U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is the longest-serving independent in American congressional history. He’s made a name for himself by criticizing corporate excess and pushing for more transparency in campaign finances – he once delivered a filibuster against the extension of Bush-era tax cuts for more than eight hours. He joins us to talk about economic justice, his boycott of the recent Netanyahu speech and his thoughts about running for president in 2016.

Interview Highlights

On Running for President

"I'm thinking that a time when the middle class in this country is disappearing and we have massive income and wealth inequality, when we're the only country on earth — major country — that doesn't have health care for all, when we have a campaign finance system that is leading us to oligarchy, when climate change is threatening the entire planet – you know what I think? I think we need some candidates to stand up and represent the working families of this country and the middle class and those of us who are concerned about the environment. So to answer your question – yeah, I am thinking about running for president."

On Being a Third-Party Spoiler

"I will not be a spoiler. So one of the decisions I have to make is a) whether I run or not and b) whether you run within the Democratic primary system. I have participated in the Democratic caucus as an independent since I've been in congress and worked very closely with senator Harry Reid, who is the Democratic leader, was the chairman of the Veteran's Committee, ranking member now of the Budget Committee, so I've worked within the Democratic caucus for a long time. And that is one of the decisions I have to make. But – I will not play the role of a spoiler, that's for sure."

On Hillary Clinton's Personal Email Controversy

"I think the issue is what does Hillary Clinton – what are her views on the important issues facing this country? What are her views on the Keystone pipeline and climate change? What are her views on raising the minimum wage to a living wage? What are her views on trade? What are her views on national health care? What are her views on the ability of workers to be able to better organize into unions? What are her views on higher education and the cost of that? That is what I think what we have got to focus on and I think the country deserves a serious debate on those and many other issues."

On Revolution

“What we need in this country, is in fact, a political revolution. And that means as citizens of this country people have got to redefine their relationship to our government and what they’ve got to say is ‘Enough is enough.’ They’ve got to be active in ways that we have not been active before. So calling up this radio station is a good start. Writing letters to the editor demanding that your local state and national representatives start talking to you about the real issues – putting together meetings so that people know in fact what is going on, demanding the media start covering the real issues facing this country, and holding people accountable. We are not going to change America when 63 percent of the people don’t vote as was the case in this last midterm election. And we’re not going to change America if all we see on television in terms of politics are thirty second ads. So we have got to educate, we have got to organize, every community will do it differently. … We have got to get involved politically, and raise political consciousness in a way we have never done.”

Guests:
Bernie Sanders, U.S. senator (I-Vermont), chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and ranking Democratic member on the Senate Budget Committee

  • Skip Conrad

    In the area of campaign finance, consider Britain. They have spontaneous elections. Nobody can predict when they will happen. There is a crisis in confidence and the PM dissolves Parliment. Six weeks later every voter goes to the polls. How much money can you spend in 6 weeks, as opposed to two years, or 4 years, or 6 years? Predictable, regular elections, are the bane of campaign finance reform.

    • Bill_Woods

      In countries with parliamentary systems, they know years in advance who the candidates will be, but they don’t know when the next election will happen.
      Here, we know years in advance when the next election will happen, but we don’t know who the candidates will be.
      Either way, there’s plenty of time for interest groups to promote their positions with politicians and the general public.

      • Skip Conrad

        But look at the nations that have no problems with campaign finance. Where it would be unheard of, and frowned upon, for a candidate to accept big corporate money. Where a candidate would suffer no ill consequences for a having any illicit personal liason.
        Where is such a nation? Let’s adopt their model!

        And in parliamentary systems, they know years in advance who the candidates will be, because those candidates have come through the ranks, gone to the same schools, done their apprenticeships, learned the ropes, worked the lowly jobs, paid their dues, etc. No Carly Fiorina’s running for high office there!

        • Where would it, indeed! How about Sweden and Iceland, then? In Sweden and Iceland, there is public funding of elections through state contributions to the political parties–a little over 90% of their total contributions. This considerably curtails the abilities of the Kochs, Adelsons, and Citizens Uniteds to “run tings” like they do in the good ol’ US of A. Swedish and Icelandic political parties are financially independent from business interests.

          BUT…as any untraveled, tax-obsessed ‘Merican will confidently tell you, them Swedes and Icelanders are all pinko commie freedom-free zones and their countries are tax-crazed anti-capitalist failures.

          So bring on Carly. Sigh.

  • Kurt thialfad

    What is the influence of foreign money in our elections? We all know it is illegal. Consider Obama’s half aunt living under the radar in the Boston area, she gives $40 to her half nephew’s presidential campaign. When that is discovered, the penalty was that the money had to be returned.
    If the only penalty for bank robbery is that you have to return the money, then I would rob one daily.
    So Bernie, what is the extent of foreign money in our elections, considering the enforcement is virtually nonexistent?

    • thucy

      I’m sorry – you’re concerned that the Feds oversaw the President’s campaign donations so stringently that even a $40 donation from a family member, once deemed improper, had to be returned? I’m frankly more concerned about donations he received from multinational banks.
      I’m no great fan of this President, but the extent to which he, his family, and his family’s background have been held under the microscope by angry white men rather blows me away.
      I think TPP poses the larger threat in terms of foreign influence – does your contempt for the President blind you to that?

      • Kurt thialfad

        It’s just an example. I could have mentioned the Bill Clinton – John Yang incident as well. I’m just asking Bernie a question about influence peddling and the financing of our elections. Where do I state that I have contempt for the president? And please don’t include me in your gang of angry white men. Attack my ideas, don’t attack me.

        • thucy

          I’m not attacking you, merely pointing to the very real phenomenon of hatred directed toward this President’s family from angry white men.
          I do think the concern over $40 from an aunt (who cares that she’s a half-aunt? and $40?) is a terrific example of that irrational hatred. Why lead with that when the John Yang-Clinton donation was more relevant? Hmmmm…

          • ArnoldLayne

            “Angry white men” is a tired trope, please stop. Or shall I start pushing the “angry young black men” trope for you?

          • thucy

            I deny neither the presence of many angry young black men, nor of angry white men.
            It’s not a trope, it’s not tired, it’s an established reality.
            Looking back onto history, we might well see “angry Greek members of the polis”, “angry zealots in Roman-occupied Jerusalem”, et cetera.
            As long as there is testosterone and unfairness, perceived or real, there will be angry men. And even, looking at Sarah Palin et alia, angry women.
            The question is: is their anger directed at an actual issue? Or in this case, is it directed irrationally against a family structure (tri-racial, multi-national) that does not look like them?

          • Whamadoodle

            Exactly–or a similar act by someone on the right wing? Funny how somehow, neither Curious nor Kurt Thialfad ever mentions such a thing, though left-wing posters like me mention mistakes by left AND right wing. The only possibilities that present themselves, then, are:

            1) right-wingers are completely and totally perfect and free of corrupt influence; or

            2) Curious and Kurt Thialfad take money from right-wing organizations to spam.

            I know which seems more plausible to me.

        • Whamadoodle

          You could have mentioned any number of Democratic “offenses,” eh? How big of you.

          Do you ever mention a single right-wing one, or are your people all pure as the driven snow?

          • Kurt thialfad

            @Whamadoodle: “Do you ever mention a single right-wing one …”

            Perhaps all the foreign money goes to democratic candidates?

          • Whamadoodle

            Wow–so you really are claiming that Republicans or Tea Partiers or right-wingers are beautifully free of corruption?

            If you don’t mind losing every scrap of credibility, you go ahead and keep claiming that. Looks ridiculous and self-evidently dishonest to the rest of us. Thanks for protecting us all from the $40 of the President’s “foreign” aunt, though.

            “Attack my ideas, don’t attack me.” Consider your ideas rejected. The idea that the left wing is the bearer of all the political corruption on earth, while the right wing is pure and clean of all such perfidy, is a laughable idea, which only a child would consider seriously.

          • Kurt thialfad

            @Whamadoodle: “so you really are claiming that Republicans or Tea Partiers or right-wingers are beautifully free of corruption?”

            Nothing of the sort, I am just suggesting that maybe they don’t accept foreign donations, or maybe perhaps no foreigner want to donate to them. If there is evidence and instances of Republicans/ Tea Partiers/ right-wingers accepting foreign campaign donations, please give me some examples. I am absolutely open to spreading the blame! There is definitely corruption on both sides of the aisle.

          • Whamadoodle

            Hm. OK then.

            It still seems a very odd thing to bring up. Obama’s aunt’s $40, versus the Koch brothers’ $900 million in campaign spending?

            You’re not seriously considering that $40 to be evidence of some serious corruption, weighed in seriousness against that $900 million? Especially considering the relative amounts of influence that have been bought?

            Obama’s aunt’s $40 bought… well, refresh my memory? What did she get from it?

            But the Kochs’ hundreds of millions in spending over the years has bought them Koch-friendly legislation by the truckload; oil pipelines, climate change denial legislation, etc.

          • Kurt thialfad

            @Whamadoodle “It still seems a very odd thing to bring up. Obama’s aunt’s $40, versus the Koch brothers’ $900 million in campaign spending?”
            The issue I have been addressing is the influence of foreign money. Obama’s Aunt, being a citizen of Kenya, is forbidden by law from contributing to American election campaigns. The Koch brother, being citizens of the US, are not subject to this restriction. You really have to focus, Whamadoodle.

          • Whamadoodle

            I “have to” focus on her $40, do I? Is that an order, sir? I don’t recall being given that order by Senator Sanders, Michael Krasny, or the website.

            I asked a simple question or two:
            1) Did President Obama’s Auntie’s $40 buy any influence, to substantiate your claim of “influence peddling” above?

            2) If not, and you acknowledge (since you fail to answer, I take it you acknowledge that) there was no influence bought by her $40, and you can’t substantiate your claim that it bought any “influence”; but that there WERE many bills written because of Koch influence-peddling, then why are you ordering us to focus on her $40, and ordering us not to focus on the Kochs’ $900 million, since that IS influence-peddling, and of a much more serious nature? Not everything an American citizen does is OK. If someone does something destructive to the common weal, they should be prevented from doing so, don’t you agree?

            You can pretend you didn’t see those simple questions, though it only looks pretty cheesy (“pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”). But ordering ME not to see my own questions to you? Uh… doubt it.

          • Whamadoodle

            Though actually–sure! If you say so, let’s focus on Obama’s aunt’s $40.

            What about it?

            What effect did it have?

            Where’s all this “influence” you’re claiming it bought?

            What WOULD it have bought, if it had been allowed to go through?

            How many bills can even tenuously be tied to foreign campaign financing? Name them; name allll the ones you can find. Oh–you’ll be sure to name your source, right? Because you don’t want to be known as someone who’s just being paid to post right-wing spam here, like Curious is, I’m sure. Come right up with those reputable sources for your information, and we’ll all be happy to look at them.

            If you want to insist on focusing on it, let’s focus. Tell me ALLLLL about that $40.

          • c_woof

            Since the minor amount of $40 was returned, it seems we are safe from foreign influence (whew! That was close!).

            Your point would have been more poignant if the amount had been somewhat substantial, and had been found after the election, showing a true threat.

      • Curious

        Obama disabled the credit card requirement that shows who is donating so that he could receive illegal donations from bundlers and foreigners.

  • jurgispilis

    Being unaligned with the democrat caucas, how does the senator view Obama? Specifically, what is his take on Obama’s use of executive action, without issuing executive orders?

  • Guest

    A question for Bernie: How will the USA remain an independent country when so-called trade agreements like TPP, which have little to do with trade, could be passed that usurp our sovereignty making it possible for multinational corporations to sue our country for lost profits and win anytime our laws cause their profits to decline? Under TPP, every environmental protection that we have, every health protection and even our democracy itself could be used to justify a lawsuit by corporations to mug the taxpayers for cash. It is clear the multinationals simply don’t want democracy anymore: They want corporate feudalism.

  • Noelle

    It’s so refreshing to hear the Senator telling it like it really is, instead of the usual careful politician-talk the majority of Senators use.
    Please ask him about Republicans wanting to voucherize Food Stamps.

  • Matt

    Always great to hear Senator Sanders dispense no-pander, straight talk. At least there’s one grownup in Congress.

  • Steve Shapero

    I’m a huge supporter of Senator Sanders. I just feel so disillusioned with our country where, as he pointed out, cutting 10’s of millions of people off of insurance doesn’t even make a news headline.

  • Noelle

    Run Bernie Run!!

    • +1! Alas, the Koch Brothers and all his other competitors will predictably use the word “socialist” to bring him down. Now, for old time’s sake, let’s exhume McCarthy (again)! (We’ll put him back until the next “commie” tries to get in.)

      • Noelle

        yes, like the caller from Georgia was worried about freedom-snatching commies taking over the country

        • Whamadoodle

          People are so hysterical. The idea that universal health care–offered by Germany, one of the most successful and fiscally solvent capitalist countries in history–is “communism,” as if modern Germany is anything like the USSR, is an argument so ridiculously illogical that only an American would advance it.

          • An American whom, if he is typical, has never traveled outside of this country to learn if, in fact, the USA really *is* The Best Country In Every Way In The Whole Wide World. I can’t even keep track of the huge number of times I’ve heard untraveled, yet arrogant Americans toss off how horrible and economically stunted European nations are, especially socialist-leaning countries like the Scandinavians, and more capitalist Germany–all far above the good ol’ USA in just about every evaluation/ranking of standards of living . They seem totally unaware of the exceedingly high standards of living, low crime, awesome food and general civility that exists in most of Europe, and that their citizens are perfectly willing to pay a higher tax burden in return for outstanding health care and education benefits. With the constant drumbeat of whinging about taxes, someone untraveled would never know that our American tax burden is actually quite low.

            I don’t know at what point it became so acceptable and de rigueur to object to *any* sort of taxation; “well, the taxes…” is the argument ender for any number of societal programs and fixes for problems. i.e. “those illegals (who DO pay plenty of income tax) eating up my taxes; those lazy public school teachers wasting my taxes”, and etc, ad infinitum. “My pocketbook” has become a code word for, well, unnecessary stinginess and greed.

      • Whamadoodle

        A poster on this very thread is trying to do so!

  • Another Mike

    How would Sen. Sanders differentiate himself from Secretary Clinton?
    And I think being Jewish is no handicap — the GOP would run PM Netanyahu if they could.

  • Ben Rawner

    What is guest doing about the growing student debt crisis?

    • Noelle

      Does he support Sen Warren’s student debt bill?

    • Brian Anderson

      I’d say he’s moving right along on the debt crisis.
      But he’s realistic in that he knows that the GOP-controlled senate will block the legislation.

      It’s up to WE THE PEOPLE to mobilize and educate! 🙂

  • Skip Conrad

    Speaking of trade, how is that these Free Trade Treaties are somehow exempt from the constitutional requirement of passing 2/3rd’s of the Senate? How is it they can pass with a simple majority?

  • Sean Dennehy

    How are Americans so easily fooled into voting against their self interests?

    • Curious

      Obama ran a heavily financed campaign and was protected by the MSM.

      • Whamadoodle

        No word from you on the heavy financing of Republican candidates, and their protection by the MSM?

        How odd. One would almost think you were being paid to spam against only one side.

    • c_woof

      What’s the Matter with Kansas?

  • Another Mike

    Can Sen. Sanders overcome the thought expressed in this quote attributed to Steinbeck: “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

    • This is EXACTLY my problem with our “American Dream” of conspicuous consumption on the backs of everybody else. We’re all supposed to privately want to join the 1%ers and, thus, buy into their immoral economic scheme in order to sideline any real examination of the profound immorality of such an unbalanced and venal system. Leave it to Steinbeck to get it right in such a fabulously pithy manner!

  • TimDoyle

    Bernie I had dinner with you at The University of Maine in 1989 (compliments of Professor Doug Allen). You are a great man and oracle. I will see you at The Commonwealth Club tonight. Tim Doyle UMaine ’90

  • Chinh Vu

    Please run!!! What we need is a national discussion on the many topics you have mentioned. The worst that can happened is that your foot in the race will shape the debate, and force the other candidates to talk about it.

    • TEK Aliance

      The current state of American politics has been a graveyard of candidacies ignored by the electorate. No impact at all and the real problem with electoral politics continues to be akin to Florida sinkholes coming to a backyard near all of us.

  • ES Trader

    REgardless of yout personal philosophy, I’m certain that in your political experience you have learned that “the system” is bogger than the individual, as President Carter discover5ed.

    I would strongly condider your candidacy, however, will anything really change with the balance of power system and the enormous bureaucracy you would encounter?

    • thucy

      I don’t think Sanders thinks a Jewish socialist will win – merely that he can help shape the conversation by running.

      • ES Trader

        i supported Paul Tsongas in ’92 after Brown dropped out because, as history has proven, Slick Willy was detestable regardless of his political leanings, and until the depression charges torpedoed his campaign, he touched deep values the way that RFK and George McGovern did.

        If Sanders effort is insincere, it will be evident and is simply wasting everyone’s time and money.

        I hope Jerry Brown will make one final effort.

        • thucy

          “and until the depression charges torpedoed his campaign”

          Depression charges? Tsongas had cancer.

          • ES Trader

            Correct, just testing !

            It was Eagleton, whose depression sunk his VP run in ’72.

            thanks

  • Dave Satre

    Watch the documentary American Empire An Act Of Collective Madness if you want to know what is really happening in this country. It’s being controlled by Big Money through the Federal Reserve.

  • Aune Notes

    GET IN THE WHITE HOUSE. GET ON THAT BALLOT!!! GO! I”M CRYING!!

  • TimDoyle

    The politicians have been bought and sold. The politicians are prostitutes. The pimps are the richest 14 people in America.

  • Pete Cockerell

    Interesting that the western European countries with progressive social policies that Bernie mentioned are also the least religious. The Religious Right in this country is responsible for some of the most egregious social legislation we have ever seen.

    • thucy

      Red herring. Social legislation is not that big an issue. Religious Right is not responsible for NAFTA, CFMA, repeal of Glass-Steagal.

    • The Religious Right also have a downright miraculous (Hallelujah!) ability to overlook/soft-pedal the sin of Venality. In my somewhat hazy memory of Sunday School classes, Jesus was not a big fan of the dangers of wealth, and was shockingly keen on protecting and providing for the poor and disabled (and without requiring them to piss test for food stamps!). Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition.

  • 1PeterDuMont2STARALLIANCE8

    Minimum wages should be legally tied to the cost of living, so that when the cost of a minimum LIVING goes up in a given area, so does the WAGE. To me, it’s just that simple. One hopes Senator Sanders will give voice to this important necessary change, that will ground both our economy and our lexicon in a greater reality.

    • ES Trader

      It sounds reasonable but the unintended consequence of that in a high inflation economy like the ’70’s and early 80’s would simply be ever spiraling inflation that tool Volcker’s steadfastness to extinguish by raising rates and killing the economy.

      Don’t forget that inflation was rising double digits then and that is what the financial markets are in fear of after the easy money time that another Great Depression.

      I think the key is individual ownership and effort to ramp up skills and marketability for the rapid changes in the economy that will prevail for some time.

      • c_woof

        Yes — I’m absolutely sure the minimum wage was driving double digit inflation in the 70’s and early 80’s.

        • ES Trader

          It’s basic Econ 101, when prices are likely to be higher tomorrow, one buys today which increases demand unless supply increases.

          Take some time to study pre WW2 Germany and the Latin American economies

          Inflation is simply too much money chasing too few goods

          • c_woof

            Are there too few goods today?
            Minimum wage hasn’t kept up w/inflation.

          • ES Trader

            How about this; are you ok with a little mercury, lead or other toxin in your food and water?

            You don’t have cancer or other immune deficiency today do you?

          • c_woof

            um, you’ve lost me. What are you referring to?

          • ES Trader

            Inflation, which was “the economic” problem for the entire 70’s into the early 80’s, again, is simply too much money chasing too few goods.

            Sure, I would like to see everyone live a comfortable life not only in the Bay Area but worldwide and raising the minimum wage seems like the answer but government mandate to raise wages will only begin the upward spiral of inflation.

            Earning say $15 / hr seems innocous, like trace amounts of toxins in food, water, and air, but would you be comfortable with its long term effects ?

            I am not, those dissatisfied with their job and wages need to own the fact that that particular job is inadequate for their standards and accept the need to obtain skills that are in higher demand with less supply and raise their living standards.

            That is how competition works and is healthier for everyone.

            Is called being an adult is

          • c_woof

            So how do you explain interest rates (then) of over 17%? vs today’s ultra-low rates?
            Or that those @ the bottom have been losing ground and those in the middle have stagnated, while those @ the top have soared?

            Are you saying these phenomena are a result of deflation?

          • ES Trader

            Econ 101 lesson:

            The Fed can only set the Fed Funds & Discount rate or the rate at which member banks charge each other for over-night money, the rest of interest rates, essentially the 10 year Treasury rate ( which mortgages track ) are set in the market place by sellers and buyers.

            When Paul Volcker was appointed as the chairman of the Fed, the # 1 enemy being inflation started raising the fed funds & discount rates, when member banks see highe costs they in turn raise rates, namely the Prime Rate.

            When buyers of treasuries see short term rates rising they in turn demand higher rates to lend for longer terms ( see the spiral ?)

            Volcker continues raising ST rates until 1980 when ST rates were nearly equal to long term rates, around 15 %, at which time it was no longer economically feasible for business to borrow from banks in order to expand or finance inventory because they could not in turn raise prices further to cover their loans. That created back to back recessions in 1980 & 1981, engineered by Volcker but it broke the back of inflation which has been in check since,

            That’s why the bond market ( bond vigilantes, which is approx 4 – 5 X larger than the stock market ) is so wary of wage increases which in turn eventually causes inflation.

            By the way FYI; tomorrow morning at 5:30am the jobs # for March will be released along with the avg hourly wage increase/decrease; it is expected to rise 0.2%

            The bond market has already taken rates from 1.4 to 1.9 since July 2012 and if the trend like McDonalds yesterday and Target etal continue to announce wage increases, I advise you to re-finance your mortgage now or you will face higher rates in the next few years.

            If you buy bonds, fixed income investing, you do not want your interest payments fixed when inflation means it will buy less tomorrow.

            Class over

          • c_woof

            So recession is the answer to inflation.
            What is the opposite of that?

          • ES Trader

            Cheap money, make available money by printing money and adjust the bank’s reserve requirements to encourage lending.

            That’s what Helicopter Ben did following the sub-prime meltdown of ’07-’08 along with instituting TARP & QE1,2,3 to keep interest rates low, discourage banks to horde money and thus avoided the Great Recession from becoming Great Depression 2.

            Greenspan also lowered fed funds & discount rates following Dot Com & 911 but his mistake was keeping rates too low too long and causing the real estate bubble to materialize

            This morning the jobs # for March was much less than the consensus forecast of 285 K but the avg hourly earnings rose by .3 % from .1% in Feb with the forecast at .2% so it looks like the wage creep has begun.

            Now the gap between U 6 and the employment % will narrow over the next few years as those out of the labor force slowly come back in as Mcdonald’s, Walmart etal begin offering higher wages and benefits.

            Like I said earlier, if you need to re-fi, don’t wait too long or if you were planning to buy a home same thing because mortgage rates will likely be higher in the next few years and you may find yourself in the same boat that Americans were in the late 70’s-80’s when mortgage rates were 2x digits and qualifying for a loan from a debt/income ratio was difficult.

            By the way auto loans will rise too.

            The only group that benefits slightly from inflation are savers that begin getting higher rates at the bank, but the downside of that is their “rteal buying power” will be eroded because higher interest – inflation = buying power.

          • c_woof

            As we saw after the meltdown, one can print money and do other things designed to encourage lending, but you can’t make the donkey drink. Which is why borrowing is still hard.
            For average Joe, that is. Which is why, in a jobless economy, the stock market has been hovering @ peak since it bottomed out since that is where the big boys can make their money and w/the non-existent lending rates could borrow from the Fed to buy back their stock, etc.
            But the re-fi advice seems sound and timely.

          • ES Trader

            We live in a democracy so no banks cant be made to lend and considering the severity of the meltdown and the losses banks took, iy=ts understandable

            As for the stock market, it is a leading indicator, and it is not a big boys game.

            Anyome with a 401k is likely invested, though under likely under invested, in the market, and with deciminalization and the de-regulation over the lasr few decades, anyone with a few hundred to a few thousand could have bought at or near the bottom bv simply buying an etf indexed directly to the sp 500 or nasdaq and more than 3X their money since March 2009, and with a very small ( < $10 ) commision.

            As I said earlier as the economy continues to improve, thr U 6 group will re-enter the labor force and wages will continue ti increase as the labor pool shrinks

          • c_woof

            “…and it is not a big boys game.”
            Please. It’s where the big banks and corps are making their money in a sluggish economy where jobs are scarce and corp profits are high. Sure, anyone w/a 401k is in the market, and, if they had the money @ the time, could have invested when the market crashed and feel good now, but that’s a big presupposition.
            And as far as the banks, we bailed them out just so they could continue to pay huge bonuses and continue the practices which produced the crisis in the first place, and can access capital @ no cost and turn it around for more profit.
            “All the Presidents’ Bankers: The Hidden Alliances that Drive American Power”
            http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1568584792/

          • ES Trader

            “you can lead a horse to water…..”, now when did I just read that ?

            Since you are online, I assume you are paying for internet service and you have income to pay for it.

            How about your morning coffee, or evening beer ? Are you saying that you cannot save a few hundred dollars over 12 months?

            The diiference between a pro athlete and a weekend jock isn’t just size, strength and speed; it’s the passion to practice and improve.

            But like most you would rather complain, seek ant source to collaborate your attitude that it’s stacked against you and you have no chance.

            Enjoy it

          • c_woof

            “But like most you would rather complain, seek ant source to collaborate
            your attitude that it’s stacked against you and you have no chance.”
            And where did I say that?
            Perhaps you might remark on the level of corp profits over the last ~6 years during the sluggish economy of very low (but steady) job growth?
            Or the increase in income of those @ the very, very top compared to those in the middle or below? Or the level of job flight to cheaper labor markets keeping our labor progress down.
            The bigger you are, the more you have benefited from the current economic trends. You yourself are aware of this.

            It’s in your moniker.

          • ES Trader

            i seriously doubt that you have a clue what my username means, nevertheless i plead guilty to the rest because :

            KNOWLEDGE = POWER

            IGNORANCE = B@$%&*!#G

  • Michael McDaniel

    Sanders is the gold standard for a progressive politician, therefore has little chance of garnering adequate financing for a successful campaign for the presidency. More power to him!

    • Brian Anderson

      It’s up to people like you and I to donate and campaign for him.
      They don’t call it a “Grassroots revolution” for nothing!

  • Curious

    The wife of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders may have been able to use her clout to get away with loan fraud, nearly bankrupting the small college she was president of and collecting a sizable severance package in the process.

    These revelations come amid growing speculation that Sen. Sanders, a self-described socialist who has blasted the U.S. government asan oligarchy run by billionaires and railed against the golden parachutes received by top corporate executives, will contend for the Democratic presidential nomination.

    • Whamadoodle

      And your source for this hysterical claim is what, Monsieur Vicomte-le-Rightwingspamme?

      (This is where Curious usually ducks back out of the room; I believe I’ve never once had Curious answer, when asked “what is your source for that hysterical claim?”)

      • Whamadoodle

        And sure enough–exit Curious, stage right, without ever answering the question. Does anyone take this spam-guy seriously?

        • Brian Anderson

          I’m always tempted to mark those comments as “spam,” but that’s censorship.

          Double-edged sword, but I’d rather have the free speech. (Everyone in the room flocks to the trolls anyways, so they’re taken care of. Visibly.)

          • Whamadoodle

            I hear you–I agree completely, actually. The answer to bad speech is more speech, and sunlight is the best disinfectant. Everyone can now see that Curious has no source for his or her claims.

          • Brian Anderson

            Sometimes, I venture over to the comments section of a right-wing propaganda site.
            It’s a jungle in there, but somebody’s gotta break through that echo chamber.

            It’s really ironic that if you look at the language/political rhetoric they use, it’s ALMOST IDENTICAL to what you find on a liberal site. The MSM has brainwashed a large portion of the country into this doublespeak. It’s eerily Orwellian.

          • Whamadoodle

            “Sometimes, I venture over”

            You’re a braver soul than I am 🙂 I’ve done that once or twice, but they listen even less when in a pack.

        • c_woof

          Upon examining the charge, it certainly is circulating around the rwingosphere sites currently — it seems they all have the same article in their repertoire (search Bernie Sanders’ wife loan fraud) but I see no sign of mainstream coverage.
          Rather, I see evidence of a Fed Audit of the Federal Reserve on Bernie’s site, and an article about that on Huffpo.
          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-bernie-sanders/a-real-jaw-dropper-at-the_b_791091.html

          • Whamadoodle

            Thanks for clarifying, c_woof–I had a hunch that Curious’ stuff wasn’t substantiated anywhere but on wemadethisstuffuptoslagtheleft dot com. That’s why I always ask.

  • Whamadoodle

    Senator Sanders is correct to point out the lie: to claim “oh, these left-wingers and their onerous taxes!” while trying to raise taxes on those of lower income through the EIC tax credit repeal, to pay for more and more military spending, which benefits a few multi-millionaires and billionaires who donate bits of that cash to the right people.

    People who want to raise military spending by tens of billions every year, to benefit the already-rich, while raising taxes on poorer people, are all ABOUT taxing people. Just not THEIR people.

  • I’m really enjoying listening to Senator Sanders: he is the rare politician whom I really and truly do believe CARES. And cares a lot.

    His comments about how CEOs used to make 10-20 times what their employees did, and were actually *embarassed* (imagine that!!) to make any more than that–really gets right to the core of our current lamentable scourge of economic inequality. We, as a society, need to bring MORALITY to the current debate about the 1% vs. The Rest Of Us. Sanders correctly characterizes the super-rich as being obsessed with greed, and squeezing out every last dollar by any means possible.

    Shamelessly shirking taxes–and being seen as “clever” or “anti-big government” for doing so. Awarding themselves outrageous compensation that often involves putting their employees in dire financial situations, and at risk for pink slips with every quarter’s cost-cutting, shareholder-pleasing scheme. Living in outlandishly lavish luxury in such a manner that they rarely, if ever, have to encounter the experiences of life in “the rest” of America.

    This has been sold to “the rest of us” as The American Dream. We are supposed to turn away from any close examination of the criminal imbalance of these lifestyles while we all privately aspire to become as rich as possible at the direct expense of everyone else. This is deeply immoral. There is a reason that Christianity places such importance upon the sin of Venality; Jesus spoke more about the dangers of wealth than almost anything else, except for perhaps empathy and societal responsibility for the poor and disabled. Thus, it has always seemed so distressingly ironic that the very political party so deeply in the 1%ers back pocket is also proclaims themselves to be the “Party of God”.

    This country needs to return to the common cultural value that conspicuous consumption and economic inequality is profoundly immoral. Shirking taxes and shortchanging our societal infrastructure is not clever, it’s cheating. Capitalist icon Warren Buffett is on the right track in this department. I very much appreciate unabashed Socialists/capital “L” Liberals and hard workers like Senator Sanders who aren’t afraid to call out the 1% on their outrageous greed and extreme immorality.

    • Whamadoodle

      Go moderniste! Well said.

      Re: ridiculous executive compensation, and people’s failure to be embarrassed at giving people of their own executive class big raises, while laying off their workers: if someone says “it’s my God-given right to be a jerk!” then the answer is, well,

      1) only to an extent, and when you damage your fellow man or the world enough, your God-given right ends there; and

      2) why would you WANT to be a jerk?

  • Gabe Gatti

    does anyone have link to the audio yet?

    • Whamadoodle

      It is now up on this page, so you can click the audio link above. Usually they have it up within a few hours after its airing.

  • Elliot Shields

    Bernie Sanders for President!

  • Brian Anderson

    Let’s make a grassroots campaign that will put Obama’s ’08 run to shame.
    United We Stand, right?

  • Morgan Hannigan

    can we just write him in as a democrat?

  • Sophie

    Negative and un-informative political ads, which require so much money, appear to drive messaging. Worthy issues, making a better country for all and not just the few are being more fully exposed thanks to Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. In addition, the increase in false news, the forum for a substantial portion of the population, spreads biased information on behalf of the Republicans. Liberal media is losing ground…Comcast now limits liberal msnbc internet programs (i.e. Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, Chris Hayes, Lawrence O’Donnell etc.) so messaging liberal views is becoming more difficult. I wonder how many listeners heard Bernie on public sponsored radio.

  • Paul J Endresen

    I’m concerned about senator Sanders physical stamina to be capable of dealing with so much covert corruption. I would hope for him to run the country based on his principles and spokesmanship for the improvement of citizens representation in this democratic republic.

  • Sanders is positioning himself to be a “reluctant” 2016 magnet for
    the farthest “left” progressive vote… to be delivered to the
    inevitable Democratic Party nominee (now thought to be Hillary Clinton).

    Clinton, or whoever becomes the Democratic Party nominee, can be expected to ultimately deliver to the next president who can easily be a Republican. What does any of it matter– US elections are choreographed to squeeze as much money and credulity from the public and benefactors as possible.

    Sanders pretends to be tailor-made for the function that the ruling
    class needs to bring as many people as possible into the big tent.

    He pretends to be the defender of the disenfranchised and the working class while promoting unions’ nationalistic interests.

    He emphasizes that he would never be a “spoiler” as Nader is still accused of having been. He is determined to see his allotted role of deception to the end. His job is not to spoil the election game– but to spoil any awakening of the need for a true revolution.

    Anyone who has followed the past ridiculous promotions of left-flank politicians by The Nation magazine or programs like Forum should know that they are only good for serving the prejudices of an affluent layer.

    People should be revolted by Sanders’ declaration that this country needs a revolution. They should be revolted by his pretense of being a Socialist, or knowing what Socialism is.

    Of course we need a real revolution, but the revolution Sanders has in mind is really nothing of the sort.

    Sanders, and demagogues like him, always propose followers to “organize” to implement incremental reform within the capitalist system. They love to emphasize the difficulty and sacrifice necessary while obscuring how followers’ past sacrifices and organizing largely came to naught again and again. The best the big tent politicians can deliver are tokens, tossed bones (usually related to identity issues) to placate the people and keep them returning for more. These bones have no meat or marrow.

    We do indeed need a revolution, not a pretense of revolution. In a world where about 85 individuals own as much as 3.5 billion people, or half the world’s population, Capitalism cannot be reformed.

Host

Michael Krasny

Michael Krasny, PhD, has been in broadcast journalism since 1983. He was with ABC in both radio and television and migrated to public broadcasting in 1993. He has been Professor of English at San Francisco State University and also taught at Stanford, the University of San Francisco and the University of California, as well as in the Fulbright International Institutes. A veteran interviewer for the nationally broadcast City Arts and Lectures, he is the author of a number of books, including “Off Mike: A Memoir of Talk Radio and Literary Life” (Stanford University Press) “Spiritual Envy” (New World); “Sound Ideas” (with M.E. Sokolik/ McGraw-Hill); “Let There Be Laughter” (Harper-Collins) as well as the twenty-four lecture series in DVD, audio and book, “Short Story Masterpieces” (The Teaching Company). He has interviewed many of the world’s leading political, cultural, literary, science and technology figures, as well as major figures from the world of entertainment. He is the recipient of many awards and honors including the S.Y. Agnon Medal for Intellectual Achievement; The Eugene Block Award for Human Rights Journalism; the James Madison Freedom of Information Award; the Excellence in Journalism Award from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association; Career Achievement Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and an award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association. He holds a B.A. (cum laude) and M.A. from Ohio University and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin.

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