Tag Archives: Senate

Dems pass Monsanto anti real food act

The corporate US House of Lords, aka Senate, passed Big Agra’s “Food Safety and Modernization Act” which aims to further impede the natural agriculture resurgence while shielding the real sources of food contamination, factory animal farms. Count BOTH Colorado Dems among the corrupt legislators who I guess pretend they don’t know better. Yes, Senator Mark Udall and newly entrenched incumbent Michael Bennet. Here’s the full list of DP-led Monsanto/ADM shills, courtesy of Natural News.

Akaka (D-HI)
Alexander (R-TN)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Brown (R-MA)
Burr (R-NC)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Collins (R-ME)
Conrad (D-ND)
Coons (D-DE)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Enzi (R-WY)
Feingold (D-WI)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagan (D-NC)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Johanns (R-NE)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kerry (D-MA)
Kirk (R-IL)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Kohl (D-WI)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
LeMieux (R-FL)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Lugar (R-IN)
Manchin (D-WV)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (D-PA)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Vitter (R-LA)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Warner (D-VA)
Webb (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)

Meanwhile, at the D.C. Pig-Ranch….

The Pentagoons, meanwhile back in DC, are expecting another 37 BILLION dollars to fall into their pockets. Telling the Senate House, it got kicked back to the House after modifications by the Senate, that not giving them more of their Purina PIG Chow would be treason and the betrayal of “the Troops” about whom the Pentagon and other warmongers care Not One Damned Bit in the first, second, third and all the way to the Last place.
The Senate House vote is expected by this afternoon, and it’s already almost noon in Washing Tundy Sea. Will the Senate do the patriotic thing, for the first time in like, forever?
Or will they do what the War Industry Lobbyists pay them to do and fork over more bread?
My prediction is that the Manufacturers of guns, bullets, grenades, rockets, trench-knives, uniforms, shrouds, coffins and Funerary Flags are going to be treating their Tame SenatorsRepresentatives to steak and lobster dinners tonight.
Meanwhile the TeaBags are out screaming about proposed increases in Health Care and more oversight of the Banking and Investment “industries”, neither of which has actually taken place yet. But not one word against the War.

Hardly surprising, as Silly Sarah had made it plain during the last election that she feels God Himself is leading the “war on terror”. Other TeaBag leaders agree, meanwhile providing cover with their Childish Street Tantrums for “supplemental” bills such as the one the House is about to pass. Our very own Tame Pigs like Douglas Lamborn already passed a “supplement” that was $4 billion more than the new figure, 33 Gigabux as compared to the earlier 37.
“Fiscal Conservatives” my left ass cheek.

War Funding in trouble? I would hope so, but I don’t think so…

The AP report is that War Funding increases were passed by the House, that’s a kind of Dog Bites Man story that’s never changed in my lifetime. Is it a call from the Propaganda Ministry to have “concerned patriots” flood their senators with requests to “get behind the troops” once more?

It’s not bloody likely that anybody in elected office will ever stand up to that baseless emotional plea that not funding for-profit private corporate wars with public money somehow puts “The Troops, Holy and Noble” in more harms way than actually starting such wars in the first place would.

The same loudmouth Hawks, especially those of the ChickenHawk species, who push funding for expanded war every Election Cycle and every Congressional Session are either curiously silent on the subject of compensating the families of the soldier-slaves when they’re destroyed either partially or completely in the course of giving their lives In Defense Of Freedo Conquering Lands and People which and whom do not actually belong under our jurisdiction…. or actively cutting any such compensation. Far less holding the Corporations that make the money from the bloodshed ever being held responsible for their crimes or even financially responsible for paying the bills on the Wars that profit them, and only them, in the way of Taxes.

They even get extra tax incentives to take part in the War Effort. How sick is that?

It would be refreshing to see, more often that is, a Senator or Representative actually stand up in Congress even in committee and demand that any increase in War Funding should be done by a raise in income tax, Specifically On Money, including capital gains, gotten from ANY so-called “defense” contract but, that’s always done by somebody on the “far left” who isn’t going to get any support from the political establishment, and the WarMonger propaganda industry will immediately call out their trusted Voter Shock Troops to make a loud noise about Treasonous! non-support for “The Brave Troops”. Do these same Fox News inspired Morons ever get out in the street and demonstrate against sending Their Own Families and Friends off to kill, die or become crippled or D) All Of The Above for the profit of Rich People who buy their way out of every such war?

Slave-soldiers, break your chains! Break the chain of your sons and now, daughters, for generations to come, being gulled into “serving the country” and Other LIES the recruiters tell them. For God’s sake, there are still people telling their kids that their Great Great Great Great Grandpa “fought and died for States Rights” and that they need to carry on the Family Tradition, but when the “tradition” is one of abject servitude and absolute unquestioning obedience to people who Tell You that they have the authority to order you around like some kind of slave… they’re not being recruited to fight for Freedom in any form. They’re being recruited to fight for Corporate Slavery, and to make people in other countries the same kind of unthinking, unquestioning Slaves.

People, wake UP! The Corporate overlords who insist that YOU fight and die for THEIR Profits, the same profits they won’t, themselves, fight and die to gain, balk at so much as giving you compensation for the damages they’ll do to YOU and to YOUR families, forever if they’re allowed to do so. They don’t “support the troops” in any way, they refuse to pay their own bills in the way of Taxes.

You’re selling YOUR kids into permanent bondage in order to give these (I’ll make up a new word) BuzzardHawks FREE Money.

The only “freedom” being fought for is the “freedom” of the Very Rich from having to pay their own way in society.

US Senate represents Insurance, Israel

Are you represented by a US senator? I doubt it. Today the Senate Finance Committee rejected Public Option amendments to the health care reform legislation; continued to vilify ACORN based on fraudulent accusations hyped the MSM; and thirty two senators signed a letter drafted by AIPAC, to urge Secretary of State Clinton to block further investigation of Israel for its crimes in Gaza based on the findings of the Goldstone Report.
 
Abolish the Senate! Does America have any use for a House of Lords?

Today five Democrats joined the ten Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee to reject a PUBLIC OPTION. The senators voting no were: Max Baucus (D-MT), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Thomas Carper (D-DE), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Charles Grassley (R-IA), John Ensign (R-NV), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Jim Bunning (R-KY), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Mike Enzi (R-WY), John Cornyn (R-TX)

Senator Rockerfeller promoted his public option saying that “the public option is on the march.” There should be more pitchforks than that on the march. Who are these rich bastards who lord over our representatives in Congress? It’s a House of Lords, representing America’s moneyed interests, against the needs of the common people.

Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga) collected signatures last week to urge the GAO to investigate ACORN. I mention this letter because of similar source of today’s letter.

Isakson and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) circulated the letter to block the UN from taking action against Israel. The other senators, among them 16 Democrats, are: Charles Schumer (D-NY), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Carl Levin (D-MI), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Tim Johnson (D-SD), David Vitter (D-ND), Evan Bayh (D-IN), Mark Begich (D-AK), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Dan Inouye(D-HI), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Arlen Specter (D-PA), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), James Risch (R-ID), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Susan Collins (R-ME), Jim DeMint (R-SC), John Ensign (R-NV), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Roger Wicker (R-MS), John McCain (R-AZ), John Thune (R-SD), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).

Do these people represent the American People? Here is their letter sent on behalf of Israel:

Dear Madam Secretary,

We appreciate the State Department publicly raising significant concerns about the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission led by Justice Richard Goldstone. We believe it is critical that the U.S. continue to work very hard to block any punitive actions against Israel that this report mentions, whether at the Security Council or other U.N. bodies. The loss of innocent lives is unfortunate wherever it occurs – in Israel or in Gaza. But this biased report ignores many of the key facts, and this should be recognized by the international community.

We commend the State Department statements criticizing the one-sided mandate directing the Goldstone report and highlighting the real causes of the war between Israel and Hamas. In particular, we are gratified that the Department has very serious concerns about the report’s recommendations, including calls that this issue be taken up in international fora outside the Human Rights Council and in national courts of countries not party to the conflict. As the United Nations Human Rights Council moves toward a resolution on the Goldstone report, we trust you and your team will denounce the unbalanced nature of this investigation.

There are many serious flaws with the Goldstone report and the investigatory process. The Goldstone mission’s mandate was problematic from the start. The fact that the mission exceeded this mandate by also criticizing some of Hamas’ activities does not diminish the problem that the vast majority of the report focuses on Israel’s conduct, rather than that of Hamas. The report further fails to acknowledge Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorism and other external threats, a right of all UN Members under Article 51 of the UN Charter. The report ignores the fact that Israel acted in self-defense only after its civilian population suffered eight years of attacks by rockets and mortars fired indiscriminately from Gaza. Furthermore, the report does not adequately recognize the extraordinary measures taken by the Israel Defense Forces to minimize civilian casualties, which frequently put Israeli soldiers at risk.

As the State Department has stated, Israel is a democratic country, like the United States, with an independent judiciary and democratic institutions to investigate and prosecute abuses. The Israel Defense Forces have a reputation for investigating alleged violations of international law and its internal military code of conduct. As a law-abiding state, Israel is in the process of conducting numerous investigations for which it should be commended not condemned.

We hope you will succeed in your efforts to ensure that consideration of the report at the current meetings of the UN Human Rights Council will not provide an opportunity for Israel’s critics to unfairly use the Council and the report to bring this matter to the UN Security Council.

Sincerely,

Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand

Senator Johnny Isakson

For the record, here also is Isakson’s letter trying to bring heat to the poverty-rights advocacy group ACORN:

The Honorable Gene L. Dodaro
Acting Comptroller General
U.S. Government Accountability Office

Dear Mr. Dodaro,

I am writing to request that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) undertake a review of ACORN, otherwise known as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. For purposes of this letter, the term ACORN shall mean the organization itself, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, and the employees of all such organizations.

Any such investigation should:

(1) Analyze the business structure and organizational management of ACORN.

(2) Analyze ACORN’s compliance with state, local and federal law.

(3) Examine ACORN’s tax structure focusing on a delineation of what activities fall under their 501(c)3 umbrella and what, if any, do not.

(4) Compile a comprehensive list of all federal funding that ACORN has received since its inception; including, but not limited to, contracts, cooperative agreements, grants, appropriations and emergency funding.

(5) Examine grants or payments for services made by ACORN, its subsidiaries or affiliates.

(6) Examine grants or payments for services received by ACORN, its subsidiaries or affiliates.

Current voter fraud investigations in several states, prior fraud convictions, and new video showing apparent illegal activity by ACORN employees suggest that at the very least the organization warrants a top to bottom investigation on behalf of the taxpayer. Taxpayers deserve nothing less than a thorough and transparent accounting of ACORN’s activities.

Al Franken in the house bada boom

Al Franken has no sooner reached Washington, that he’s fulfilling his comedic promise, no small thing. At the Judge Sotomayor confirmation hearing, Franken framed his parting question thus: he too was a Perry Mason fan, could Judge Sotomayor name the lone case which the television barrister famously lost? Giggles all around.

Surprising no one, Ms. Sotomayor was stumped. She could not name the case or the episode, though she’d claimed Perry Mason as an early inspiration for her practice of law.

Probably to step on Senator Franken’s cheap stunt, Chairman Patrick Leahy threw the question back at Franken: he’ll bite, what was the famous lost case?

“I don’t know either” said Franken, “that’s why I asked.” Bada Boom.

If Franken had looked it up on Wikipedia already, he wasn’t about to pretend to know more than a Supreme Court candidate. And if the joke got a laugh, there’s nothing gained by explaining it.

What Franken really drew out of his adversary was a concession to the shallowness of the hearing’s veneer. First, because a teevee legal case was as relevant as the other scattershot issues into which Sonia Sotomayor’s detractors were trying to mire her. And second, because all the pretense of getting-to-know-you curiosity masked nothing more than trick questions. Al Franken’s colleague expected him to know the answer because legislators only asked questions to which they knew what they wanted Sotomayor to say.

Franken played Mr. Smith Goes to Washington brilliantly, he’d asked an honest question.

And he wasn’t through. When the chairman’s microphone lost its power, Franken proclaimed that his still worked, and did Senator Leahy want to switch places?

Rod Blagojevich a Great American Hero

Governor Rod Blogojevich Blaggo BlaggovichDeposed Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich earns my nomination for great American hero. What hyperbolic laurels would fit a loudmouth buffoon? Be fair. Blagojevich brought the media spotlight to an overlooked exploit of American political cronyism: a governor’s solitary prerogative to appoint national legislators. Alright, Blago didn’t mean to. But if the little Dutch boy had stuck his Rod Blagojevich into the dike, instead of his finger, would the little pervert be any less a hero?

Had you wondered how so many otherwise quite obviously unelectable, pasty white men of entitled bearing, each of them visibly the creepiest of crooks, become unassailable political incumbents? They sneak into office aided by other white cronies. And the governor’s appointment is the fast track.

Blagojevich wanted his share in the payola, but maybe other governors have simply been more discrete. A look at just the appointments made after the formation of Barack Obama’s cabinet, turns up odors of the most dubious of machinations. In this case, those chosen were Democrats who look more like Republicans, and certainly nothing like the kind of politician which the mostly progressive American voter would have supported in the last election.

Should legislative seats be appointed by a governor? Someone has to do it I suppose. A governor is elected after all. Maybe in this instance he’s representing his constituents in choosing a senator for them.

But a recent Obama cabinet appointment episode calls that justification into question. When Obama picked Republican Senator Judd Gregg for Commerce Secretary, a deal was struck whereby the senator would only consent to the appointment if the senator’s state governor agreed to allow a Republican replacement. Who then, can be said to have made the choice of that representative?

Whether it’s a bribe paid to a governor, fundraising shenanigans, or a favor offered by the president, it’s still crooked.

The league of Southern Gentlemen cons

Senator Ted Kennedy suffers seizure at inaugural luncheonDC- Look at the old ambulance chasers!
 
Senator Ted Kennedy was EMT’d out of the inaugural luncheon, seen off by concerned friends Senators Kerry, Dodd and Hatch. Wait a minute — Senator Orrin MoFo Hatch?! Has the DC mutual admiration society no standard?

It may be that having to address your debate opponent as “the right honorable so-and-so from such-and-such” keeps disagreements from devolving into fist fights. On the campaign trail, this convivial artifice translates into referring to your rival as “my good friend.”

What does it mean, all these lawmakers, being best buds? Do they disagree on matters of principle, or is it a tomato – tomahto charade? Maybe the fundamental values of these civic minded gentlemen millionaires aren’t so far off.

If you ascribe to the notion that left battles right for the opportunity to hold the government accountable to its subjects, you already know that the difference between liberals and conservatives is more than academic. It’s not about the Federalist Papers any more. In DC today, you’re either an idealist, or you’re a crook.

We can give the Democrats their unfettered majority chance to show of what political mettle they are made. But eight years of Bush and his compliant Congress have shown the Republicans to be crooks.

Crooks are a scourge of human nature, fair enough. But do you mean to count a one among your best friends?

If Ted Kennedy were the champion he pretends, or likewise were Kerry or Dodd, they’d have kicked Orrin Hatch to the curb like the morally unambiguous cretin he is. If anyone has thwarted a Democrat’s legacy, it’s the earache-inducing reprobate Senator from Utah.

Is Roland Burris a GOP Senate ringer?

Roland BurrisIs there more to senator-aspirant Roland Burris being turned away in DC, than political theater? Illinois governor Blagojevich was caught asking for payola to decide the appointment. Did he get the money? Without asking, the DC Dems are acting like the unassuming Mr. Burris is the pay-to-play golden ticket holder. I suspect the undistinguishing features which allay our suspicions about the septuagenarian may be the very traits which interest his sponsors.
 
In boxing, it’s called a ringer.

While some Democrats are content to ask the would-be junior senator if he’d consent to be a modest placeholder until the 2010 election, I think that’s exactly what he’s intended to be, but not for the Dems. Burris is a placeholder for the GOP. The uncharismatic Burris, regular-loser of elections, is meant to remove any incumbent advantage the Democrats would hope to cultivate in the next two years. Burris would waste that opportunity, then face a Republican challenger in the next election and lose.

Who did you think was offering big bucks for the senate seat? Was someone going to pay multi-millions to put Jesse Jackson in Washington? If the Dems had dibs on the party affiliation of Barack Obama’s old office anyway, why was Blagojevich expecting that an ally would pay millions to install one particular Democrat over another?

Who would have been offering the millions, except bidders dismayed at Blagojevich’s nonpartisan disloyalty. Maybe the Democratic Party’s insufficient coffers, and the projected Republican gained foothold, is what drew colleagues to unleash investigators to nail the turncoat sumbitch politician.

Though no one’s asking such questions, Burris cuts short the proforma inquiries, about his links to the governor’s alleged graft, with mock surprise that his personal record might invite suspicion. Except, what is Burris’s public record but a trail of failed elections? He has no accomplishments other than the elections in which he played straw man or spoiler and he lost every one. Perhaps he has always been an innocent pawn. It would seem pretty damn racist to suggest the diminutive black man has never been accomplice to the scheme, even now.

No one dares be seen critical of Burris, who would be the only African American in the Senate. And the media is not about to spoil the GOP fix. Burris is in, and apparently it’s all legal. And inevitable. The best legal opinions the media want to parade before us explain that because the governor is still in office, his appointment of Burris is legitimate. Even though the crime is the very act which installed Burris.

Does that make sense to you? A bank robber gets to keep the bank’s money until he’s faced a jury of his peers? A court order could secure the monies for the bank, lest the accused gamble it all in Vegas, or score big, and return with a better legal team.

An injunction could prevent Blagojevich and partners from enjoying the fruits of their crime, until the mess is untangled. But the corporate media and the GOP have put the Democrats in the difficult position of turning Burris away.

Stop the Senate of would-be thieves!

wallstreet-bailoutCall your Band of Thieving Senators now to tell them you don’t want to give $700 Billion –more honestly likely to be $5 Trillion– to the robber bankers of Wall Street! Telephone Colorado Senators Ken Salazar at 202.224.5852 and Wayne Allard at 202.224.5941 NOW. Why not call OBAMA too! (phone: 202-224-2854) Tell them you want them to consult with at least ONE economist of repute! At least one analyst not on the corporate payroll. As he promised yesterday, Michael Moore suggests a 10 PART PLAN, only IF pressure can be brought to bear right now to stop the Senate bill.

Friends,

The richest 400 Americans — that’s right, just four hundred people — own MORE than the bottom 150 million Americans combined. 400 rich Americans have got more stashed away than half the entire country! Their combined net worth is $1.6 trillion. During the eight years of the Bush Administration, their wealth has increased by nearly $700 billion — the same amount that they are now demanding we give to them for the “bailout.” Why don’t they just spend the money they made under Bush to bail themselves out? They’d still have nearly a trillion dollars left over to spread amongst themselves!

Of course, they are not going to do that — at least not voluntarily. George W. Bush was handed a $127 billion surplus when Bill Clinton left office. Because that money was OUR money and not his, he did what the rich prefer to do — spend it and never look back. Now we have a $9.5 trillion debt. Why on earth would we even think of giving these robber barons any more of our money?

I would like to propose my own bailout plan. My suggestions, listed below, are predicated on the singular and simple belief that the rich must pull themselves up by their own platinum bootstraps. Sorry, fellows, but you drilled it into our heads one too many times: There… is… no… free… lunch. And thank you for encouraging us to hate people on welfare! So, there will be no handouts from us to you. The Senate, tonight, is going to try to rush their version of a “bailout” bill to a vote. They must be stopped. We did it on Monday with the House, and we can do it again today with the Senate.

It is clear, though, that we cannot simply keep protesting without proposing exactly what it is we think Congress should do. So, after consulting with a number of people smarter than Phil Gramm, here is my proposal, now known as “Mike’s Rescue Plan.” It has 10 simple, straightforward points. They are:

1. APPOINT A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO CRIMINALLY INDICT ANYONE ON WALL STREET WHO KNOWINGLY CONTRIBUTED TO THIS COLLAPSE. Before any new money is expended, Congress must commit, by resolution, to criminally prosecute anyone who had anything to do with the attempted sacking of our economy. This means that anyone who committed insider trading, securities fraud or any action that helped bring about this collapse must go to jail. This Congress must call for a Special Prosecutor who will vigorously go after everyone who created the mess, and anyone else who attempts to scam the public in the future.

2. THE RICH MUST PAY FOR THEIR OWN BAILOUT. They may have to live in 5 houses instead of 7. They may have to drive 9 cars instead of 13. The chef for their mini-terriers may have to be reassigned. But there is no way in hell, after forcing family incomes to go down more than $2,000 dollars during the Bush years, that working people and the middle class are going to fork over one dime to underwrite the next yacht purchase.

If they truly need the $700 billion they say they need, well, here is an easy way they can raise it:

a) Every couple who makes over a million dollars a year and every single taxpayer who makes over $500,000 a year will pay a 10% surcharge tax for five years. (It’s the Senator Sanders plan. He’s like Colonel Sanders, only he’s out to fry the right chickens.) That means the rich will still be paying less income tax than when Carter was president. This will raise a total of $300 billion.

b) Like nearly every other democracy, charge a 0.25% tax on every stock transaction. This will raise more than $200 billion in a year.

c) Because every stockholder is a patriotic American, stockholders will forgo receiving a dividend check for one quarter and instead this money will go the treasury to help pay for the bailout.

d) 25% of major U.S. corporations currently pay NO federal income tax. Federal corporate tax revenues currently amount to 1.7% of the GDP compared to 5% in the 1950s. If we raise the corporate income tax back to the level of the 1950s, that gives us an extra $500 billion.

All of this combined should be enough to end the calamity. The rich will get to keep their mansions and their servants, and our United States government (“COUNTRY FIRST!”) will have a little leftover to repair some roads, bridges and schools.

3. BAIL OUT THE PEOPLE LOSING THEIR HOMES, NOT THE PEOPLE WHO WILL BUILD AN EIGHTH HOME. There are 1.3 million homes in foreclosure right now. That is what is at the heart of this problem. So instead of giving the money to the banks as a gift, pay down each of these mortgages by $100,000. Force the banks to renegotiate the mortgage so the homeowner can pay on its current value. To insure that this help does no go to speculators and those who have tried to make money by flipping houses, this bailout is only for people’s primary residence. And in return for the $100K paydown on the existing mortgage, the government gets to share in the holding of the mortgage so that it can get some of its money back. Thus, the total initial cost of fixing the mortgage crisis at its roots (instead of with the greedy lenders) is $150 billion, not $700 billion.

And let’s set the record straight. People who have defaulted on their mortgages are not “bad risks.” They are our fellow Americans, and all they wanted was what we all want and most of us still get: a home to call their own. But during the Bush years, millions of them lost the decent paying jobs they had. Six million fell into poverty. Seven million lost their health insurance. And every one of them saw their real wages go down by $2,000. Those who dare to look down on these Americans who got hit with one bad break after another should be ashamed. We are a better, stronger, safer and happier society when all of our citizens can afford to live in a home that they own.

4. IF YOUR BANK OR COMPANY GETS ANY OF OUR MONEY IN A “BAILOUT,” THEN WE OWN YOU. Sorry, that’s how it’s done. If the bank gives me money so I can buy a house, the bank “owns” that house until I pay it all back — with interest. Same deal for Wall Street. Whatever money you need to stay afloat, if our government considers you a safe risk — and necessary for the good of the country — then you can get a loan, but we will own you. If you default, we will sell you. This is how the Swedish government did it and it worked.

5. ALL REGULATIONS MUST BE RESTORED. THE REAGAN REVOLUTION IS DEAD. This catastrophe happened because we let the fox have the keys to the henhouse. In 1999, Phil Gramm authored a bill to remove all the regulations that governed Wall Street and our banking system. The bill passed and Clinton signed it. Here’s what Sen. Phil Gramm, McCain’s chief economic advisor, said at the bill signing:

“In the 1930s … it was believed that government was the answer. It was believed that stability and growth came from government overriding the functioning of free markets.

“We are here today to repeal [that] because we have learned that government is not the answer. We have learned that freedom and competition are the answers. We have learned that we promote economic growth and we promote stability by having competition and freedom.

“I am proud to be here because this is an important bill; it is a deregulatory bill. I believe that that is the wave of the future, and I am awfully proud to have been a part of making it a reality.”

This bill must be repealed. Bill Clinton can help by leading the effort for the repeal of the Gramm bill and the reinstating of even tougher regulations regarding our financial institutions. And when they’re done with that, they can restore the regulations for the airlines, the inspection of our food, the oil industry, OSHA, and every other entity that affects our daily lives. All oversight provisions for any “bailout” must have enforcement monies attached to them and criminal penalties for all offenders.

6. IF IT’S TOO BIG TO FAIL, THEN THAT MEANS IT’S TOO BIG TO EXIST. Allowing the creation of these mega-mergers and not enforcing the monopoly and anti-trust laws has allowed a number of financial institutions and corporations to become so large, the very thought of their collapse means an even bigger collapse across the entire economy. No one or two companies should have this kind of power. The so-called “economic Pearl Harbor” can’t happen when you have hundreds — thousands — of institutions where people have their money. When you have a dozen auto companies, if one goes belly-up, we don’t face a national disaster. If you have three separately-owned daily newspapers in your town, then one media company can’t call all the shots (I know… What am I thinking?! Who reads a paper anymore? Sure glad all those mergers and buyouts left us with a strong and free press!). Laws must be enacted to prevent companies from being so large and dominant that with one slingshot to the eye, the giant falls and dies. And no institution should be allowed to set up money schemes that no one can understand. If you can’t explain it in two sentences, you shouldn’t be taking anyone’s money.

7. NO EXECUTIVE SHOULD BE PAID MORE THAN 40 TIMES THEIR AVERAGE EMPLOYEE, AND NO EXECUTIVE SHOULD RECEIVE ANY KIND OF “PARACHUTE” OTHER THAN THE VERY GENEROUS SALARY HE OR SHE MADE WHILE WORKING FOR THE COMPANY. In 1980, the average American CEO made 45 times what their employees made. By 2003, they were making 254 times what their workers made. After 8 years of Bush, they now make over 400 times what their average employee makes. How this can happen at publicly held companies is beyond reason. In Britain, the average CEO makes 28 times what their average employee makes. In Japan, it’s only 17 times! The last I heard, the CEO of Toyota was living the high life in Tokyo. How does he do it on so little money? Seriously, this is an outrage. We have created the mess we’re in by letting the people at the top become bloated beyond belief with millions of dollars. This has to stop. Not only should no executive who receives help out of this mess profit from it, but any executive who was in charge of running his company into the ground should be fired before the company receives any help.

8. STRENGTHEN THE FDIC AND MAKE IT A MODEL FOR PROTECTING NOT ONLY PEOPLE’S SAVINGS, BUT ALSO THEIR PENSIONS AND THEIR HOMES. Obama was correct yesterday to propose expanding FDIC protection of people’s savings in their banks to $250,000. But this same sort of government insurance must be given to our nation’s pension funds. People should never have to worry about whether or not the money they’ve put away for their old age will be there. This will mean strict government oversight of companies who manage their employees’ funds — or perhaps it means that the companies will have to turn over those funds and their management to the government. People’s private retirement funds must also be protected, but perhaps it’s time to consider not having one’s retirement invested in the casino known as the stock market. Our government should have a solemn duty to guarantee that no one who grows old in this country has to worry about ending up destitute.

9. EVERYBODY NEEDS TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH, CALM DOWN, AND NOT LET FEAR RULE THE DAY. Turn off the TV! We are not in the Second Great Depression. The sky is not falling. Pundits and politicians are lying to us so fast and furious it’s hard not to be affected by all the fear mongering. Even I, yesterday, wrote to you and repeated what I heard on the news, that the Dow had the biggest one day drop in its history. Well, that’s true in terms of points, but its 7% drop came nowhere close to Black Monday in 1987 when the stock market in one day lost 23% of its value. In the ’80s, 3,000 banks closed, but America didn’t go out of business. These institutions have always had their ups and downs and eventually it works out. It has to, because the rich do not like their wealth being disrupted! They have a vested interest in calming things down and getting back into the Jacuzzi.

As crazy as things are right now, tens of thousands of people got a car loan this week. Thousands went to the bank and got a mortgage to buy a home. Students just back to college found banks more than happy to put them into hock for the next 15 years with a student loan. Life has gone on. Not a single person has lost any of their money if it’s in a bank or a treasury note or a CD. And the most amazing thing is that the American public hasn’t bought the scare campaign. The citizens didn’t blink, and instead told Congress to take that bailout and shove it. THAT was impressive. Why didn’t the population succumb to the fright-filled warnings from their president and his cronies? Well, you can only say ‘Saddam has da bomb’ so many times before the people realize you’re a lying sack of shite. After eight long years, the nation is worn out and simply can’t take it any longer.

10. CREATE A NATIONAL BANK, A “PEOPLE’S BANK.” If we really are itching to print up a trillion dollars, instead of giving it to a few rich people, why don’t we give it to ourselves? Now that we own Freddie and Fannie, why not set up a people’s bank? One that can provide low-interest loans for all sorts of people who want to own a home, start a small business, go to school, come up with the cure for cancer or create the next great invention. And now that we own AIG, the country’s largest insurance company, let’s take the next step and provide health insurance for everyone. Medicare for all. It will save us so much money in the long run. And we won’t be 12th on the life expectancy list. We’ll be able to have a longer life, enjoying our government-protected pension, and living to see the day when the corporate criminals who caused so much misery are let out of prison so that we can help reaclimate them to civilian life — a life with one nice home and a gas-free car that was invented with help from the People’s Bank.

Yours,
Michael Moore

P.S. Call your Senators now. Here’s a backup link in case we crash that site again. They are going to attempt their own version of the Looting of America tonight. And let your reps know if you agree with my 10-point plan.

What kind of idiot do they take you for?

In the hands of Republicans, the filibuster seems to be a silver bullet. They used it today without firing a shot. The Democratic majority wanted to fashion some legislation, but lacked the 60 votes to stop a filibuster. As a result, no go. It now takes 60% of the Senate to pass a bill, where it used to take the Republicans only 51%. What’s going on here?

That’s a question the media won’t ask. Or answer. Someone must have polled the American public and discovered that the term filibuster is misunderstood, and can thus mean whatever the media needs it to be.

In the hands of Democrats, to filibuster is to impose partisan gridlock upon conservatives trying to help our blessed nation. How dare the Dems even threaten such divisive stubbornness?

As a Republican tool, the filibuster is a trump card, a fait accomplit. They needn’t even roll out the overnight cots for round the clock monopolizing of the microphone. Saying you’ll filibuster is threat enough to make the Dems back down.

Are civics no longer taught in high school? I remember a filibuster was a tool opponents of a bill could use to force a little reciprocity from the majority party sponsors. A filibuster meant holding the floor of the Senate hostage for as long as you and your colleagues could hold out. Hopefully provoking the sponsors of the bill to consider some concessions in the phrasing. To do a filibuster you had to be prepared for a marathon speaking session, a continuous tag team of allies holding forth on the debate until somebody dropped. It was politically risky to be seen shutting down DC just to keep your rivals from having their way. And so filibusters were always rare.

Back when the Republicans dominated Congress, filibusters were like hurricanes in Hartford, Hereford, and Hampshire, they hardly happened. The media cautioned that the political fallout would be too great for the Democrats if they should try so vaingloriously to oppose the mandate of the electorate, self-evident by the nature of the GOP having the 51% majority.

What’s become of the media’s admonitions now? Where are their words of caution to the Republican minority? What even has become of their definition of filibuster? Now to filibuster is to fire a shot across the bow, to feign showing your fangs to make your opponents back down. You don’t have to do it, you don’t have to take the heat for doing it. If the “majority” doesn’t have the margin to stop it, it’s as good as done. And the Democrats dutifully follow the choreographed capitulations and the media dutifully doesn’t question the illogic.

If my naval analogy was appropriate, let me add that the shot across the bow was not delivered by a ship of inferior firepower, it always came from the superior ship as a warning that it had come within range and would decimate its target if the lesser rated craft did not immediately heave to.