There’s a good petition for you to sign, but first some bankster news.
In health care, lockstep Republican opposition caused months of delay, and empowered the likes of Connecticut's embittered Senator Joe Lieberman and Nebraska's compromised Ben Nelson to exact cankerous concessions to forge a super-majority.
So Washington pundits rail against bitter partisanship. Republican Senator John McCain charges that Obama is to blame for the partisan divide, even though the President wasted months while Max Baucus courted coy Republicans. Senator John Cornyn, the most rabid of Republican obstructionists, damns the partisan process as a reason to oppose the health care bill. This is akin to a gang of thieves lamenting crime in the streets.
Next year, assuming that this health care bill, like a large kidney stone, must eventually be passed, the Congress will turn to financial reform. In the House, Republicans remain in lockstep opposition, providing not one vote for a measure that would take the first steps towards limiting the ability of banks to fleece us again. But in the Senate, we may well witness not the price of partisan rancor, but the blight of bipartisan cooperation.
Senate Banking Committee Chair Chris Dodd put forth a strong legislative proposal, one far better than the administration's plan. When the Committee's senior Republican, Alabama's Richard Shelby, scorned that in an extended rant, Dodd decided to pair up Democrats and Republicans on the committee to come up with bipartisan solutions. And now reports suggest that a bipartisan plan may well be unveiled in January, with Dodd pushing for an early vote.
Hold onto your wallets. We don't yet know what is in the bipartisan bill, but we do know what has been kicked to the curb. Shelby announced one price for his cooperation: no new agency to protect consumers from financial fraud or abuse. Want Republican cooperation? Then the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency - with a mandate to police everything from mortgage fraud to preposterous bank overdraft charges - is verboten. Grateful banking lobbyists will insure him a lucrative retirement.
We continue to suffer a pandemic of bank fraud and abuse. In the housing bubble, mortgage companies rewarded brokers for peddling exotic mortgages to customers that the brokers knew couldn't afford them and didn't understand them. Now, banks are raking in record sums from overdraft charges, credit card fees, and preposterous ATM charges. Payday lenders are pocketing the equivalent of 1000% interest from the poorest working people.
The White House has sensibly championed a new agency devoted not to the health of the banks but to the protection of consumers. Already the banking lobby succeeded in weakening the proposal in the partisan House, exempting auto dealers - hell, we know they are honest, right? - and over 90% of all lending institutions, and eliminating the mandate to offer "wonder bread" or plain vanilla loans along with the exotica banks prefer to peddle.
But that was with House Republicans in opposition. In the Senate, the price of bipartisanship is to trash the whole concept. Caveat emptor, baby… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <Huffington Post>
There’s a black sheep in every family. Cousin FatCat, pictured above, is thrilled that his bankster owner will be able to keep him on a generous diet of 100% caviar, because the Repuglicans know only one definition for bipartisan: Democratic cave-in. I’m sure there will be a petition circulating on this bill, and when it surfaces, I will put it up for you. In the meantime, here’s one to tax Wall-Street speculation:
…Reckless Wall Street gambling collapsed the economy. The big bankers, like Mr. Potter, got theirs – an unbelievable $3 trillion in government help! It worked so well that Wall Street will pay out some $140 billion in bonuses this year.
But what about George Bailey and the rest of us? Where is the help for the 16 million Americans who are now out of work? The millions of unemployed facing foreclosure? The millions more teetering on the brink of personal bankruptcy?
The banks were aided on the condition that they free up credit, modify mortgages and help put America back to work. They have not kept the bargain. Tell Congress, it’s time to take some of the big bailout bucks back and pass a small transaction tax on stock market speculation to pay for new job creation. Leftover bailout funds should also be put to work creating jobs.
Please sign our New Year's petition calling on Congress and the President to "Repo the Dough" by taxing speculation and putting Wall Street to work rebuilding Main Street! And, please ask your friends to join in this petition from BanksterUSA.org and CMD, by sharing this link: http://tinyurl.com/RepotheDough.
Lisa Graves is the Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy based in Madison, Wisconsin.
Inserted from <Center for Media and Democracy>
To sign just click the link above.