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Hard Choices,
by Hillary Clinton (2014)
Crippled America ,
by Donald J. Trump (2015)
Trump vs. Hillary On The Issues ,
by Jesse Gordon (2016)
Outsider in the White House,
by Bernie Sanders (2015)
American Dreams,
by Marco Rubio (2015)
Taking a Stand,
by Rand Paul (2015)
Unintimidated,
by Scott Walker (2013)
A Time for Truth,
by Ted Cruz (2015)
One Nation,
by Ben Carson (2014)
Trump/Pence vs. Clinton/Kaine On the Issues ,
by Jesse Gordon (2016)
Living History ,
by Hillary Rodham Clinton (2003)
Between Hope and History ,
by Bill Clinton (1996)
In Harmís Way ,
by Dr. Jill Stein (2000)
Democrat vs. Republican vs. Green vs. Libertarian,
Four Party's Presidential Nominees On The Issues (2016)
Books by and about 2012 presidential candidates
Ten Letters
about Pres. Barack Obama (2011)
Do Not Ask What Good We Do
about Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

The Speech
A Historic Filibuster on Corporate Greed and the Decline of our Middle Class
by Bernie Sanders



    Click on a participant to pop-up their full list of quotations
    from The Speech, by Bernie Sanders (number of quotes indicated):
  • Arianna Huffington (2) Former Independent Challenger (2003)
  • Bernie Sanders (20) Democratic Presidential candidate
  • Charles Schumer (2) Democratic Sr Senator New York
  • Mary Landrieu (10) Democratic Sr Senator Louisiana
  • Robert Reich (1) Massachusetts Former Dem. Challenger 2002, and Cabinet Sec'y
  • Sherrod Brown (6) Democratic Sr Senator Ohio
    OR click on an issue category below for a subset.

BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:

This book is a transcript of a Senate filibuster. A "filibuster" is a parliamentary maneuver used in the U.S. Senate (but not allowed in the U.S. House) where one Senator can hold the floor indefinitely (making all other Senate activity stop), and hence postpone a debate past a bill's deadline. In other words, it's a way to unilaterally force a vote to get cancelled. Senators have the power to do that -- members of the House do not -- and it's pretty big news when a Senator exercises this power. For example, a filibuster provides the dramatic climax of the film, "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington."

Senator Bernie Sanders initiated a filibuster on Dec. 10, 2010, which lasted eight-and-a-half hours. That was the longest duration filibuster since 2003 (Harry Reid, D-NV, 9 hours) but there have been longer ones since (one of Sanders' rivals for the 2016 presidency, Senator Rand Paul, R-KY, conducted a 10-hour filibuster against the PATRIOT Act in 2015, and another filibuster of nearly 13 hours against the new CIA director, in 2013).

The bill Sanders opposed was H.R.4853, "The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010." It was a bipartisan bill (Democrats as well as Republicans sponsored it); hence Sanders called it "the Obama-Republican tax bill." Sanders opposed the large tax breaks to the wealthy, and especially the tax breaks in the inheritance tax -- which were intended as a "stimulus" to help with the economic recovery, in a compromise form that Republicans would support.

Sometimes filibusters require physical preparation (there's no toilet on the Senate floor, for example), but Sanders used another parliamentary maneuver to deal with that: he entered into "colloquy" (inviting another Senator to have a back-and-forth conversation) with Sen. Mary Landrieu (D, LA) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D, OH). Hence those two Senators spoke while Senator Sanders took care of biological necessities.

Sometimes filibusters just have the Senator saying nothing in particular -- Sen. Smith in the fictional movie reads aloud letters from his constituents, and Sen. Sanders read a few letters too -- but Sen. Sanders actually orated for most of the time. He did read from a few books -- passages from the progressive icons Arianna Huffington and Robert Reich -- and Sen. Landrieu read from a report published by Sen. Charles Schumer (all of those are excerpted here too!). Sanders' oration was not exactly lively -- he repeated himself a lot, which in understandable after eight hours -- but it was effective -- supporters of his presidential candidacy dubbed it "The Speech," with a capital "T" and "S", to emphasize its importance.

How effective is a question for the citizens to decide. Sanders' filibuster did not kill the bill in question -- the filibuster was on a Friday, and the bill went to a vote the following Monday, as scheduled. But Sanders' filibuster did use up all of the discussion time about the bill -- in other words, he got heard, while his opponents didn't. But the next Monday, his opponents won, and the bill passed. Sanders' efforts did persuade the Congressional Black Caucus (a group of U.S. House members) to oppose the bill; but it still passed the House and got signed into law by President Obama.

-- Jesse Gordon, jesse@OnTheIssues.org, January 2016
 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
Budget & Economy
    Bernie Sanders: Why did we bail out South Korea?
    Charles Schumer: Income inequality part of root cause of Great Recession.
    Charles Schumer: Bush policy options exacerbated economic inequality.
    Mary Landrieu: Millionaires don't need $50 billion in extended benefits.
    Mary Landrieu: Government had to spend to avoid country shutting down.
    Mary Landrieu: I support the Federal freeze; I support tax cuts.
    Robert Reich: Wall Street banks should be split up, and soon.
Corporations
    Bernie Sanders: Greed is addictive; their sickness hurts country terribly.
    Bernie Sanders: Small banks did just fine during financial crisis.
    Mary Landrieu: It is a myth that most millionaires inherit their money.
Crime
    Sherrod Brown: $50,000 a year keeping people in jail, instead of in schools.
Education
    Arianna Huffington: Historically, education has been the great equalizer.
    Bernie Sanders: Cutting education cuts off our noses to spite our face.
    Bernie Sanders: 170,000 high school grads annually have no funds for college.
    Mary Landrieu: Pell grants originally paid 100% of college; now it's 40%.
Families & Children
    Bernie Sanders: Parents worry more about kids than themselves, economically.
Free Trade
    Bernie Sanders: How can we compete against people who make 23 cents an hour?
    Bernie Sanders: 48,000 US factories shut down under Bush due to trade.
    Bernie Sanders: Disastrous trade policies lead to collapse of middle class.
Government Reform
    Bernie Sanders: Rich people use wealth to elect people to make them richer.
Health Care
    Sherrod Brown: Seniors cut pills due to costs; while we cut aid to seniors.
Homeland Security
    Bernie Sanders: War in Iraq will cost us $3 trillion including veteran care.
    Mary Landrieu: Military only gets 1.4% COLA while we cut millionaire taxes.
Jobs
    Bernie Sanders: Extend unemployment benefits whenever jobless rate over 7.2%.
    Bernie Sanders: 1950s manufacturing job created middle class, but not now.
Social Security
    Bernie Sanders: Payroll tax holiday diverts revenue from Trust Fund.
    Bernie Sanders: Most successful Federal program in history of our country.
    Mary Landrieu: COLA increases to seniors is more stimulative than tax cuts.
    Sherrod Brown: Don't balance budget by going after entitlements.
Tax Reform
    Bernie Sanders: Filibustered against Obama-Republican tax deal.
    Mary Landrieu: Tax cuts are not the most stimulative way out of recession.
    Mary Landrieu: I voted for Bush tax cuts because they helped middle class.
    Sherrod Brown: We borrow billions from China for tax cuts to millionaires.
Technology
    Arianna Huffington: 1930s Chicago-Denver train took 13 hours; now it's 18 hours.
    Bernie Sanders: Invest in infrastructure: My water system is 150 years old.
    Bernie Sanders: Infrastructure does not get better if you ignore it.
    Bernie Sanders: US invests 2.4% on infrastructure; Europe 5% and China 9%.
Welfare & Poverty
    Bernie Sanders: All religions call usury immoral: apply that to credit cards.
    Mary Landrieu: Median wealth for whites is $87,000; for minorities, $8,000.
    Sherrod Brown: We have millions of families today who have zero wealth.
    Sherrod Brown: 25 percent of our children are dependent on food stamps.


The above quotations are from The Speech
A Historic Filibuster on Corporate Greed and the Decline of our Middle Class
by Bernie Sanders.

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