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Bernie Sanders rips ‘casino capitalism’: ‘The business model of Wall Street is fraud and deception’

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Monday called out Wall Street for contributing to what he called a “grotesque and growing level of wealth and income inequality.”

In a speech to the Brookings Institute’s Center for Effective Public Management, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee said that the United States was experiencing a government that was “of the billionaires, by the billionaires, for the billionaires.”

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“This is a profound moral issue, it is an economic issue and it is a political issue,” he said. “Despite an explosion of technology, despite a huge increase in productivity, despite all of the benefits of the so-called global economy, millions of workers today are working longer hours for low wages, and we have more people living in poverty than almost any time in this history of our country.”

“Shamefully, we have by far the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country on Earth,” Sanders continued. “You hear a whole lot of discussion about family values from my Republican friends but nothing about the fact that almost 20 percent of our kids are living in poverty.”

And according to the Vermont senator, activists in the Occupy Wall Street movement “have every right to be angry” because the median male worker earns less today than he did 42 years ago, and the median female worker earns less than she did in 2007.

“The top 1 percent now own about 41 percent of the entire wealth of the United States, while the bottom 60 percent own less than 2 percent,” he pointed out. “The top 16,000 family own almost as much as the bottom 90 percent!”

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Sanders observed that just six Wall Street firms had assets equalling 60 percent of the United States gross domestic product.

“If Teddy Roosevelt, a good Republican, were alive today, I know what he would say… It is time to break them up,” Sanders argued.

“Casino capitalism, runaway capitalism, which is what we are experiencing right now is a disaster,” he later told E.J. Dionne. “What we are talking about is in a democratic civilised society that, the basic necessities of life should be available to all people.”

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“Wall Street, instead of being the grease for the economy — taking money in and getting it out to small businesses, medium-sized businesses — what Wall Street has become is an island unto itself,” the senator noted. “Its goal is to make as much money as it can in whatever way that it can do it.”

“I don’t want to try to be too dramatic here. I happen to believe that the business model of Wall Street is fraud and deception.”

Sanders’ speech begins at the 18 minute mark below. His remarks about Wall Street begin at the 59 minute mark.

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(h/t: Washington Examiner)

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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2020 Election

Scientist who correctly predicted 2018 midterms says Democrats can win 18 more seats in 2020

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The political scientist who correctly predicted the 2018 elections says Democrats left seats on the table in the midterms -- and can win them in 2020.

Rachel Bitecofer, assistant director of the Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia, was interviewed by MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on "The Last Word."

"Could you explain to the viewers how it is you determine what it was that actually did win a given congressional district?" O'Donnell asked. "When there is this common belief that, oh, well, the Democrats ran because the Republicans threatened their health care and so some swing voters switched over from Republican voting to democratic voting."

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2020 Election

Maddow reveals how Chinese group Falun Gong went from disrupting events to running a shadow campaign for Trump

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Tuesday detailed the remarkable journey of the group Falun Gong shifting from disrupting White House events to dominating the conversation on Facebook.

Maddow hilariously recounted the "major embarrassment" for the George W. Bush White House when a protester interrupted remarks by President of China Hu Jintao.

The protester was credentialed to cover the event for the Epoch Times, which is controlled by Falun Gong.

"Well, NBC News has a scoop out today about that group, about how that paper, the Epoch Times has transformed itself a lot in the Trump era. It’s a real revelation, this reporting from NBC News," Maddow said. "I mean, Epoch Times and its media group, they’ve made themselves into a whole new thing entirely and in a very big way."

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CNN

Trump’s failed Federal Reserve nominee doesn’t even know what the interest rate was 10 years ago

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On Tuesday, CNN's Chris Cuomo invited on Stephen Moore, supply-side economist and President Donald Trump's failed pick for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, to discuss the state of the administration — and Moore made a hilariously wrong remark about interest rates that suggests the country was better off without him.

"There's no greatest economy ever," said Cuomo. "You know these things ... he's doing well. He's not doing better than we've ever seen before, and you guys got the benefits of juicing the economy with this tax cut. Fair point?"

"Let me say this, I think it's a pretty darn good economy," said Moore. "I'll cite a few statistics. It's a pretty darn good one. We have the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years ... and for blacks and Hispanics and women."

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