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MUDFLIX – Senator Bernie Sanders Stands Up for the Middle Class


Welcome to Mudflix! We’ll be posting interesting videos of 10 minutes or less on a regular basis to spur interesting conversation and lively debate. Feel free to pop some corn and chime in with your buttery little fingers.

And who better to launch our new feature than my Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Yes, I know I don’t live in Vermont. I live in the state of Alaska. This means, as a progressive, I also live in the state of Denial, which means I’ve adopted him whether he likes it or not.

There’s also a great follow-up from Robert Reich. The rich get richer…


Dear Mr President, Bernie Sanders





30 Responses to “MUDFLIX – Senator Bernie Sanders Stands Up for the Middle Class”
  1. benlomond2 says:

    Can anyone here really explain in a single short paragraph exactly what happened in Sept. of 2008 that was the prcipitation of the so-called financial crisis? Better yet can anyone here explain WHY it happened when it did and not a year earlier, or two years?

    When I got outta the Nav in 79 and came to Silicon Valley, there was a phenom called :the Pyramid” running rampant in the valley, kick in $1k, get 16 others tokicki inand you walked away with $16k..It eventually petered out, as you couldn’t get 16 others to kick in. I look at the finanical crisis as a pyramid based on housing mortgages – Getting a home loan was easy- no money down, people bought, the housing prices went up, you sold at profit, and did it again. eventually, people to buy at higher prices stopped, and couldn’t pay for what they had bought. To prolong the run, banks grouped the notes that obviously were not going to to be paid, and sold THOSE to institutions who were trying to make $ indirectly off the housing market. Just like the Pyramid scheme, “they” ran out of people willing to pay sky rocketing housein prices, and defaults began… The time of collapse was inevitable; but not predictable to a specific year; although one could surmise that with the Bush Tax Cuts, the process was artifically extended .

  2. Zyxomma says:

    AKM, as an Alaskan, of COURSE you live in the state of Denial. After all, it’s an acronym for Denali, which you can (probably) see from your house (or if not from your house, from your rooftop ;)).

    One thing I love about Bernie Sanders (besides the accent, which comes from the same place I originated — Brooklyn, NY) is that he takes his responsibilities as a Senator seriously enough that he makes it his business to represent ALL of us, not just those whose state he resides within.

    My Senators and Representative share the same attitude, albeit with somewhat less passion.

  3. beth says:

    I do wish Sen Sanders hadn’t used the term “shared sacrifice” when talking about the millionaires and billionaires paying their fair share — that’s way too close to Joe The Plumber/”redistribution of the wealth” talk, I’m a’thinking. And that kind of talk just makes the Baggers and Republicans see red — literally (in anger that it’s even suggested) and figuratively (convinced socialism taking over our nation).

    I agree 100% with Baggers/GOPers/Conservatives saying that if you’ve worked for the money, you should be able to keep it. No dispute from me, on that one. But at what point does “enough” become “enough” for the super rich? At what point does having all that “enough” mean the super rich no longer have to contribute a fair share? At what point does having all that “enough” become privileges, perks, and write-offs not available to those who haven’t that “enough”?

    Ach — I guess I just don’t undertand the Bagger/Repub/Conservative notion of “fair share.” beth.

    • yukonbushgrma says:

      President Obama also used “shared sacrifice” in his speech. I think it needs to be said. Think about it …….. there are different economic groups hearing this, and we all react differently.

      I’ve been in two of those groups. First, when you don’t have a pot to p*ss in, you’re just living from month to month, day to day, waiting and hoping for the next unemployment check. Your credit card bills are growing every day, and even though you make the monthly payment you can never, ever get it paid off. Your mortgage payment has increased because your bank has sold it to another bank, with totally new regulations.

      And then — if you somehow manage to dig yourself out of a hole, you’re facing retirement. You have almost no savings, because you’ve spent it already trying to keep the wolves (banks/credit card companies) from your door. You’ve already scaled down your standard of living. All you want to do is live a simple life on Social Security, and not worry about paying any bills. You worry about health care, because you can’t afford health insurance.

      And then we have the other guys — those who are taking our money and making billions off of us.

      The ‘little people’ are hoping that someone out there, somewhere, understands what they’re going through and will find a way to help them.

      Bernie Sanders and President Obama understand that.

    • Zyxomma says:

      The senator makes no secret of the fact that, elected as an independent who caucuses with the Dems, he IS a socialist.

    • jojobo1 says:

      I have to agree with you Beth .Anyone should beable to get ahead and keep at least some of what they make the same as the average joe does.Where it seems to fail is that the wealthy people and the coporations can afford high priced attorneys to find loop holes to help them avoid paying taxes.Take the Koch brothers I read in court papers where the Marshall family from Texas had them take over shares to hide money to avoid taxes.The Marshall father admitted to his attorneys that he did not want to pay taxes and to find a way to avoid it at any cost.These people and coporations use any means to avoid paying their taxes .I read where some coporations said we will bring back our companies but you cannot tax us.Why so they can make millions off the backs ofthe working poor?

    • leenie17 says:

      “But at what point does “enough” become “enough” for the super rich?”

      Never…because there’s always a new legislator to buy off, and a new political campaign to contribute to, and a new lobbyist to hire. Gotta have all your troops working to protect your assets because heaven forbid you should pay the same percentage of taxes as the person who cleans your office or drives your limo or pumps fuel into your private jet.

      I think your term ‘despicable sods’ would apply to the super rich as well, especially if you add ‘greedy’ in front of it!

  4. Zyxomma says:

    Sanders: pivotal moment that will have an impact on all of us; we have to get involved & not leave it to Washington. Corporations have never had it so good while middle class is disappearing & poverty is rising. Cruel cuts to programs working people desperately need, programs used every day by working & poor. America not about giving tax breaks to billionaires & attacking most vulnerable; must not allow that to happen. President needs to stand w/vast majority; say no to Republicans. No, we will not balance the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable (poor, sick, elderly). Working people have already sacrificed enough. Tell millionaires, billionaires, & the largest corporations, who in many ways have never had it so good, that THEY must participate in deficit reduction. They must share the sacrifice. Also take a look at wasteful spending at the Pentagon. We will not be blackmailed again by Republican leadership in Washington who are threatening to destroy the full faith & credit of the US government so that for the very 1st time in nation’s history we will not pay our bills unless they get everything they want. Instead of yielding to Repub demands as the President did last year in tax cut agreement, the President must get out of the Beltway & connect with working families & ordinary Americans & rally w/overwhelming majority. Wealthy & most powerful & largest corporations cannot continue to get everything they want while waging unprecedented attack on most vulnerable. Deficit reduction must be based on shared sacrifice. Time for the President to stand w/the millions who have already lost their jobs, homes, life savings. Unless the vast majority tell the President not to yield one inch to Repub demands to destroy Medicare & Medicaid the Pres will cave again & the wealthy & powerful will laugh all the way to the bank while working people will be devastated. If you believe that wealthy should be asked to pay their fair share while military spending has tripled, make sure the President hears your voice. He needs to hear it now. Go to my website, & sign a letter to the President, telling him enough is enough.

    Reich: What’s the truth about the economy? Let me explain briefly. Since 1980, American economy has doubled in size. But adjusting for inflation, most wages have barely increased. Where did all the money go? Almost all the gains have gone to the super-rich. The top 1% used to take home about 10% of total income, now they take home 20% and have 40% of nation’s entire wealth. All this wealth has given the super-rich lots of political power, especially to lower their tax rates. Before 1980, top tax rate was 70%. Now it’s 35% & much of their income is capital gains, subject to only a 15% tax. According to IRS, richest 400 Americans pay only 17%. This makes huge deficits. Tax revenues are down to only 15% of total economy, lowest in 60 years, so public services being cut at all levels of govt. Kids are being crowded into classrooms w/more & more children. Roads & bridges, levees & healthcare being abandoned. Rather than join together, working people competing for scraps left behind. Union vs. non-union. Public employee vs. private. Native born vs. immigrant. Vast middle class, unable to borrow as before, doesn’t have purchasing power to get economy growing again which means continued high unemployment & an anemic recovery. So see the big picture? The only way to have a strong economy is to have a strong middle class.

    KN, I do type very fast, but this is not a word-for-word transcript. Best I could do. Too bad you couldn’t see Reich’s drawings. I hope this helped (and apologize to dear Sen. Sanders for stomping on his eloquence to make sure I got his points across).

    Health and peace.

    • Zyxomma says:

      Oops! I meant to reply to Krubozumo Nyankoye, not post this on its own. Sorry, and I hope he (and anyone else who can’t watch video) gets a chance to read it. (Palm to forehead.) I sympathize; before I got the new Mac I had trouble watching videos too (esp. hi-def, Vimeo was like a herky-jerky slideshow instead of film).

      Love and solidarity to Sen. Sanders, and to all mudpups everywhere.

      • yukonbushgrma says:

        Zyxomma — I read every word, and believe me, you did us ALL a great service!

        I did hear a few news clips from Sanders and Reich, and do remember thinking at the time, “Yeah, exactly …… right!” But this is so, so much better.

        All throughout the past few years, Bernie Sanders has been stalwart, standing up for those who have been stomped on. Bernie truly does understand who he represents, and I love to hear him speak. I wish he were MY Senator.

        Reich did well too, although he’s maybe a bit cerebral to appeal to the average American. He makes a whole lot of sense, though, if you listen to him. Basically, there’s only so much to go around, and right now it’s in the hands of a very few. The rest are struggling.

        Thank you!

        Really appreciate your transcription!

        • leenie17 says:

          “there’s only so much to go around, and right now it’s in the hands of a very few”

          Absolutely correct and the biggest problem with that much money being in the control of so few is that they’re keeping it and using it to make more money for themselves instead of investing it in businesses that will mean more jobs for people like us. The Republican lie about trickle down economics has been proven wrong for 40 years but they still preach the same garbage and far too many people still believe it.

          I read somewhere that the reason some middle class people support the Republicans when they protect the wealthy is that they hope to become wealthy themselves someday. Yeah, and if you believe that, I’ve got a gas pipeline in Alaska I’d like to sell you!

        • William Bonney says:

          Oh yeah, we wish crazy commie bernie was YOUR senator too!
          This senile, @$$clown wants to play the old – give – away – everybodys – money – but – his-patomic-two- step…..FREE College tuition, FREE Healthcare , FREE birth control, “FREE Cash for Clunkers,” FREE housing for the poor andFREE paid time off for women who are having a child. “FREE” welfare with no preconditions for anyone who wants it, a $15 minimum wage and they want FREE open borders to anyone who wants to come here illegally, have a child for FREE and live off the American people for the next 18 years,for FREE.
          BUT WHO is going to PAY THE BILLS for all this FREE stuff? You KNOW who, any & everyone
          who WORK FOR THIER LIVING!

      • AKMuckraker says:

        Thanks! That was great!

      • bubbles says:

        bravo Zyx. bravo!♥

    • beth says:

      Great transcription, Zyxomma!

      I was wondering earlier tonight: If the HealthCare Overhaul had passed as it was written, if the Baggers and Repubs hadn’t bungled in and demanded this change and that change and who knows what all else, how close would we be to having a Medicare and Medicaid system that was well on its way to being revamped (healed) instead of continuing to be totally dysfuntional and barely limping along? What I got from reading the proposal (or at least, many portions of it), it was like a finely-tuned machine or well-choreographed dance — *each* portion was dependent upon all *other* portions meshing precisely for it to work. It was, at least, until the Party of No started ripping it apart and stupiding it. I seriously don’t think the American public has a clue as to what a treasure we have in Obama when it comes to having a leader who sees the big picture and how to intelligently reach the end goal. Pity, that.

      As for the Pentagon and its spending — one word: Contractors. My blood pressure raises each time I think about how greatly and grandly they (the vast majority of them) have royally ripped off the American taxpayer. Dispicable sods. beth.

      • yukonbushgrma says:

        Beth, the more I think about the Health Care thing, the more I’m sure there were those who knew how to kill it by deleting portions of it. That, in itself, rendered it only barely functional.

        Contractors? Lemme tell ya, we’ve seen a lot of that here the past few years, what with FEMA here after our federal disasters. The Davis-Bacon wages that are *required* are absurd — $125.00 per hour! Can you believe that? And on top of that, they get per diem. We would have been much better off hiring locals (if we could) and doing it ourselves!

      • leenie17 says:

        What’s the matter, beth? Do you have a problem with shoddy electrical work in buildings in the Middle East causing our troops to be electrocuted? Do you think that it’s wrong for us to ask them to put their lives on the line in battle, only to be killed by taking a shower?

        It’s not easy for those contractors to vastly overcharge while producing slipshod, inferior work and providing poor quality materials. It takes a lot of determined lobbying and Congressional posterior smooching to get contracts like they have. Where else but Pentagon contractors could you find a $400 toilet seat? I only paid $15.99 for the one I bought this morning!

        Hmmm…I believe my blood pressure has just gone up a few points as well!

        • mike from iowa says:

          Those contractors do have to pay off inspectors and gov’t officials and that costs money,even though they re-bill the gov’t for bribe monies. Its just the cost of doing business with the US government.Rethugs made sure Dems wouldn’t be allowed any oversight to try and protect taxpayers.

    • jojobo1 says:

      You did vey well Zyxomma Sanders would be proud that you did this for him.

      • Zyxomma says:

        Thanks, jojobo1, but I didn’t do it for Bernie Sanders; I did it for US, just as I did it for US (the other 98%, as the eponymous website says) when I went to Senator Sanders’ website to sign on to his letter to the President.

    • Krubozumo Nyankoye says:

      Zyxomma – Brooklyn cool, I did my undergrad at none other than Pratt. Loved every minute of it, well almost every minute. I had a beautiful view of the East side from my 3rd floor brownstone back window. Thank you very much for the transcript.

      Knowing more now I have a couple of comments. For one thing I take exception to the claim that Obama caved to the rethugs on extending tax breaks, the congress caved, what the hell could he do? He doesn’t even have a vote! No it was the blue dog democrats who enabled the rethugs to pull that swindle and we are living with some of its fallout now. Deficits are the big issue. Moose pucky. I am not sure why Sanders would say this but it must be because he is either confused or has the misplaced idea that goading the president is going to make him change course. Either way it is not a positive sign.

      Can anyone here really explain in a single short paragraph exactly what happened in Sept. of 2008 that was the prcipitation of the so-called financial crisis? Better yet can anyone here explain WHY it happened when it did and not a year earlier, or two years?

      It seems to me extraordinarily strange that people with a pulpit and inside knowledge are so reluctant to talk about what is so obvious. The simple and undeniable fact is that the rethuglicans are ready and willing to plunge the world, not just the US but the world into economic chaos if they don’t get their way. They are convinced that they, because they are chosen by the big guy in the sky, are entitled to rule over the teeming masses of vermin, the untouchables. People who actually DO things.

      Reich is good, but he is also in the nine ring, he missed the bullseye. From the mid 1930s until about 1980 the world economy functioned well because its largest and most productive member, the US, ran like a well oiled and fairly well balanced machine. Half a century of prosperity in spite of having in the early part to fight the biggest war in history. 30 years on from the end of the era of a movie star (sort of) running things, read having his strings pulled by the people who got him elected to the best role of his life, we find our selves almost at the mercy of an oligarchy whose final solution is universal slavery. Their most powerful weapon is fear. But it is a double edged sword. At some point the response to fear, the threat of negative reinforcement, becomes irrational. Just as the unaccomplished swimmer if thrown into deep waters will panic and quickly drown, so too will a population of already nearly desperate people, panic and resort to any means at their disposal to escape the doom they see ahead. Most of them will fail. But what if a few do not?

      The other thing that troubles me that is never expressed is that the oligarchy makes these threats as if they themselves are utterly insulated from the consequences of say the collapse of the global economy. That is their second greatest delusion after their sense of entitlement. Because they are both indolent and arrogant they do not recall the most recent example of such hubris and its ultimate consequences. There was a time in the Weimar republic of Germany when a billion marks would only buy a loaf of bread.

      There is one more point that is missing from the overall picture, and indeed, the overall picture is what we should be paying attention to, not just this or that corner of the set dressing or the painted flats, but the play itself, as if heard without any actors, just like it would be heard by a clear minded reading. All the things that are happening converge in a way upon some unknowable point in the future when a fork will be taken, chosen, that leads to a set of consequences that will occur despite any measures human technology can invent.

      We are clever, we have certainly outstripped any of our relatives, because indeed yes all living things are related to us and we are related to them, but have we even so much as dented the apparently economical and inexorable processes of nature? Not in the least.

      Our creations can be readily turned to ruins. And will in time, unless we change our ways. We are indeed unique, we are the first species to evolve that can understand that we evolve. We are the first species to be able to transcend the thrall of our ancient genetics, because the first axiom of nature is to replicate. We alone amond the billions of species, have the right to choose what future, no matter how badly defined, we shall embrace.

      I didn’t set out to write a rant, but well… it seems inevitable under the present circumstances.

  5. Xenon says:

    Bernie rocks: A modern-day Cicero.

  6. Sue In Kansas says:

    I too want to adopt Senator Sanders, alas I live in the state of Kansas and have Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran. I think they spelled Moran wrong, I refer to him as Jerry Moron. I know that neither of them represent what I want, and I didn’t vote for either of them. That’s what happens when you live in Kansas. Most of the population is Republican and a lot of them are also morons.

  7. Krubozumo Nyankoye says:

    I seem to be here first and foremost which is a little ironic since I am probably the least appropriate of any mudflats devotee to be in that position in as much as my primitive laptop computer and absurdly constrained satellite uplink prevent me from viewing any videos. If this is a regular feature in future I hope others will be kindly and at least summarize for the technologically challenged so we don’t remain entirely in the dark.

    Since it is the national birthday of sorts I might as well light a fuse and absent any knowledge of whether it is relevant or not toss out a referral to some posts over at dailykos today whose emphasis is on the insidious nature of ALEC. It may or may not be pertinent here but I think it has a bearing on the overall political-economic future that confronts us, and yes, in my opinion, it is a form of institutionalized corruption.

    Once again I call upon everyone, everywhere to question your local politicians especially state legistlators and aske them point blank whether or not they are members of ALEC and if they are, how they can justify it in light of the fact that the laws they are buying are so obviously anti-democratic.

    I am reminded of The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot….

    • lovemydogs says:

      Ditto on the technically challenged.

    • A fan in CA says:

      Yes, ALEC is a disgrace to democracy. They also have a “sister” group called States Policy Network in all 50 states that are pushing these laws and more for the Koch agenda.

    • Carol says:

      Please refresh and inform me as to what ALEC is? Thank you.