Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

by lizard

Dave Lindorff rightfully slams Democrats for Taking a Meaningless Progressive Stand in Congress:

The Democrats are showing their true colors now that they have lost control of both houses of Congress.

Suddenly, with the assurance that they don’t have to worry about being taken seriously, the “party of the people” has come forward with a proposal to levy a 0.1% tax on short-term stock trades, particularly on high speed trading.

Don’t get me wrong. A stock-trade tax is a great, and long-overdue idea. In fact, such a tax, which could raise some $800 billion in revenue over a decade, should probably be bigger than just 0.1%, and targeted more directly at high speed trading. (Most experts agree high-speed trading has been undermining any semblance of a fair market for stocks and bonds by handing an outsized advantage to companies that have access to huge computers that can make enormous trades, front-running other investors by getting into and out of the market in microseconds, so why not levy a graduated trading tax that is progressively higher the shorter the time period an investment is held?)

The point is that this trading tax is something that progressives have been calling for now for years, if not longer, but while they were in a position to actually make it happen, Democrats in Congress were silent about it.

And why didn’t Democrats do anything when they actually had the power to do so? Here’s more from Lindorff:

If the Democrats had passed such measures back when they had the White House and both Houses of Congress, back in 2009 or 2010, they wouldn’t be looking at a Republican Congress today. If they’d proposed such measures last year, when they still at least controlled the Senate, they wouldn’t have lost the Senate last November.

But of course, if they had made these proposals when there was a chance of them becoming law, the Democrats in Congress would have lost all the fat campaign donations and other legal bribes that they receive from Wall Street banks, brokerages and hedgefunds.

Now it’s safe for them to make those proposals as part of their “inaction plan.” The fat cats on Wall Street know they’re not serious, and will continue to buy them in 2016, when you won’t see them making these kinds of populist proposals anymore.

It’s all part of a long-running game in which the Democratic Party pretends to be the party of the working person, while actually being just another pro-capitalist party, working hand-in-glove with the Republicans to continue sucking the life out of the American middle class and the poor to enrich the wealthiest 1% of Americans who already control some 40% of the nation’s assets, and the wealthiest 10%, who control as much national wealth as the other 90% of us put together.

This will come as no surprise to political cynics. But for those of us in Montana who got suckered by Jon Tester in 2006, there will be a chance to exact some political retribution when Tester tries to get reelected.

Why?

Because Tester is on the short list of Democrats who will help Republicans continue the bipartisan affair of coddling Wall Street to the detriment of the vast majority of Americans:

Meanwhile, the real people to watch in Congress are those Democrats who are going to vote with the ruling Republicans in House and Senate to allow pro-rich and pro-capitalist measures to get to a vote, and to provide the votes to over-ride any vetoes by President Obama. Behind all the anti-inequality talk, these are the people who really represent the leadership and the political bedrock of the Democratic Party.

We got an early look at what is coming last week, when a group of 13 Democratic senators (the scabs clearly visible on their exposed flesh), voted with an almost unanimous Republican bloc, to defeat an amendment offered by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) that would have stripped a measure weakening the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory law out of an already pro-financial corporate bail-out bill extending federal backing for terrorism coverage in insurance policies. The vote killing the Warren amendment passed 66-31 meaning there were only three abstentions. Without the 13 Democratic votes against fellow Democrat Warren, her amendment would have passed because of a 60-vote requirement for amendments.

Keep an eye on those 13 Democrats. Given that the Republicans now have 54 seats in the Senate, they only need an extra six votes from Democrats to move bills and amendments to a vote, and only 13 votes to override a presidential veto.

Here, for reference, are the 13 members of the Senate Democratic caucus who killed the Warren amendment:

Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Tom Carper (D-DE)
Bob Casey (D-PA)
Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
Angus King (I-ME)
Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Joe Manchin (D-WV)
Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
Gary Peters (D-MI)
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Jon Tester (D-MT)

Jon Tester serves Wall Street, not Montanans. That much should be obvious. And for those who want a reminder of how disgusting the people Tester serves are, check out Jamie Dimon whining about regulators (Zerohedge):

Earlier today, during the JPM conference call, when Jamie Dimon wasn’t busy explaining why the Q4 earnings presentation was sorely missing the page showing JPM’s latest Net Interest Margin, a staple placeholder page in the presentation appendix, he found time to lament something totally different. As Bloomberg reports, Dimon lashed out at U.S. regulators for putting his bank “under assault.”

“We have five or six regulators or people coming after us on every different issue,” Dimon, 58, said today on a call with reporters after New York-based JPMorgan reported fourth-quarter results. “It’s a hard thing to deal with.”

“In the old days, you dealt with one regulator when you had an issue, maybe two. Now it’s five or six. It makes it very difficult and very complicated. You all should ask the question about how American that is. And how fair that is. And how complex that is for companies.”

I hope no one spits their coffee out after reading that quote from a guy who should be in prison receiving visceral assaults after the hell Wall Street delivered to Americans 7 years ago.

Luckily Dimon has loyal servants like Jon Tester looking after his ill-gotten gains. For that, Montanans need to send Tester packing.

by lizard

America is back, bombing Iraq, and now Syria. America is bombing ISIS, and also a quick add-on, the Khorasan Group. C’mon, America, just dust off the nukes, you know, those nukes Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize recipient, wants to spend billions of our tax dollars to modernize.

Last week Congress voted to arm the exhaustively vetted moderate Syrian rebels, then skipped out of town to hit the campaign trail, because that’s really all these pathetic creatures can manage to do. From July to November, Congress put in a vigorous 8 days. From the link:

One vote on war and Congress is apparently all tuckered out.

House leaders announced Thursday that they were cutting their already abbreviated fall session short and sending lawmakers back home – and onto the campaign trail – more than a week early.

The decision came one day after the House approved both President Obama’s request to arm Syrian rebels and a bill that prevents a government shutdown at the end of the month. The House had initially been scheduled to remain in Washington on Friday and during the first week of October, but Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told members they could leave on Thursday afternoon and wouldn’t be called back until after the November congressional elections.

The Senate is expected to pass both measures on Thursday and leave for the campaign trail by the evening.

Party leaders often shorten the floor schedule ahead of elections to give their members more time to campaign, but this year’s session is brief even under those standards. Including the five-week summer recess, Congress will have been in session for a total of about eight days between the end of July and the middle of November.

I mean, Jesus, how can we put up with this shit?

On Sunday, there were also some nice people who would like to avoid societal suicide, and they came out for a march—400,000 of them. Despite the fact it was mainly a toothless PR stunt, it was still impressive to see the Sunday tv network circle-jerk sessions blackball the event:

The People’s Climate March on Sunday was perhaps the largest climate change protest in history. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of New York City. Celebrities and high-profile politicians were among the marchers. The protest was a huge topic on social media.

All in all, it was a perfect opportunity for some of America’s biggest news organizations to cover the topic of climate change, something that usually gets either ignored or badly handled. For Sunday talk show hosts, there was even a nice political hook, since the march was pegged to a UN summit that President Obama will be attending.

Well, so much for that idea. It seems climate change remains one potentially world-shattering issue that just can’t get any respect on television. No Sunday morning show except MSNBC’s “Up” so much as mentioned climate change, or the march, save for one stray reference on “This Week” by The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel. She pointed out that the march was actually gathering right outside the ABC studios in Lincoln Center where the show is taped.

Congress doing nothing is not new, neither is corporate tv news giving the cold shoulder to climate change as the world burns and floods and storms.

Sad. It didn’t have to be this way.




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