December 10, 2010

At 7:30 AM PST, Bernie Sanders began a filibuster of the tax compromise. The longer he goes, the better he gets. You can watch the stream on CSPAN2. Here's a clip of him talking about child poverty in the US as compared to other industrialized nations. I'll post more as I'm able and add them to this post.

Update - It's been pointed out that this isn't a "real" filibuster because there is no vote pending on the floor now. While that's true, standing on the floor of the Senate and speaking for what is now over six hours is worthy because:

  • It gets facts and arguments into the record.
  • It gets facts and arguments into the face of people who might not pay attention otherwise.
  • It is the best scenesetter for reforming the filibuster to make them actually stay and talk I've seen yet.
  • It is an opportunity to spark and stoke some populist anger on the left, similar to the way they've done it on the right.

Update 2:

Here's a new clip worth applauding. Addressing usury, banking issues and credit card companies in particular, Sanders calls them "loan sharks and extortionists, no different than gangsters." That indictment comes about about 4:17 or so. But the whole argument is great.

Final Update Senator Sanders made his case from 10:35AM EST to 7:00 PM EST, interrupted only by brief appearances by Sens Mary Landrieu and Sherrod Brown. Ironically, it was a clearly-exhausted Sanders who called the Senate into recess after all of that.

Why did he do it? Because he wanted to get people up out of their seats and on the phones, in the streets and vocal. Over and over again he stressed how important it was for people to be heard, to raise their voices and speak for the elderly, the poor, and the disadvantaged. I don't think it was as much about delaying anything as it was about getting people energized.

Final Final Update: A huge thank-you to C&L reader tequilamockingbird, who sent transcripts for the video clips in PDF format. Thank you, thank you, thank you! :)

Loan Sharks, Extortionists and Gangsters (application/pdf - 19.27 KB)
Childhood Poverty (application/pdf - 14.2 KB)

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