Bernie Sanders Storms the Senate Floor and Challenges Congress’ Koch Whores

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In a must see 25 minute speech, Senator Bernie Sanders took to the Senate floor and challenged Congress to break free of its billionaire masters and work for the American people.

Here is the video:

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Sanders said, “The American people are angry. They are angry that the middle class is collapsing because of the Wall Street-caused recession, they are angry that unemployment is sky high, that 50 million people lack health insurance, and that working families can’t afford college for their kids. Meanwhile, the wealthy and the largest corporations are doing phenomenally well and now billionaires and their congressional friends want to balance the budget on the backs of the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor.”

The Vermont senator discussed income inequality, “Today,” he said, “the wealthiest 400 individuals own more wealth than the bottom half of America – 150 million people. Today, the six heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune own more wealth than the bottom 30 percent. Today, the top one percent own 40 percent of all wealth, while the bottom sixty percent owns less than 2 percent. Incredibly, the bottom 40 percent of all Americans own just 0.3 percent of the wealth of the country.”

Sanders also debunked the Republican talking point that millions of Americans aren’t paying taxes, “And I know we have some of my colleagues coming up here saying look not everybody in America’s paying taxes. Got millions of people who are not paying any taxes. No kidding? They don’t have any money, because all of the money is at the top.”

Sen. Sanders pointed out the hypocrisy of bailing out Wall Street whole doing nothing for average Americans, “The same politicians who were yelling and screaming about how important and how appropriate it was for our government to bail out the crooks on Wall Street, are nowhere to be heard when it comes to having government help average Americans.”

The high point was Sen. Sanders calling out Congress for putting their rich donors ahead of working people, “Now in my view working families all over this country are saying enough is enough. They want this Congress to start standing for them and not just the millionaires the billionaires who are spending unbelievable sums of money in this campaign. So it seems to me Mr. President that what we have got to do is start listening to the needs of working families. The vast majority of our people, and not just the people who make campaign contributions, now I know that’s a very radical idea, I do know that. But you know it might be a good idea to try a little bit to reaffirm the faith of the American people in their democratic form of government. Let them know just a little bit that maybe we are hearing their pain, their unemployment, their debt. The fact they are losing their houses, the fact that they don’t have any healthcare. The fact they can’t afford to send their kids to college. Maybe just maybe, we might want to listen to them before we go running out to another fundraising event with millionaires and billionaires.”

The speech is 25 minutes of dynamite that sums up where millions of Americans find themselves today. I wish that we had dozens of representatives and senators flooding the media’s cameras and microphones with this message, but instead our media is dominated by bogus scandals like Fast and Furious while the American people continue to suffer.

It is my hope that every American will talk to the members of Congress who are supposed to representing them and demand that they discuss income inequality and Citizens United. There needs to be a collective groundswell that storms town hall meetings across the country and demands accountability from those that they have elected.

Bernie Sanders has done a great service by giving voice to the voiceless, but every single American who has been devastated by this recession needs to issue an ultimatum to this Congress.

Either speak for us, or get out.

60 Replies to “Bernie Sanders Storms the Senate Floor and Challenges Congress’ Koch Whores”

  1. God bless Bernie. I am not a Socialist, nor do I approve of Socialism as an ideology, but even Senator Sanders’ worst enemies have to admit that the man calls it the way he sees it. He’s one of the very few people left in the U.S. Senate who do so.

  2. Bernie is not a socialist. How in the world has the GOP turned words around so that any attempt to help PEOPLE, American PEOPLE, becomes socialism and evil? My God, what do the words, “promote the general welfare” mean if not health care, education, and being there in an emergency for us? It is our money. Frankly, it is obscene to me that we spend so much of our budget on the military and so little on the poor. It is unconscionable that we have a nuclear stockpile that will destroy the Earth 100 times over, and kids go to bed hungry and the elderly die penniless. Meanwhile, those great ‘job creators’ are creating plenty of jobs for tax lawyers and accoutants, but nothing for anyone else, or they are convinced that unions are the downfall of the nation instead of the builders of the middle class, so they send whatever new jobs they ahve overseas to take advantage of foreigners. Disgusting and angry are two words that come to mind.

  3. I’m just learning about Bernie – he’s amazing. I have to say, though, regarding the Walmart fortune holders….the American people gave this to them. We wanted cheap goods…and we got them. People ignored their local shops and gave their money to Walmart. I’ve seen small business close down because they can’t compete. The average American will give their money to a company like Walmart or Home Depot or CVS rather than patronize a locally owned business and pay a bit more for their purchases. The same can be said regarding shopping for local produce rather than patronize a factory farm…but I digress…

  4. FYI I’m one of those over 50 who got a pink slip – after my company posted a stock distribution, they laid off 200 people. My son graduated from college a year ago and still can’t find a job. I believe that one should be able to work and earn a living, but what can be done when the only jobs are commission based insurance or real estate jobs for new workers. And we’ve all seen the retired people over 65 who are bagging groceries or greeting people in Walmart. Bernie isn’t a socialist (as if that’s a bad thing) he’s a humanitarian who believes that the people of the US deserve equal representation. This is what happens when protections to the economy are taken away. Ever hear of a monopoly? At one time they were illegal. Now it seems that this is now the way to go in this country as the ideal business model.

  5. “Capitalism.” And I understand what Robert is saying. Capitalism is supposed to (as I understand it) reward people for ingenuity and hard work, unlike socialism which would provide benefits to everyone, regardless of how hard they work, hence giving no incentive to try to exceed. I visited China 2 years ago and was amazed at the disparity between the haves and the have nots. If you’re in the Party, you’re golden. Sadly, people who want to work and participate in this capitalist society are unable to find jobs or are being laid off.

  6. Agreed. The term “liberal” is also now a dirty word, along with “women’s movement.” Ethics and compassion and doing the right thing are quaint ideals from another era.

  7. I am sixty-eight, and able to get by only because I had a great-aunt who taught me to be thrifty and handy, a small house bought with cash almost twenty years ago, and sometimes helpful relatives. I have seen people, usually women, who appear to be ten, fifteen, even twenty years my senior, not only working the jobs you mention (frequently on the lobster shift) but out in all weather, holding advertising signs. This wasn’t supposed to happen. FDR and LBJ made hellacious efforts just to see it wouldn’t happen. Taxes? We pay them, any time we buy just about anything, including the electricity I need to charge the device and the carrier service I use for it. Now the parvicidal maniacs want to tax income we haven’t got so they can get us into wars of conquest we can’t afford to reap profits we’ll never see. I can’t knit, but if we ever get our Bastille Day, I just might learn.

  8. Bernie Sanders consistently calls it as he sees it, truly representing his constituents and fighting for their rights. I plan on writing-in his name on the presidential ballot come November. He’s the only chance I see to get back to the “democracy” we all swore to defend against enemies, foreign & domestic.

  9. You’re exactly right about Wal Mart forcing small businesses out of the market, Kathy. We had a local hardware store in my community that was not only well-stocked but the owner could answer any question you asked and help you find the tool/part you needed. Wal Mart came to my community a few years ago, and the local hardware store was forced out of business. I’m a single parent who owns a home and often finds that I have to try fixing things myself before calling a professional. I needed an adjustable wrench, something I could have easily picked up is the hardware store was still open. I went to Wal Mart and discovered they had no adjustable wrenches! Their hardware section is so small and under-supplied that it can only be called a hardware section in name only.

  10. The super rich and their cohorts in Congress don’t think that a Bastille Day is possible in America, but they need to read/study European history of the 18th Century. If people are pushed far enough, they’ll take to the streets. Also, the one-percenters and their supporters don’t realize that a major issue that led to Bastille Day was income inequality. If they keep pushing to concentrate more and more wealth in the hands of a few people, something will happen, and they won’t be able to deal with it, and hiding in their gated communities won’t be enough. I hope it doesn’t come to this, but if it does, it may be the only way that the majority of Americans can penetrate the bubble that these plutocrats have enveloped themselves in.

  11. You do know that Bernie Sanders is a self-pronounced socialist right? Meaning, he admits to being a socialist, meaning, yes he is a socialist and damn proud of it!

  12. We the Sheeple, eat processed food and lounge in air conditioning, raping children, and killing infants…no wonder you have this depression

  13. Senator Sanders

    Thank you. We, the middle class, are lucky to have you on our side. Unlike the spineless others, you are not afraid to call it for what it is, a tragedy for our working class.

  14. ‘Scuse me, Chief, what is this peroration? I see no reference to anything prior, and unless you can explain its relevance, I’ll just have to dismiss it as ignoratio elenchi.

  15. It is not okay to cut taxes on the very wealthy and raise them on the middle class and poor. It is not okay to increase defense spending for no reason, while cutting benefits to poor families, including children. It is not okay for Congress to not represent the majority of the America people by not passing real jobs bills that would get Americans back to work.

    I am thankful every time that Mr. Sanders lets it be known that these things are NOT okay.

  16. “…Capitalism is supposed to (as I understand it) reward people for ingenuity and hard work…”

    No, that is not what capitalism is supposed to do, Capitalism isn’t “supposed” to do anything. Capitalism is an economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned.

    That’s it. Period.

  17. And I nearly forgot:

    Socialism: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

    The words “socialism” and “socialist” are thrown around casually and most of the time, incorrectly.

    The USA is, and has been for most of the 20th century, a capitalistic system as far as production and distribution of goods with quasi-socialist components in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, housing and other assistance programs, education, public utilities, roads, infrastructure, etc.

  18. Thank you Bernie for standing up for me and my family. I hate all the corp. greed. They make the money they should pay the taxes for all the people that make less then 80,000 a year.

  19. He has articulated in 25 minutes what has been the distorted national dialogue for the past 10 years…to my ear, not a speck of untruth in this…that the 99% of this country have not risen up in anger and despair is a mystery. Why don’t ALL our govt representatives share this mindset? Bernie Sanders is a national hero to me. A clear thinking, plain talking leader who seems to have many solutions to what have been described s intractable problems.I support him wholeheartedly and only wish the rest of my country did as well.

  20. That was an excellent speech as always. Of course most of the people who should be listening to that speech were off getting those envelopes handed to them under the table at lunch. It’s really a pity we can’t find more like Bernie that will be in office. I know we won’t find any of the republiturds giving one thought about the working people unless it’s how to cut their wages or fire them for profit.

  21. China is a communist country.
    Not a socialist country.

    Communism and socialism are completely different.
    You should probably learn the difference between the 2 before you get on another comment board and talk about either one as if you actually know something about them.

  22. In my opinion it’s conservative ideals that are quaint and antiquated. If you look around the rest of the world it’s pretty easy to see that. Anywhere where conservative values has been translated into the law of the land … is failing miserably.

    The republican party knows this too. That’s why (in case you haven’t noticed) they’re in a panic, and are shoving it down our throats. It’s only a matter of time until nobody will be voting for their 100 year old ideas.

  23. Bernie actually IS a socialist. (Just ask him.)

    And I personally have no problem with it whatsoever. We need MORE socialism in this country !

    It’s only conservatives who think it’s evil. Because most of them haven’t the first clue to what socialism is. And they turn to fox news to find the answer.

    The conservatives who DO actually know what socialism is are just plain greedy. Most of them still have the first dollar they ever earned stashed away somehwere. They aren’t interested in the greater good of the nation they call home. They’re only interested in themselves. One of these people wants to be your next president!!

  24. Pure capitalism in this country would produce what communism produces. Huge disparity between the haves and haves nots. No roads, no nothing. Simply beucase without socialsim as we have it, there would be no government to pay for the road creation

    However both ideology’s depend on one thing and that is as full unemployment as possible to be truly successful. And they depend on each other to get things done

  25. DEMOCRATIC Socialism works JUST fine – just ask the people who live in the “happiest places on Earth” – Norway, Denmark, Finland, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Canada, Switzerland, Netherlands… they are
    ALL DEMOCRATIC Socialist countries with strong regulation, strong oversight of banksters, strong unions, universal healthcare and strong social safety nets. They respect, honor and cultivate the WORKING CLASS – not just the handful of rich in the hope they will “trickle” on them.

    Without regulation, Capitalism ALWAYS creates a system of “Serfs and Lords” and the mythical “free market” ALWAYS cultivates monopolies that devour everything in their path. When a cell in the body grows out of control, it’s called CANCER – and that’s where we are now – in the “cancer stage” of Capitalism with corporation growing more powerful and more consolidated. If we TRULY had a system that worked for all, “too big to fail” would be a distant memory.

    Social Security, Medicaid, Police, Fire Departments, Schools, Public Parks.. We already have Democratic Socialism in this country – and when people are asked about it, they wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Capitalism is not some “holy obligation” that goes hand in hand with “freedom.” Look at China, for Chrissakes!

    Without OUR government of WE THE PEOPLE setting the rules of Capitalism and setting policies like the New Deal initiatives that created the American Middle Class and enabled the time in American History known as “The Great Prosperity,” we have what we have now – the birth of Plutocracy… rule by the rich.

    As Louis D. Brandeis said, “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

    We can ONLY have democracy with a strong, economically-empowered, working class… and they only way we can have that is through democratic socialist polices that create it.

  26. I don’t think an American Bastille Day is possible, nor a desirable solution. Taking to the streets will do nothing but get us killed by a militarized domestic policing system that has been put in place using the justification of the “War on Terror”. While taking to the streets may well force the government’s hand and make it actualize the turnkey fascism the laws passed since 9/11, all that will do is give them the ability to shorten their time-table and justify getting us to where the “plan” has us in 15-20 years: a militarized nation where the people are essentially serfs working for corporate lords, and if you refuse to play their game, it’s off to a camp for you, because to attempt to “subvert or destabilize the American economy is an act of terrorism”.

    We must stop pretending like options that are not truly available to us are present and available. Taking to the streets is not viable. “Within the system” reformist solutions that involve voting are not viable. There will be no more people like Bernie Sanders allowed in government…he’s a holdover since before the “plan” went into effect. The election process has been fixed, and not through only one methodology, but through several, and while they spend a lot of money each election cycle, think it through…they’re paying stations already owned by themselves and their compatriots to run commercials, for ads and editorials in magazines and newspapers (and blogs) owned by them and their compatriots. This is a show, meant to make us believe the voting process is still functional, but any realistic analysis, both of the process and its results, should show you that the rich have the entire system well under control.

    We need new solutions, not 17th Century ones.

  27. I think the reason he is A) able to voice a true voice and B) the only one who does is because he is in a district of frankly well-informed voters and is not beholden.

    Even the most well-intentioned senators have to sell their souls pretty quickly because of HOW people are elected these days – and Citizens United will only make it worse. If Congress and the President could be elected on grassroots only, then they wouldn’t be owned.

    Bernie knows he is “safe” in that he knows his district knows he fights for THEM. It’s a mutual trust.

    Most other districts, however, have uneducated (on both sides) swills who will just promote junk (again, on both sides but def worse on the “Obama is a Muslim socialist fascist marxist who wants to sharia law us all side”) to distract from real issues. That way, they can continue to buy & sell votes in Congress like it’s a freaking fire sale.

    THAT RESPONSIBILITY falls PREDOMINATELY on our foolish electorate who allow this to happen!

  28. I love Bernie Sanders too as do millions of others, but writing him in on the ballot is a clear vote for Romney. It’s no different than staying home as so many Democrats did in 2010. Haven’t we learned a terrible lesson from that?

  29. FDR and LBJ made hellacious efforts just to see it wouldn’t happen.

    No they didn’t. For example, during the Great Depression, FDR had farmers destroy crops so that the price of food would remain high. In a time when people were starving, who do you think higher prices for food benefits? The people starving and would be happy to get food? Or the people who are getting rich from selling the food? He also confiscated gold and gave people vouchers that weren’t worth anywhere near what the gold was worth. This means that the people who had the gold couldn’t buy as much things, such as food for example.

  30. Helga, while your enthusiasm for Bernie Sanders is well placed, your plan is an example of the asinine stupidity of the American people. What do you think will happen if you write his name in on your ballot? The vote will basically count for Mitt Romney. Thanks for helping to ruin our society even further.

  31. Sanders gets it…But the majority of Americans, and, unbelievably, many working poor and middle class Americans, have become unwitting tools of the oligarchs- The Tea Party is just one example. Government is the problem, you are infringing on my freedom to be without health care, decent schools, decent roads and bridges…don’t tread on me…BTW, Government is the problem, not the solution! All of the Orwellian nonsense is made possible by the double speakers on the TV and radio.
    I certainly do not deny any American their wealth…I have done pretty well…But, I also cannot in good conscience and with good eye sight ignore the plight of those who are suffering. I acknowledge the existence of those who refuse to work hard in their own best interest and in the interest of those who become dependent upon them- but, that is not the majority of the poor and working poor and that is not the majority of the 99% for whom Bernie speaks. All most Americans want is a fair deal. Bernie- stay healthy and stay in Congress.

  32. That is how capitalism works. How would wages be kept to their dirt-poor levels without plenty of unemployed to force all of us to accept wages that represent a tiny proportion of the income we generate for our employers? Now we’re seeing companies like Apple leverage $250K income out of a line-speeded employee making $17,000 a year. Why does Apple deserve the huge bulk of this money? They don’t, but they get it by keeping wage pressure up. That’s a crucial bit to capitalism, and why we will never see any serious attempt to end immigration or any of a number of things the right pretends to hate but secretly relies on.

  33. The super rich corporations who are buying the government should pay 100% of the taxes, the rest of us have no longer any representation in the congress, when I write to my congressman (a republican) he does not even bother to answer.
    Bernie Sanders used to (and may still) go on Thom Hartmann show, he will take questions about any subject you care to ask!
    Anyone contacting Thom Hartmann’s show on FSTV
    can find out when Bernie will be there.

  34. Here’s a few little factoid for you capitalist believers. In _actual buying Power_ that is, goods on the table as opposed to ‘wages,’ you, as part of the middle class make 18% LESS then your parents did.
    At the same time; in Japan, the CEO of one of the most powerful automotive companies on the planet, Honda, makes 200 times what the average worker on the factory floor makes. In Europe, the wage difference is on average, 250 times. In the United States of Greed, the wage difference is 1500 TIMES between what the average factory worker makes, compared to the CEO of a major corporation.
    Seems to me, that the problem is fairly obvious. It’s not “capitalism” or “socialism” (BTW the top 5 most successful countries in the world all have what Americans would consider ‘socialist’ governments) The problem is quite simply, greedy people at the top buying the government so they can become richer, regardless of the cost to the country as a whole.

  35. Capitalism depends on the *opposite* of full employment. It depends on plenty of unemployed to keep wage pressure up… and that has worked very well, to the detriment of the nation and it’s citizens.

  36. Sorry Sally but Bernie IS a self-described Democratic Socialist. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Bernie. He’s the ONLY one making noise to try to bring the plight of the poor and working class to the forefront.

  37. JHO, the train that thought was riding must be coming from an undisclosed location because I fail to see the relevance of that comment in this discussion. You reference to killing babies however, leads me to think (duh) that you’re an anti-abortion conservative and have supported the party that has wreaked havoc on our economy and our country.

  38. Really Helga? You would actually throw your vote away like that? I’m not happy that we have two bowls of crap to choose from but I’m going to make sure that the worst bowl of crap is not elected.

  39. Maybe Helga lives in gerrymandered district, like myself, where one could put a fresh turd on the ballot and it would win if it were registered with the proper party. Stop and engage your brain before flying off half-cocked (-vagina’ed?).

  40. Kathy, you don’t need to go to China to see the chasm between the haves (the one percenters) and the have-nots (the rest of us). All you have to do is open your eyes and take a good look around you, and if we are unfortunate enough to have Mr. Bendyboots Romney in the White House the next time around, things will only deteriorate even further as he and his rich friends concoct policies to fill their pockets even further at the expense of the rest of this once glorious country.

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