Enjoying a Bernie break

    It dawned on me today that it’s been too damned long since we’ve had any Bernie Sanders video on the site. Here, to remedy that, is a little something that I just found on the web.

    I don’t have time to transcribe the whole thing, but here are a few quotes.

    …Big money owns and controls much of what takes place in the United States Congress. We had a bad situation before, and, since (the) Citizens United (decision), it’s much, much worse. In a variety of ways, we’re going to have to take apart Citizens United. We’re going to have to pass legislation to minimize what it is doing. And, at the end of the day, we’re probably going to have to pass a constitutional amendment which makes the radical opinion that a corporation is not a person, and that a handful of billionaires cannot pollute and take over the political system by spending unlimited sums of money in secret in order to elect candidates who support their agenda…

    The way you fight back is through grassroots organizing. These guys may have billions of dollars, and they may have the Supreme Court, and they may be able to attract the money from the Koch brothers and other billionaires, but, if we can build a strong grassroots movement of politically conscience people who understand that the function of government is to represent working people and the middle class, and not billionaires, we can beat them… We need to make it very, very clear how corrupt the system is… to what degree the billionaires and large corporations are manipulating the campaign finance system in order to give tax breaks to the rich, in order to continue unregulated free trade, in order to deregulate Wall Street and the oil companies.. (and remove) environmental protection laws. So, I think their arrogance may be something that we can effectively use against them…

    I think that this particular point many Republicans are doing what they are doing not for any great philosophical reasons, but because what they do can attract huge sums of money. You can get huge amounts of money from Wall Street when you talk about deregulating Wall Street, and not bringing back (the) Glass-Steagall (Act), for instance. You get money from the oil companies when you talk about continuing to give them tax breaks despite the fact that they make billions in profits. You get money from the military industrial complex if you continue to support large military budgets and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan…

    Oh, and guess what else? Sanders proposed legislation today that, if passed, would make health care possible for everyone in the United States. Here’s a clip:

    This week, Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, and Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Washington, introduced the American Health Security Act of 2011(S. 915 in the Senate and HR 1200 in the House), a bill that would create a state-based system similar to Medicare but open to Americans of all ages.

    “The United States is the only major nation in the industrialized world that does not guarantee health care as a right to its people,” Sanders said at a press conference announcing the measure on Capitol Hill. “It is time that we bring about a fundamental transformation of the American health care system. It is time for us to end private, for-profit participation in delivering basic coverage.”

    “The best way to reduce costs and guarantee coverage for all is through a single-payer system like Medicare,” said McDermott. “This bill does just that — it builds on the new health care law by giving states the flexibility they need to go to a single-payer system of their own. It will also reduce costs, and Americans will be healthier”…

    It pisses me off that I can’t be as proud of my Senators. How about you?

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      12 Comments

      1. Posted May 20, 2011 at 6:31 am | Permalink

        I like grassroots organizing and I do think it’s effective but to eliminate the money threat we need ironclad legislation. I’m in Pennsylvania, and the natural gas industry is running commercials that essentially say we do a great job, we care about the environment, etc. so we don’t need regulation.

        In fact, they have another good reason why they don’t need taxed or more regulation: because these local community groups are keeping them accountable. Really?

        Well, I do think that they can do a lot to expose what is going on but only regulation can provide for people with the power to observe a site, say you’re doing something horribly wrong, and fine the company for the behavior. Without something with teeth, they can keep doing it, they their sorry after a letter to the editor attacking them, and move one.

        Likewise, this same principle applies to lobbying in Washington and other places where big money and government collide.

      2. Edward
        Posted May 20, 2011 at 7:40 am | Permalink

        I know Russ Feinglod is bsy trying to get back into the Senate, but I really wish that either he or Bernie would run against Obama in the Democratic primary, or, better yet, as an Independent in the general election.

      3. Scott Trudeau
        Posted May 20, 2011 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        Sometimes I imagine moving to Vermont just so I can vote for him..

      4. Red White and Blue
        Posted May 20, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        Great footage of a patriotic young Republican asking Sanders at a book signing, about why he, as a Socialist, charges for his books.

        http://nation.foxnews.com/sen-bernie-sanders/2011/05/18/bernie-sanders-confronted-how-does-avowed-socialist-sell-book

      5. Peter Larson
        Posted May 20, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        Are you in the third grade?

      6. Peter Larson
        Posted May 20, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

        Personally, belief in having contact with the dead is a far bigger problem than gay agriculture.

      7. Watching Laughing.
        Posted May 21, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

        Red White and Blue,

        An obnoxious, paid young Republican operative, hired to badger, Bernie Sanders from Vermont at his book signing.
        A debate, between them, would see the this Republican operative put in his place on simple facts, from Senator Sanders. But, why would this operative want to make sense, when he can just get national recognition, air time by Fox News on anything he chooses to pull out of his behind and present as accurate.
        It’s disgusting, and the norm of the Republicans of today.

        If you’re reading this, you are still alive this Saturday, Rapture day.

        Watching Laughing.

      8. Posted May 21, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps they should send someone after Rand Paul to call him out on paying taxes. After all, if he were a true libertarian, he wouldn’t want any of his money going to the federal government (though they pay his salary and a lifetime of health care).

        I can’t even believe that rightists would get behind this shit. This is like crap that happens on schoolyards.

      9. TaterSalad
        Posted May 22, 2011 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        Sanders is just another socialist idiot who is in the same camp as the other one and we know how this is working out for the country:

        http://weaselzippers.us/2011/05/21/kiss-rocker-gene-simmons-slams-obama-on-his-anti-israel-policy-%e2%80%9che-has-no-fcking-idea-what-the-world-is-like%e2%80%9d/

      10. charlie roger
        Posted May 22, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

        Great footage of a patriotic young Republican who supports Socialism by purchasing a book written by a Socialist.

      11. Kim
        Posted May 23, 2011 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        “You get money from the military industrial complex if you continue to support large military budgets and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan…”

        As of right now, military contractors don’t have to disclose who they are funding. The President is considering legislation that would have them do so.

        http://www.alternet.org/news/151037/military_contractors%27_secret_sway_over_our_politics_–_does_obama_have_the_guts_to_make_them_disclose_their_political_spending/

      12. Meta
        Posted May 24, 2011 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        I received the following note from Bernie this morning.

        The most important point to understand about Washington today is that extreme right-wing Republicans now control the House of Representatives and are hell-bent on destroying every piece of legislation established in the last 80 years which protects the interests of working families or the most vulnerable members of our society. You and I, working together, must not allow them to do that.

        The major vehicle the Republicans will use to protect the interests of the rich and the powerful against the needs of ordinary Americans will be the budget process.

        Despite the fact that the budget deficit exploded primarily as a result of Republican policies pushed through during the Bush years – two wars, tax breaks for the rich, the Wall Street Bailout, the Medicare Part D prescription drug program written by the insurance companies – ALL UNPAID FOR – the Republicans now want to balance the budget on the backs of the middle class and the most vulnerable people in our society.

        As a member of the Senate Budget Committee let me briefly describe what the budget passed by the Republican House of Representatives (the so-called Ryan budget) would do:

        · At a time when 50 million Americans have no health insurance and the cost of health care is soaring, the Republican budget ends Medicare as we know it by giving senior citizens inadequate vouchers to buy health insurance from private insurance companies. The result is that seniors would, on average, see their out-of-pocket expenses more than double – increasing by over $6,000 a year. The Republican budget would also cut, over ten years, $770 billion from Medicaid, vastly increasing the number of uninsured Americans, and threatening the long-term care of the elderly who live in nursing homes.

        · At a time when the middle class is collapsing and unemployment remains sky-high, the Republican budget makes savage cuts in education, nutrition, housing and virtually all aspects of the social safety net that low and moderate Americans depend upon. It also substantially reduces funding for infrastructure, energy, environmental protection and almost every investment that could rebuild our country and create decent paying jobs.

        · Amazingly, while the Republican budget wages a vicious and unprecedented attack against the needs of working families and the poor, Republicans do not ask the wealthiest people in this country, whose tax rates are now the lowest on record, to contribute one penny toward deficit reduction. Nor do they propose to do away with any of the loopholes that enable extremely profitable corporations to pay little or no federal income taxes. Quite the contrary! The Republican budget actually provides one trillion more in tax breaks over the next ten years for the very rich.

        · Further, at a time when defense spending has more than tripled since 1997 and now consumes over half the discretionary budget, the Republicans do nothing to reduce unnecessary military spending.

        As a member of the Budget Committee, I will not support a plan to reduce the deficit that does not call for shared sacrifice. At least fifty percent of any deficit reduction plan must come from increased revenue from the wealthy and large corporations. Further, there must be no cuts to Social Security – a program which has not contributed one nickel to the deficit.

        Let me conclude by thanking you for your active participation in the progressive movement. The fight against the reactionary Republican agenda can not be won in Washington alone. It will be won in communities all across this country as grass-roots activists demand national priorities that reflect the needs of ALL Americans, and not just the rich and their D.C. lobbyists. Through grass-roots activism we WILL not only defeat the right-wing threat and their big money backers, but we will move this country forward toward economic and social justice, peace and environmental sanity.

        Thank you for what you are doing and for your support.

        Sincerely,

        Bernie
        Senator Bernie Sanders

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