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.

Sunrise Pelosi

Activists from People's Watch—including members of Sunrise Movement and United We Dream—protested at a Washington, D.C. fundraiser for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on September 28, 2021. (Photo: Sunrise Movement)

Activists Confront Pelosi at Fundraiser, Demanding She 'Hold the Line' on $3.5 Trillion Package

"Backtracking on this reconciliation bill means people will continue to die at the hands of the climate crisis," said one Sunrise Movement activist.

Brett Wilkins

As the youth-led Sunrise Movement on Tuesday accused Rep. Nancy Pelosi of "betrayal" for retreating from a promise to prioritize passage of the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better bill ahead of a planned vote on bipartisan infrastructure legislation, progressive activists confronted the House speaker in Washington, D.C. to demand that she "hold the line" on the Democrats' flagship reconciliation package.

"Democrats must seize this moment to pass the first pieces of federal climate policy to give us a real chance to combat this massive crisis."
—Nikayla Jefferson,
Sunrise Movement

Nikayla Jefferson, a Sunrise Movement activist from San Diego, confronted Pelosi (D-Calif.) during a demonstration organized by People's Watch outside a fundraiser in the nation's capital. As the speaker entered the event venue, Jefferson asked whether she will "commit to holding the line" by passing the reconciliation package before considering the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill—which campaigners have rejected for funding "false" solutions to the climate emergency.

Pelosi did not respond.

In a statement, Jefferson said that "in California, we get ruined by wildfires every year now and I'm afraid of just how much bigger, how much more destructive, these fires can burn."

"If Speaker Pelosi doesn't stay true to her word and pass the $3.5 trillion climate and jobs package first, I know I'll live to find out," Jefferson continued. "Backtracking on this reconciliation bill means people will continue to die at the hands of the climate crisis. Democrats must seize this moment to pass the first pieces of federal climate policy to give us a real chance to combat this massive crisis."

Karina Ruiz, executive director of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition (ADAC) and a member of United We Dream Action, said that she traveled to Washington, D.C. from Phoenix "to push congressional Democrats to make good on their promises to deliver a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented people."

"Speaker Pelosi and Democrats in Congress must ensure immigration stays in their version of the budget reconciliation, and stay true to their word and ensure that the entire $3.5 trillion package budget reconciliation moves alongside the bipartisan infrastructure package," Ruiz added. "We need Democrats to not only be bold but to stay true to the people."

Separately on Tuesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) urged House lawmakers to vote against the $1 trillion bipartisan bill until after Congress passes the $3.5 trillion social welfare, infrastructure, and climate package.

"Let's be crystal clear," said Sanders. "If the bipartisan infrastructure bill is passed on its own on Thursday, this will be in violation of an agreement that was reached within the Democratic Caucus in Congress."

Other progressive lawmakers echoed the "betrayal" theme in their strident calls to pass the reconciliation package first.

"Let me be clear: bringing the so-called bipartisan infrastructure plan to a vote without the #BuildBackBetter Act at the same time is a betrayal," Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) tweeted Tuesday. "We will hold the line and vote it down."


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.

'When We Organize, We Win': Ocasio-Cortez Joins India Walton at Rally in Buffalo

The two progressives joined striking hospital workers on the picket line at Mercy Hospital after the early voting rally.

Julia Conley ·


Fatal Film Set Shooting Followed Outcry by Union Crew Members Over Safety Protocols

"When union members walk off a set about safety concerns, maybe 'hiring scabs' isn’t the solution you think it is."

Julia Conley ·


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 ·

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