Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. Billionaires laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit, independent journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work producing journalism for the common good. With our Fall Campaign underway, please support this mission today. We cannot do it without you.

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

Democratic presidential candidate, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks about affordable housing during a campaign event where he received an endorsement from District of Columbia Mayor, Muriel Bowser, on January 30, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

Democratic presidential candidate, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks about affordable housing during a campaign event where he received an endorsement from District of Columbia Mayor, Muriel Bowser, on January 30, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

'Definition of a Rigged System,' Says Sanders Campaign After DNC Changes Debate Rules for Billionaire Latecomer Mike Bloomberg

"DNC changing the rules to benefit a billionaire."

Eoin Higgins

After debate rules were changed in favor of allowing billionaire Mike Bloomberg to join the candidates onstage vying for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination on Friday, Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign hit back, calling the decision emblematic of the corrupt political system the Vermont senator has centered his run for the White House on defeating.

"To now change the rules in the middle of the game to accommodate Mike Bloomberg, who is trying to buy his way into the Democratic nomination, is wrong," Sanders senior adviser Jeff Weaver told Politico. "That's the definition of a rigged system."

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced Friday afternoon that the criteria for making the debate stage will no longer include a requirement about individual donors—allowing Bloomberg, whose campaign is largely self-funded, to join the candidates if his polling numbers reach the new threshold. 

"DNC changing the rules to benefit a billionaire," tweeted Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir. "I much prefer Democrats being a grassroots party. And under Bernie Sanders, that's the way it will be."

According to Politico:

 

Candidates will need to earn at least 10% in four polls released from Jan. 15 to Feb. 18, or 12% in two polls conducted in Nevada or South Carolina, in order to participate in the Feb. 19 debate in Las Vegas. Any candidate who earns at least one delegate to the national convention in either the Iowa caucuses or New Hampshire primary will also qualify for the Nevada debate.

The rules change caught Democrats by surprise. 

Some observers noted the timing of the change and wondered if it was part of a coordinated attack on Sanders from both the DNC and Bloomberg. 

The Intercept's Ryan Grim, citing Federal Elections Commission data, noted Bloomberg donated $325,000 to the DNC in November 2019. 

"Totally normal system," said Grim.

The debate rules have been a source of contention throughout the primary process, with some former hopefuls like Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro questioning the restrictions on polling and donors as prohibitive to their campaigns.

Progressive strategist Tim Tagaris wondered what could have been different if not for the qualifications.

"How much money did candidates like Julián Castro and Cory Booker have to spend chasing donor thresholds that could have been spent building organizations in early states?" said Tagaris.

Comedian and writer Jack Allison took a wry look at the changes and what they mean about the party. 

"Remember when they wouldn't even think of changing them for like Cory Booker," Allison tweeted. "This is what we mean when we talk about the DNC cheating, obviously and out in the open."

"Thankfully seeing Bloomberg speak can only hurt his standing," Allison added, "but still."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

New Whistleblower Sparks Calls to 'Crack Down on Facebook and All Big Tech Companies'

Hours after another ex-employee filed a formal complaint, reporting broke on internal documents that show the tech giant's failure to address concerns about content related to the 2020 U.S. election.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Catastrophic and Irreparable Harm' to Wolves Averted as Wisconsin Judge Cancels Hunt

"We are heartened by this rare instance of reason and democracy prevailing in state wolf policy," said one conservation expert.

Brett Wilkins ·


West Virginia Constituents Decry 'Immorality' of Joe Manchin

"West Virginia has been locked into an economy that forces workers into low-wage jobs with no hope for advancement, and after decades of this our hope is dwindling," said one West Virginian. "The cuts that Sen. Manchin has negotiated into the agenda hurt our state."

Julia Conley ·


'Texans Deserved Better Than This': Supreme Court Leaves Abortion Ban in Place

The nation's high court set a date to hear a pair of legal challenges to the "horrific" restrictions.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Like It Never Happened': Federal Judge Tosses Trump Attack on Clean Water Rule

Denying a Biden administration request to temporarily retain the rule, the judge reestablished "the careful balance of state and federal power to protect clean water that Congress intended when it wrote the Clean Water Act."

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo