

Egerman donated $920,000 during the 2017-2018 election cycle to super PACs Planned Parenthood Votes and Senate Majority PAC, Public Integrity said, citing Federal Election.

In 2014, Egerman hosted a Democratic fundraiser attended by then-President Barack Obama, Public Integrity said.  Each person was charged an entry price of $32,400, according to The Boston Globe.

Egerman declined to answer specific questions when reached by Public Integrity. But he said: “Elizabeth doesn’t do high-dollar fundraisers or call time, but I encourage anyone who supports her to help in any way they can.”

Source: NewsMax Politics

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., whose presidential candidacy languished for the first few months of her campaign, is starting to climb in polls, and her proposal to cancel most student loan debt may be a major reason why.

On April 22, the day Warren released her plan for free college and canceling student debt, she was down in sixth place for the Democratic nomination in the RealClearPolitics average. I criticized the plan at the time, but also noted that the political logic was clear. Free college proposals only benefit people who are in or near college, or parents of kids in or nearing college, whereas student loans are a major burden on younger Americans in their 20s, 30s, and early 40s. Warren has been hammering the issue hard, and in the most recent group of polls, she’s now in third place, behind only Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

A further breakdown of the polling by age suggests that she’s received a particularly large bump from those between 18 and 49, who would be the most direct beneficiaries of any sort of student debt cancellation.

A Quinnipiac poll taken in late March found Warren in a distant fifth place, at just 4%, and that 4% support was the same for those younger and older than 50. In that poll, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., was at 9% among the 18-49 crowd, Beto O’Rourke was at 15%, Biden was at 22%, and Sanders led with 26%.

However, in the Quinnipiac poll released this week, Warren moved to third place, with 13% overall. But there is now a significant gap in her support among older and younger voters. Though she did go up, from 4% to 9% among the 50 and over crowd, she soared to 18% among the 18-49 crowd, closing in on Biden and Sanders, who are tied at 23% among the age group.

There are, of course, many other factors that could be contributing to her gains in this dynamic race with so many candidates. But it’s also true that she has been doing a lot to keep emphasizing the student loan issue.

On Wednesday, for instance, she posted this video of a supporter calling up and saying he donated $20 because of the student loan issue.

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At a New Hampshire town-hall gathering Sunday night, presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg joined the choir of Democrats singing the “tax the rich” refrain. Referring to the 2017 tax cut, Buttigieg took Republicans to task for “blowing a trillion-dollar hole in our budget” for something “America did not need.”

The South Bend, Indiana mayor proceeded to call for four new tax increases, including a “reasonable wealth tax or something like that” and a push to close corporate loopholes. But with the economy still roaring along — despite Wall Street jitters — and unemployment at lifetime lows, many of the Democrats calling for tax increases on investment managers and other wealthy investors face internal headwinds in the states, cities, and congressional districts they hail from.

Four of the nation’s top five states for private-equity investments last year are places that several 2020 candidates call home: Texas (Beto O’Rourke and Joaquin Castro), New York (Kirsten Gillibrand and Bill de Blasio), California (Kamala Harris and Eric Swalwell) and Minnesota (Amy Klobuchar), according a state-by-state report by the American Investment Council, a lobbying group representing private equity firms.

These investments represent a combined total of $271 billion in more than 1,500 businesses in those four states alone. Of interest to those businesses is one of the tax breaks routinely targeted by Democrats: carried interest. On the campaign stump, this tax break is routinely assailed as a boon to the wealthy and one of the prime factors behind the nation’s growing income inequality.

Now that the Democratic presidential campaign has been joined, investment managers, including the American Investment Council, are pushing back.

Carried interest, they say, is the “sweat equity” that investors and managers put into building a business, assisting its growth and realizing profits from long-term investments.

“Private-equity invests, supports jobs, and builds better businesses in every state across the country,” AIC President Drew Maloney said in a statement. Maloney has called current legislation targeting the tax “a direct assault on capital gains treatment that would unnecessarily harm entrepreneurs, business owners, endowment funds, and American workers in every state and congressional district in the country.”

At a time when Amazon is forcing local retail storefronts to close up shop, private-equity investments are growing brick-and-mortar businesses — such as the Dollar Store, Dunkin Donuts, Yankee Candle and Hilton Hotels — that, in turn, support local jobs, Maloney added. The private-equity industry also highlights that it consistently delivers the highest long-term returns to investors, which has helped provide reliable pension funds for teachers, firefighters and other government workers.

Ken Blackwell, a conservative former Ohio treasurer and secretary of state, used a decades-old quote from Jesse Jackson to explain his support for keeping the carried-interest benefit intact.

“Capitalism without capital is just another ism — and I can’t live on an ism,” he told RealClearPolitics. “It’s one of the most sensible things I’ve ever heard Jesse Jackson say. It’s about the productive use of capital where you want that use to take place.”

At the beginning of the Trump administration, Blackwell said, some $2 trillion to $3 trillion of capital belonging to U.S. corporations or wealthy investors was parked offshore in other countries “because the owners of that capital didn’t like the environment or the tax rate or the penalties associated with putting that capital to work in the United States.”

He and other Trump transition team advisers, he noted, stressed the need to get that money working in the United States by cutting taxes and regulations. “And now we’ve have sustained and improved economic growth over the course of now marching toward three years,” he said.

“So what you see now [from Democrats] is the politics of envy. And this march toward socialism, which really champions a more robust and central government intervention in economic decisions, has led them to be against the very things that has led to robust economic growth and job creation,” he said.

All of the top-tier Democratic presidential candidates have strongly backed plans to raise taxes on investment, particularly on carried interest, the tax break that allows investment managers, such as private-equity fund directors, to have investment income taxed as capital gains rather than as ordinary income.

The top rate on capital gains is 23.8% while the top rate for ordinary income is 37%. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, with the support of fellow Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Kirsten Gillibrand – all of whom are running for president — has introduced a bill that would tax that carried-interest income at ordinary-income rates instead of at capital gains rates. A host of labor unions and liberal groups have touted the legislation. 

Bernie Sanders sponsored a similar measure in 2015, and former Vice President Joe Biden has long pressed for it.

“Let me tell you what carried interest is – you’re paying 30 percent and they’re paying 17 percent and some of them made a billion dollars – 28 made a billion dollars. … You think that’s fair?” the Democratic front-runner said in an interview three years ago.

Yet, the Obama administration didn’t use the political muscle to push the increased rate through Congress when Democrats controlled both chambers at the beginning of his presidency. In April 2016, Biden told CNBC’s John Harwood that the he and President Obama couldn’t get rid of the tax break because Obama didn’t have “the clear space” to use his bully pulpit to talk about “how unfair the tax system is.”

Earlier this year, California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris, who is another top contender for her party’s presidential nomination, specifically called out the carried- interest benefit when a National Public Radio interviewer asked her how she would pay for her proposals directing money toward people at the lower end of the income scale, including a plan to give a $6,000 tax benefit to families making under $100,000.

Yet these Democrats aren’t eager to respond when asked if they’re concerned that raising taxes on private-equity firms would translate into less investment in local businesses. None of the top-tier candidates replied to RCP’s inquiries. Klobuchar’s presidential campaign spokeswoman did respond, but only to highlight her boss’s plan to use the money generated for efforts to promote mental health and fight opioid addiction. She didn’t respond to a follow-up about the impact raising taxes might have on business investment in Minnesota and across the country.

Democrats point out that, during the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump pledged to jettison the carried-interest tax break but also didn’t do so when he had the chance. Instead, the tax-cut law the president signed in December 2017 required investment managers to hold assets for at least three years in order to qualify for the tax preference, up from one year under previous law.

Donald Marron, a fellow at the liberal-leaning Urban Institute’s Tax Policy Center, argues that there’s a middle ground the right and left are ignoring. He told RCP that “lots of other structures” besides the current system can improve the operation of companies and create jobs, and called instead for an “appropriate deduction for the carried interest they pay.”

“If you get that part right, you can have your cake and eat it too,” he added. 

Grover Norquist, who heads Americans for Tax Reform, a conservative supply-side organization, dismissed the carried-interest loophole debate as a perennial but unserious Democratic talking point “about how they don’t like rich people.”  When Obama had Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate, they couldn’t pass it, he said, because enough lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are concerned about its impact on jobs and the economy.

Earlier this year, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo backed a bill to tax the carried interest income as ordinary earned income — but made the effective date contingent on the passage of similar legislation in five other nearby states. That legislative gambit, Norquist said, is tacit acknowledgment from New York Democrats that businesses and jobs would migrate out of state as a direct result.

Last month, a University of Southern California Marshall School of Business study said a proposed carried-interest tax rate would result in 370,000 lost jobs in New York alone and would deprive local government of $4.5 billion in annual tax revenues currently used to fund social programs and infrastructure projects.

“They realize that there really are damaging costs in the case of jobs and how you tax carried interest even though they talk like there’s no downside,” Norquist said. “You can tell when someone is posturing when they could have done it and didn’t.”

Susan Crabtree is RealClearPolitics’ White House/national political correspondent.

Source: Real Clear Politics

Former Vice President Joe Biden leads all Democratic contenders in a poll of Florida voters released Wednesday.

Biden, who announced his run for president in late April, polled at 39 percent, followed by Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont at 12 percent each in the survey from Florida Atlantic University’s (FAU) Business and Economic Polling Initiative.

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg drew nine percent, Sen. Kamala Harris of California seven percent and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke five percent.

“Even though Joe Biden has a substantial lead among the Democrats, with almost 10 months to go before the Florida Democratic presidential primary, there is still plenty of time for the other candidates to make up ground,” said Monica Escaleras, Ph.D., director of the FAU BEPI.

The survey polled how each of the top five Democrats would do in a matchup with President Donald Trump.

Biden fared best in a 50-50 tie with Trump and Sanders polled at 49 percent to Trump’s 51 percent. Trump won matchups with Warren and Buttigieg, 52-48 percent, while Harris polled six points behind the president, 53-47 percent.  

The survey, conducted May 16-19, polled 1,007 Florida registered voters. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.0 percentage points. 

Source: NewsMax Politics

FILE PHOTO: People walk by the U.S. Capitol building in Washington
FILE PHOTO: People walk by the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, U.S., February 8, 2018. REUTERS/ Leah Millis

May 22, 2019

By Timothy Gardner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Representatives from more than 70 companies met with U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday to push for a tax on carbon emissions to fight climate change, and a senator said bipartisan legislation containing such a plan could be introduced in weeks.

The gathering, which included PepsiCo, Johnson & Johnson, Tesla and General Mills, was the largest business group in a decade to advocate at the Capitol for climate legislation.

The companies were seeking to be heard as lawmakers consider more aggressive plans to tackle climate change.

Most of the Democratic candidates in the 2020 presidential election including Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren have embraced the Green New Deal, a set of policy goals introduced by congressional Democrats to transform the energy system to 100% renewable sources by 2030, using federal funds to invest in infrastructure and green jobs.

Senator Chris Coons, a Democrat, told reporters after hosting one of the meetings on a carbon tax with about six representatives of companies and lawmakers from both parties that a price on carbon has been widely recognized as “the single most important lever we can pull” to fight climate change.

Coons said he hopes to introduce a bipartisan bill in weeks to put a fee on carbon. A similar bill that would return a dividend on the carbon fee revenues to taxpayers has been introduced in the House.

Michelle Patron, a sustainability director at Microsoft, said her company had taken voluntary steps including an internal carbon tax but that business could not do everything.

“But no matter how much any one company does, federal policy is needed to drive large-scale change,” Patron said.

Carbon fees face an uphill battle as no Republicans in the Senate publicly support the idea yet. Some Republicans, such as Senator Lamar Alexander, back legislation to boost innovation in nuclear power, batteries, natural gas technology and renewable energy.

Companies pushing for the carbon tax included BP and Shell which earlier this week each donated $1 million to the Americans for Carbon Dividends political action committee of the Climate Leadership Council.

The PAC has embraced a proposal by Republicans, including former secretaries of state James Baker and George Shultz, for a carbon tax returning revenues to consumers. The plan is for an initial $40-a-ton tax on carbon dioxide that would increase over time.

Companies contributing to that group have faced criticism from environmentalists that the plan calls for a reduction in U.S. regulations on climate pollution and for companies to be shielded from some lawsuits over climate change.

BP and Shell did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Coons said while businesses seek what is in their own best interests, it does not mean they are not honestly trying to participate in a process that could have benefits for the climate.

“If they are part of a multi-industry, multi-company effort to press for a carbon tax … that will hopefully have an impact on the most significant resistance politically in Congress to a carbon fee,” Coons said.

(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Source: OANN

U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) speaks at a protest against anti-abortion legislation at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington
U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) speaks at a protest against anti-abortion legislation at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., May 21, 2019. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan

May 22, 2019

By Joseph Ax

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Democratic U.S. Senator Cory Booker on Wednesday announced a series of executive actions he would take to protect abortion rights if he is elected president, as new statewide restrictions have thrust the issue into the 2020 campaign.

Booker proposed a new White House Office of Reproductive Freedom, whose mission would be “coordinating and affirmatively advancing abortion rights and access to reproductive health care” across all federal agencies. He also said he would guarantee access to contraceptives for people with employer-covered health care as part of the Affordable Care Act.

The announcement came one day after Booker joined several Democratic presidential hopefuls at an abortion rights rally outside the U.S Supreme Court after a series of state laws restricting abortion, including Alabama legislation passed last week that would criminalize virtually all abortions.

Other Republican-controlled states have passed so-called “heartbeat” laws that prohibit abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

The state laws directly challenge the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, which established a woman’s right to end her pregnancy. The legislation is part of a broad effort by conservatives to push the issue before the Supreme Court once again, after President Donald Trump’s appointment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh shifted the court further to the right.

“Republican-controlled state legislatures across the country are mounting a coordinated attack on abortion access and reproductive rights,” Booker said in a statement. “A coordinated attack requires a coordinated response.”

On Tuesday, Democrat Beto O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman seeking the presidency, unveiled his own proposals, saying he would work with Congress to pass laws preventing states from taking away those rights.

Last week, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, another Democratic contender, called on Congress to codify Roe’s protections with federal legislation.

Like those candidates, Booker said on Tuesday he would push Congress to enact laws securing Roe’s holding. But he also said he would use presidential executive authority to protect abortion rights, perhaps a recognition that such legislation would face intractable Republican opposition in Congress.

Among other actions, Booker would reverse the Trump administration’s plan to prevent providers like Planned Parenthood from offering abortion counseling to low-income patients and would appoint federal judges committed to upholding Roe.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Susan Thomas)

Source: OANN

The Nevada Senate passed a bill that would give the state’s Electoral College votes to the winner of the popular vote nationwide, CNN reported on Wednesday.

The bill passed 12-8, and if Gov. Steve Sisolak signs the measure into law, Nevada would become the latest state to join the National Popular Vote interstate compact, a deal among participating states to give their Electoral College votes to whoever won the popular vote nationwide, as opposed to the winner of the popular vote in their state.

Fourteen states and the District of Columbia have so far passed legislation to join the compact, which will only go into effect if the cumulative total of the states’ electoral votes reaches the 270 needed for a majority.

The total is currently at 189, and Nevada’s six electoral votes would boost the number to 195.

There have only been five times where a presidential candidate has been elected without winning the popular vote since the Electoral College was created in 1787, including in the last election, when Donald Trump captured the Electoral College despite receiving nearly three million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton, according to The Hill.

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has brought the issue into the spotlight, saying during a CNN town hall in March that she backs abolishing the Electoral College.

“My view is that every vote matters, and the way we can make that happen is that we can have national voting, and that means get rid of the Electoral College – and every vote counts,” she said.

Other Democratic candidates also have stated their opposition to the Electoral College.

Source: NewsMax Politics

FILE PHOTO: Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) waits to go on stage during her campaign kick off event in New York
FILE PHOTO: Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) waits to go on stage during her campaign kick off event in New York, New York, U.S., March 24, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

May 22, 2019

By Ginger Gibson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand on Wednesday proposed requiring insurance companies to cover expensive fertility treatments, part of a “Family Bill of Rights” that would also help with adoption and medical care.

Gillibrand, a U.S. senator from New York, has struggled to gain traction in the crowded field of more than 20 Democratic presidential candidates vying to challenge President Donald Trump. She recently became one of the most vocal candidates calling for access to abortion and criticizing laws like those passed in Alabama that would virtually ban on the practice.

“My new proposal, the Family Bill of Rights, will make all families stronger – regardless of who you are or what your zip code is – with a fundamental set of rights that levels the playing field starting at birth,” Gillibrand said in a statement.

Gillibrand would pay for the proposals by taxing financial transactions to generate an estimated $777 billion over the next decade. Senate Democrats have proposed a 0.03% “Robin Hood” tax on Wall Street transactions.

She wants to expand access to adoption services and fertility treatments “regardless of income, sexual orientation, religion or gender identity.”

Gillibrand said she would require health insurance companies to cover costly treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF) which most plans currently do not cover.

Additionally, Gillibrand said she would expand the federal adoption tax credit, making it accessible to more people including those whose incomes are so low they do not owe any federal taxes.

The senator also advocated for proposals that are already popular among Democrats candidates. She called for more maternal care doctors, including those in rural areas.

In addition to more maternal care, Gillibrand called for automatically enrolling all babies in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which currently provides health care to babies born into poverty.

Calling it a “right to personally care for your loved ones while still getting paid, she endorsed enacting paid family leave.

Gillibrand also called for a tax credit to help parents pay for child care. This stops short of a proposal already made by one of her rivals, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who called for subsidizing child care and creating out-of-pocket maximums for parents.

(Reporting by Ginger Gibson; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Source: OANN

U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad is scheduled to make a rare visit to Tibet this week to raise concerns about Chinese restrictions on Buddhist practices and to advocate for the preservation of Tibetan culture. If he wanted, he could seek knowledge and advice from a surprising source: Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who wrote her college thesis on Tibet, but has been strangely quiet about the issue while in Congress.

Gillibrand is proficient in Mandarin and interviewed the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, as part of her 1988 senior thesis at Dartmouth College on the history of Tibetan resistance to Chinese occupation. The New York senator was an Asian Studies major at Dartmouth and studied abroad in China and Taiwan.

A young Gillibrand thought that compromise rather than full independence could be the answer to the friction, an idea suggested by the Dalai Lama.

“[A] substantial change in China’s policies toward religious and cultural freedom could provide for an acceptable arrangement between the Tibetans and the Chinese,” Gillibrand wrote in her thesis, obtained by the Washington Examiner.

But despite her knowledge and experience, Gillibrand has not been vocal about the relationship between China and Tibet since she joined Congress in 2007.

Unlike some of her Democratic colleagues, including 2020 primary rivals Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Gillibrand did not sponsor a number of bills or resolutions relating to human rights or culture in Tibet, such as a measure that became law last year to deny visas to Chinese officials who keep Americans from accessing Tibet and a resolution expressing support for the people of Tibet. Her staff did meet with representatives from Students for a Free Tibet lobbying for a bill last year.

Gillibrand is, however, a co-sponsor of a bill to “condemn gross human rights violations of ethnic Turkic Muslims,” or Uighurs, in China. China denies that it is trying to eliminate the presence of Uighurs.

Gillibrand’s Senate office and presidential campaign did not respond to requests for comment relating to her actions and thoughts on Tibetan issues.

In one chapter of her thesis, Gillibrand detailed the horrors of China’s “socialist transformation” of Tibet in the ’60s and ’70s.

“In order to find the ‘hidden enemies of the people’ and lead Tibet on the socialist path towards class struggle, the Chinese imposed thamzing or struggle sessions,” Gillibrand wrote. “Tibetans were brought in front of a tribunal of Chinese officials and were made to bend at the waist in a cowed position. The tribunal official would read off the ‘crimes’ the prisoner had committed in front of large gatherings of fellow Tibetans and Chinese … A witness to the prisoner’s nd suggest further punishment.”

Suggested punishments included burning alive, hanging, beheading, stoning, or forcing small children to shoot their parents, according to Gillibrand’s thesis.

“Another step to encourage the development of socialism was to discourage Tibetans’ devotion to religion since religion opposed the communist ideology,” Gillibrand wrote. “… In order to create ideologic hegemony and therefore a stable government, there could be no difference between the beliefs, goals, and values of the Tibetans and the Chinese.”

The Chinese imprisoned people for reciting Tibetan mantras, turning prayer wheels, and having photographs of the Dalai Lama, Gillibrand explained. Most of those who went to prison died due to the severe conditions.

Today, Gillibrand brushes off the term “socialism” in relation to policies that she supports, telling New York Magazine in March that “the country is very well aware of the difference between capitalism and greed.” She advocates for Medicare for All with the expectation of essentially eliminating private insurance and has said that there is “nothing socialist” about the Green New Deal.

In 2009, Gillibrand suggested that her knowledge of China and experience traveling in Asia could help her be pragmatic in dealing with human rights in China.

“Our relationship with China is extraordinarily complicated, and when you do understand the culture better, having that appreciation means you can hopefully find compromises,” she told the New York Times.


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