Marianne Williamson

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Marianne Williamson dropped out of the presidential race on January 10, 2020. This page is no longer being updated.
Williamson, who is widely known for her books, is calling for “a moral and spiritual awakening in the country.” She has pushed to expand social safety net programs and has said she would immediately pursue reparations to the descendants of slaves, but has cautioned that Democrats won’t beat Trump by just “having all these plans.”
Attended Pomona College, 1970-1972
July 8, 1952
Co-founder, Project Angel Food, 1989


Marianne Williamson endorses Bernie Sanders for president
Updated 7:24 PM ET, Sun Feb 23, 2020
Former Democratic hopeful Marianne Williamson made a surprise appearance at Sen. Bernie Sanders' rally Sunday in Austin, Texas, to announce her endorsement of the Democratic front-runner. "Bernie Sanders has taken a stand, and Bernie Sanders has been taking a stand for a very long time. He has been consistent, he has been convicted, he has been committed. And now it's time, I'm here and you're here, because it's time for us to take a stand with Bernie," Williamson told the crowd in Austin. Williamson dropped out of the Democratic race on January 10. She had endorsed Sanders in his first presidential run in May 2015. On Sunday, she argued that Sanders is proving the Democratic establishment wrong. "We're being told oh, it can't happen. He can't beat (President Donald) Trump. Bernie can't beat Trump, it can't happen," Williamson said. "I'll tell you what's already happened to those who say it cannot happen. You just tell them this. It already happened. He won Iowa. It already happened, he won New Hampshire. It already happened, he won Nevada," Williamson added, pointing to Sanders' growing momentum. The recanvass of more than 100 Iowa caucus precincts ended last week, resulting in former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg's lead over Sanders tightening to a fraction of a standard delegate equivalent. The tightening did not, however, impact the national delegate count, which awarded Buttigieg 14 national delegates out of Iowa, compared to Sanders' 12 delegates, according to the Iowa State Democratic Party. Ahead of the Iowa caucuses in January, Williamson, who had already dropped out, had said she would campaign for Andrew Yang in Iowa, hoping to keep him in the race, but stopping short of an outright endorsement. "Bernie and Elizabeth will make it past Iowa and beyond; I admire them both, but right now they don't need my help," Williamson wrote last month. "I'm lending my support to Andrew in Iowa, hopefully to help him get past the early primaries & remind us not to take ourselves too seriously." But on Sunday in Austin, Williamson touted her support for the Vermont senator. "Today, we're tired of saying pretty please. We're going to stand up, we're going to show up because we woke up, "Williamson said. "We're here and we're with Bernie."


climate crisis
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Williamson supports the Green New Deal, the broad plan to address renewable-energy infrastructure and climate change proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, though she says on her campaign website that “it doesn’t cover the whole range of measures we must undertake to reverse global warming.” She supports US participation in the Paris climate agreement, a landmark 2015 deal on global warming targets that Trump has pledged to abandon. She’s also set a goal of reaching 100% reduction of emissions by 2030. Williamson would phase out sales of vehicles with combustion engines – “fossil fuel vehicles” – by 2035 and remove cars that require fossil fuels from the road by 2050. She would electrify all rail traffic by 2030 and require all new airplanes to use biofuels by 2035. Williamson would also restart Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which set limits on carbon pollution from US power plants. But she has said she does not support expanding nuclear power, would ban fracking and would create mandatory carbon fees to mitigate the damage from fossil fuels. She pledges to appoint “a world-class environmentalist” to run the Environmental Protection Agency. More on Williamson’s climate crisis policy
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Williamson describes economic inequality as a dire threat to the future of American democracy and unchecked corporate power as “a sociopathic economic system,” according to her campaign website. She proposes offering all working-age Americans a universal basic income of $1,000 a month and backs a “universal savings program” – a trust fund created at birth with a government deposit, with the government matching family contributions on a sliding scale as children grow up. Williamson says she would pay for her programs by rolling back tax cuts for businesses and the wealthy from Trump’s 2017 tax law, including restoring the tax on estates over $5 million, while keeping middle-class tax reductions intact. She also proposes adding a fee to financial transactions. When it comes to trade, Williamson says she likes what Trump has done on China. She opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, an 11-nation deal negotiated under Obama that Trump withdrew from in one of his first acts as President. She has, however, echoed other Democrats by expressing concern over Trump’s newly negotiated United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a successor to President Bill Clinton’s 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement. More on Williamson’s economic policy
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Williamson supports universal preschool, would raise funding for free and reduced-price meals in schools and would expand curriculums to focus on meditation, anti-bullying and other emotional learning programs, according to her campaign website. She is calling for free college or technical training for certain students, potentially paid for through a payroll tax on graduates or a public service requirement. Like other Democratic candidates, she is also calling for student loan forgiveness and for cutting interest rates on student loans. More on Williamson’s education policy
gun violence
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Williamson has called for universal background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazines. She supports “mandatory waiting periods for all gun dealers, including gun shows and sporting retailers,” requiring child safety locks on all stored firearms and banning all so-called assault rifles as well as semi-automatic weapons, according to her website. Williamson supports so-called “red flag” laws, which allow families and police to petition a judge to temporarily block someone’s access to firearms if there is credible concern they might hurt themselves or others. More on Williamson’s gun violence policy
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Williamson supports providing a government-run health care program that individuals can voluntarily buy into. “I think a lot of people would gravitate to that,” she said at a CNN town hall in 2019. “If people want private insurance or want to augment it, then they should be able to.” At the town hall, she said she sees health care as a broader conversation about things that stress Americans, toxins in food and the impact of environmental policies. Williamson told The Washington Post that undocumented immigrants should be covered under this government-run program. More on Williamson’s health care policy
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Williamson supports a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants living in the US who lack a “serious criminal background issue.” Williamson also supports the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shields from deportation some undocumented immigrants who arrived in the US as minors. That program was formally canceled by Trump but remains in limbo. She argues that Trump’s proposed border wall is “expensive, impractical, and unlikely to address any of the real challenges we face,” according to her website. She believes the solution to undocumented immigration lies heavily in the war on drugs, “which has created rampant crime and violence among our neighbors.” More on Williamson’s immigration policy


As US pulls out of Afghanistan, China sees opportunities -- and potential for chaos
Updated 2:14 AM ET, Fri May 14, 2021
China is conflicted about Afghanistan. Speaking at a forum of Central Asian leaders this week, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Beijing supports the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan and stands ready to play a role in promoting future "stability and development." Days earlier, however, a spokeswoman for China's foreign ministry had criticized the "recent abrupt US announcement of complete withdrawal of forces," saying this had "led to a succession of explosive attacks throughout the country, worsening the security situation and threatening peace and stability as well as people's life and safety." These contrasting statements are indicative of how Beijing is torn between seizing the potential opportunity presented by the United States finally pulling out of Afghanistan, and the widespread -- and well founded -- fear that the country could plunge once again into civil war and chaos. China is normally loathe to support any foreign intervention on principle, but unlike the Iraq War, which Beijing vociferously opposed, China's leaders were quietly supportive of the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, signing on to a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning the Taliban for harboring al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, and calling for a new government. This was in large part due to a recognition that under the Taliban, Afghanistan had become a source of instability on China's border, hosting not only militant groups targeting the West, but also alleged Uyghur extremist organizations seeking an independent Xinjiang, including one that Beijing would blame for numerous terrorist attacks in China during the 1990s and 2000s. Speaking to state media this week, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert, warned that even "if the Afghan government and Taliban reach an agreement to form a new government peacefully ... we should be prepared for any other possibility." This could mean greater military engagement in the region: China has ramped up its foreign troop presence in recent years, and there have long been unconfirmed reports of People's Liberation Army soldiers operating in Afghanistan. Beijing has also increased its military cooperation with Pakistan and set up a presence in the port of Gwadar, the closest port to landlocked Afghanistan. Yun Sun, director of the China Program at the Washington-based Stimson Center, wrote this week that Chinese experts are divided "on whether the US withdrawal from Afghanistan presents more challenges or opportunities," pointing out that while the presence of American troops on its border was never welcome, the Afghan quagmire did create a welcome distraction for Washington. Even by inaction, let alone active interference, the US could easily make Afghanistan a security headache for Beijing, one that distracts China militarily from its major areas of focus in the South China Sea and the border with India. The business of China: Blistering report alleges Chinese solar panel supply chain tainted by forced labor As the world tries to combat the climate crisis with solar power, we're now confronted with evidence of a troubling reality: The solar panels purchased to power a greener future could be made with forced labor and dirty coal. A report shared exclusively with CNN Business alleges that solar panel production in China -- which has become a key source of components for the industry -- relies on the exploitation of Xinjiang's Uyghur population and other ethnic and religious minorities. Solar panel parts companies in China's far western region of Xinjiang create "green energy by consuming cheap, carbon-emitting coal," the report states. They also "sacrifice human labor conditions in the bargain," it adds. This report will likely draw additional scrutiny to China's outsized role in the global solar power industry, and how much its growth is fueled by cheap energy and labor costs in Xinjiang. The country has between 71% and 97% of the world's capacity for various solar panel components, according to market research firm Bernreuter Research. And the authors of the new report -- which cites hundreds of documents, government statements and satellite imagery -- detail how more than 30 solar product companies may be exposed to forced labor in their supply chains. The report includes claims that solar product companies are involved in what the Chinese government calls "surplus labor" programs, which facilitate relocation of minority workers in Xinjiang to industrial centers. The researchers claim these workers face detention if they turn down these labor placements. Beijing denies all claims of human rights abuses in Xinjiang, where the US government alleges that up to two million Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups have been imprisoned in re-education camps. Western governments and human rights organizations have alleged that minorities in the region have been subjected to physical abuse, attempted indoctrination and forced labor. The solar industry is just one of many -- from cotton to tomatoes to hair products -- that has come under global scrutiny for links to Xinjiang. US President Joe Biden's clean energy plan is expected to at least double the rate of spending on solar and wind power, raising the stakes to ensure the industry is free from forced labor. But experts say Xinjiang has become deeply intertwined with the global solar supply chain, meaning that fully cutting it out of the system would be difficult and costly. -- By Selina Wang Goodnight, strong-willed prince A legendary pig that survived 36 days buried in the rubble of China's devastating 2008 Sichuan earthquake is near the end of his life, his caretakers said this week. Zhu Jianqiang -- or Strong Willed Pig -- became a household name after he survived the 7.9 magnitude quake that killed almost 90,000 people. He lived off charcoal and rainwater, and had lost two thirds of its weight when pulled from a collapsed sty. Since then, Zhu has lived at a local museum commemorating the disaster and become a symbol of resilience and survival, emblematic of how the region bounced back after the earthquake. But this week, the museum broke the bad news on social media that the 14-year-old is unwell. "Since it arrived at the museum from the debris of the earthquake in 2008, numerous tourists have visited it every day," it said in a post on social media. "What's really behind the public attention is not just a pig, but a collective memory." "It is a miracle of life; it is a symbol of strong will," the museum said. Zhu has become so frail he can no longer stand up, according to the state-run Global Times. One of his caretakers told the publication: "In human terms, the pig is now 100 years old." On Wednesday, Strong Willed Pig marked the 13th anniversary of the quake -- perhaps for the last time. Among the visitors were his former owners, who brought Zhu his favorite snacks.