God bless Bernie Sanders

Until I can find a better highlight reel, this clip from Keith Olbermann’s show will have to do. I don’t know what good it will ultimately do, but, if you’re like me, you felt a least a little spark of hope as you listened to Senator Sanders speak truth to power on the floor of the Senate yesterday.

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I wrote to both Levin and Stabenow yesterday, telling them I was disappointed to see that they weren’t there at this historic moment, backing up the Senator from Vermont. As yet, I haven’t gotten a reply from either of the offices. I’ll let you know when/if I do.

Anyway, if you want to say thank you to Senator Sanders this morning, for his 8 hour defense of the poor and middle class in America yesterday, please consider leaving a donation for his next campaign, signing his petition against Obam’s tax cut for millionaires and billionaires, or sending a few bucks to his friends at Democracy for America.

From Salon:

…But that’s fine. His epic rant — perhaps one of the most extraordinary critiques of how the American economy has been managed over the last several decades delivered in living memory — is an endless sequence of connecting the dots from one outrage to another. Even as I wrote this paragraph, he segued effortlessly from trade policy to Wall Street.

“But it is not just a disastrous trade policy that has brought us where we are today. The immediate cause of this crisis, and it gets me just sick talking about it … is what the crooks on Wall Street have done to the American people.”

Sanders then delivers a capsule history of deregulation, blasts Alan Greenspan, notes that in the late ’90s he had predicted everything that ultimately happened, but failed to rally legislative support to stop the runaway train — “and the rest is, unfortunately, history.”

From there, a class warfare sideswipe: “Understand, that in this country when you are a CEO on Wall Street — you can do pretty much anything you want and get away it.”

“And what they did to the American people is so horrible.”

On to the bailout! His scorn is so caustic it could disintegrate an aircraft carrier: “We bailed these guys out because they were too big to fail, and now three of the four largest banks are now even larger. “

As Sanders’ great oration enters its seventh hour, it is, by its very nature, impossible to summarize. It is a ramble, a rant, a critique, a cry of rage, a wail of despair, and a call to action. And it is amazing. I’ve heard stories of filibusters in which senators read phone books. And I’ve watched with disgust as for years Republicans have merely threatened to filibuster, without ever actually being forced to exercise their vocal cords. But here is Bernie Sanders, seven hours in, calling for the biggest banks to be broken up, voice still hale and hearty, and looking like he could easily go another seven hours….

From the New York Times Caucus blog:

…“This nation has a record breaking, $13.8 trillion national debt at the same time as the middle class is collapsing and poverty is increasing,” Mr. Sanders said. “It seems to me to be unconscionable, unconscionable for my conservative friends and for everybody else in this country to be driving up this already too high national debt by giving tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires who don’t need it and in some cases, Mr. President, don’t even want it.”

(He was referring to the Senate President pro tempore, not speaking to Mr. Obama directly.)

“Two of the wealthiest people in the world — Bill Gates of Microsoft, Warren Buffett, Berkshire — billionaires. They said ‘It’s absurd. We don’t need a tax break.’ All over the country, you hear a lot of folks who have a lot of money saying ‘don’t drive up the deficit and force our kids to pay higher taxes to pay off the national debt in order to give tax breaks to the richest people in this country.’”

Beyond the continuation of lower income tax rates for high-earners, Mr. Sanders also railed against other aspects of the tax deal including a provision granting a generous tax exemption to wealthy estates and the continuation of a 15 percent rate on capital gains and dividends, which he noted would mean a big tax break for rich people who live off passive income from accumulated wealth.

“The agreement between the president and the Republican leadership also calls for a continuation of the Bush-era 15 percent tax rate on capital gains and dividends, meaning that those people who make their living off their investments will continue to pay a substantially lower tax rate than firemen, teachers, nurses, carpenters, and virtually all the other working people of this country. And I just don’t think that’s fair. That’s wrong.”

Mr. Sanders also dismissed assertions that the tax cut deal was worthwhile because it will keep jobless benefits flowing to the long-term unemployed, saying that assistance should have been approved regardless of what happened to the Bush-era rates. “Let me be very clear,” he said. “In the midst of a serious and major recession, at a time when millions of our fellow Americans are out of work, through no fault of their own, but they have been out of work for a very, very long time, it would be, in my view, immoral and wrong to turn our backs on those workers.”…

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  1. Posted December 11, 2010 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    I haven’t read it yet, but here’s Rush Limbaugh’s take on what Sanders had to say.

  2. YR
    Posted December 11, 2010 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    so sad so many of us are excited over a Socialist

  3. Bob
    Posted December 11, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Probably the end for Bernie as even left leaning Dems will run from him. He’s a great man, we need fifty more like him.

  4. Knox
    Posted December 11, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Feingold/Sanders 2012

    Speaking of the decent Senators, has Frankin said anything publicly about this tax deal?

  5. Erstwhile
    Posted December 11, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Check out this graphic.


  6. Kim
    Posted December 13, 2010 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Good article on how we might be able to turn things around with an “anchor clause” in a new bill.


  7. K2
    Posted December 13, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    MoveOn is asking people to call their elected officials today on Obama’s tax agreement. They’re calling it a phone-in-filibuster. Here are the details.

    Dear MoveOn member,

    On Friday, Bernie Sanders became a national hero when he took to the floor of the Senate and spoke against the deal to extend the Bush tax breaks for the rich for almost 9 hours.

    Bernie’s old-fashioned filibuster continued a growing backlash against this millionaire tax bailout. And he asked just one thing before he stopped—that we all call our senators on Monday, which is when the Senate is expected to vote on the deal. So we’re joining forces to do just that.

    We’re calling it a “Phone-In Filibuster” to stop the millionaire tax bailout. Just as Bernie took over the Senate with his one-man protest for the ages, we’ll keep it going with a non-stop flood of phone calls on Monday.

    But to pull it off, we need a steady stream of calls all day long. So we’re asking you to sign up today and let us know about what time you plan to call Michigan’s Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin.

  8. Glen S.
    Posted December 13, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Levin, Carl – (D – MI)
    (202) 224-6221
    Web Form: levin.senate.gov/contact/

    Stabenow, Debbie – (D – MI)
    (202) 224-4822
    Web Form: stabenow.senate.gov/email.cfm

  9. Meta
    Posted December 13, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Breaking News Alert: Obama-GOP tax cut deal passes key Senate test
    December 13, 2010 4:13:20 PM

    A sweeping tax package negotiated by President Obama and Republican leaders has won 60 votes in the Senate, enough to end debate and move to final passage as soon as Tuesday night. A final tally may not be available for hours, however, as the vote was being held open to accommodate senators traveling back to Washington.

    If approved by the Senate, the measure would go to the House, where many Democrats are more reluctant to back the compromise, which would extend tax breaks enacted during the Bush administration for taxpayers at all income levels, including the very wealthiest households. Many House Democrats are particularly upset about a provision that would exempt estates worth up to $10 million from a revived estate tax.

    Earlier Monday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said the House may try to amend the terms of the estate tax, a risky move that would sent the bill back to the Senate and potentially upend the bipartisan compromise — increasing the odds that a host of tax cuts could expire on New Year’s Eve.

  10. Eel
    Posted December 13, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    I guess I waited too long to call.

One Trackback

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by celiaalario, ilyse hogue. ilyse hogue said: If you missed the full #filibernie, Keith did a good highlight reel last night: http://bit.ly/gz1Hwm See and share! […]

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