David Swanson / OpEd News.com & Michael Moore – 2008-09-29 23:02:14
(September 29, 2008) — Today’s vote on the Paulson Plunder Act of 2008 may fail. It should. You should help block it by phoning your representative right now at (202) 224-3121 and promising to vote for them in November only if they vote NO on this grand larceny today. We do have a chance at winning on this and blocking this bill. Here’s why.
First, the corporatists have put a bunch of true believers in office. They thought it’d be really clever to convince people that government is evil and should shrink and that the highest good is cutting taxes. They’ve carved out a huge loophole for the biggest increaser in spending, taxes, and debt: the military. But Congress Members are notorious for not being able to think straight in the presence of tanks and waving flags. Today’s vote is not on eliminating a useful public program, and not on putting our grandchildren into debt in order to kill some foreigners either.
Today’s vote is on whether we should put our grandchildren into debt in order to give a pile of money to the same crowd that is always demanding that people be held responsible for their mistakes, and some of the money could even go to multinational or foreign billionaires. That last point picks up opposition from the true believers in xenophobia, who — when combined with the true believers in cutting taxes except for wars — make up a good chunk of the Congress.
Second, there are remnants of true belief in a principle or two in the shriveled souls of some of the Democrats too. There are those in Congress who still cling to the belief that somehow they are there to do good for people. For almost two years, Democrats have voted for blood and plutocracy because their party leaders have told them it was for the greater good. But there are some claims that even a Democrat won’t believe. In fact, some of them are actually angry about being lied to so many times by Bush and Cheney and their own party.
They’re sick of being rushed into fraudulent unconstitutional actions by imaginary emergencies, bullying, and bluffs They’re even beginning to be vaguely aware of the danger that lies in transferring the powers of Article I of the Constitution to the White House. Congress has given up the power to make laws, the power to make war, the power of impeachment and oversight, as well as the power of the purse.
This bill hands the purse to the White House, giving up all pretense that Congress serves any purpose beyond that served by court jesters. There are members of Congress whose heads a glimmer of that realization has begun to penetrate.
Third,Click the title to read the rest: hird, it’s too late for party leadership to do significant damage to a Congress member’s reelection chances as retribution for a No vote, but it is not too late for each member to significantly damage their own chances with a Yes vote. They know that, and we know that, and if we keep telling them over and over they may act on it.
Fourth, while Congress has largely accepted that the single most important question is who becomes president next, that question is not more important to any Congress member than his or her own reelection, and there is no clear way in which a Yes vote benefits one presidential candidate over another, since they both plan to vote Yes. This should leave members of the House free to vote No.
Fifth, while many Congress members are openly in the pay of the companies that stand to benefit from this biggest ever reverse bank heist, they have not been bribed to support this specific plan, and they can oppose it without necessarily giving up much of their dirty campaign income.
Sixth, the American people are sick to death of everything that has happened in Washington in the past decade. There is a huge source of political good will waiting to be tapped by those who stand up and say No to corporate socialism, no to fascism, no to George W. Bush and Hank Paulson.
• Call Washington now and make sure your Congress member is aware of this: (202) 224-3121.
The Rich are Staging a Coup This Morning
A message from Michael Moore
Date: Sep 29, 2008 10:36 AM
Let me cut to the chase. The biggest robbery in the history of this country is taking place as you read this. Though no guns are being used, 300 million hostages are being taken. Make no mistake about it: After stealing a half trillion dollars to line the pockets of their war-profiteering backers for the past five years, after lining the pockets of their fellow oilmen to the tune of over a hundred billion dollars in just the last two years, Bush and his cronies — who must soon vacate the White House — are looting the U.S. Treasury of every dollar they can grab. They are swiping as much of the silverware as they can on their way out the door.
No matter what they say, no matter how many scare words they use, they are up to their old tricks of creating fear and confusion in order to make and keep themselves and the upper one percent filthy rich. Just read the first four paragraphs of the lead story in last Monday’s New York Times and you can see what the real deal is:
“Even as policy makers worked on details of a $700 billion bailout of the financial industry, Wall Street began looking for ways to profit from it.
“Financial firms were lobbying to have all manner of troubled investments covered, not just those related to mortgages.
“At the same time, investment firms were jockeying to oversee all the assets that Treasury plans to take off the books of financial institutions, a role that could earn them hundreds of millions of dollars a year in fees.
“Nobody wants to be left out of Treasury’s proposal to buy up bad assets of financial institutions.”
Unbelievable. Wall Street and its backers created this mess and now they are going to clean up like bandits. Even Rudy Giuliani is lobbying for his firm to be hired (and paid) to “consult” in the bailout.
The problem is, nobody truly knows what this “collapse” is all about. Even Treasury Secretary Paulson admitted he doesn’t know the exact amount that is needed (he just picked the $700 billion number out of his head!). The head of the congressional budget office said he can’t figure it out nor can he explain it to anyone.
And yet, they are screeching about how the end is near! Panic! Recession! The Great Depression! Y2K! Bird flu! Killer bees! We must pass the bailout bill today!! The sky is falling! The sky is falling!
Falling for whom? NOTHING in this “bailout” package will lower the price of the gas you have to put in your car to get to work. NOTHING in this bill will protect you from losing your home. NOTHING in this bill will give you health insurance.
Health insurance? Mike, why are you bringing this up? What’s this got to do with the Wall Street collapse?
It has everything to do with it. This so-called “collapse” was triggered by the massive defaulting and foreclosures going on with people’s home mortgages. Do you know why so many Americans are losing their homes? To hear the Republicans describe it, it’s because too many working class idiots were given mortgages that they really couldn’t afford. Here’s the truth: The number one cause of people declaring bankruptcy is because of medical bills. Let me state this simply: If we had had universal health coverage, this mortgage “crisis” may never have happened.
This bailout’s mission is to protect the obscene amount of wealth that has been accumulated in the last eight years. It’s to protect the top shareholders who own and control corporate America. It’s to make sure their yachts and mansions and “way of life” go uninterrupted while the rest of America suffers and struggles to pay the bills.
Let the rich suffer for once. Let them pay for the bailout. We are spending 400 million dollars a day on the war in Iraq. Let them end the war immediately and save us all another half-trillion dollars!
I have to stop writing this and you have to stop reading it. They are staging a financial coup this morning in our country. They are hoping Congress will act fast before they stop to think, before we have a chance to stop them ourselves. So stop reading this and do something — NOW! Here’s what you can do immediately:
• 1. Call or e-mail Senator Obama. Tell him he does not need to be sitting there trying to help prop up Bush and Cheney and the mess they’ve made. Tell him we know he has the smarts to slow this thing down and figure out what’s the best route to take. Tell him the rich have to pay for whatever help is offered. Use the leverage we have now to insist on a moratorium on home foreclosures, to insist on a move to universal health coverage, and tell him that we the people need to be in charge of the economic decisions that affect our lives, not the barons of Wall Street.
• 2. Take to the streets. Participate in one of the hundreds of quickly-called demonstrations that are taking place all over the country (especially those near Wall Street and DC).
• 3. Call your Representative in Congress and your Senators. (click here to find their phone numbers). Tell them what you told Senator Obama.
When you screw up in life, there is hell to pay. Each and every one of you reading this knows that basic lesson and has paid the consequences of your actions at some point. In this great democracy, we cannot let there be one set of rules for the vast majority of hard-working citizens, and another set of rules for the elite, who, when they screw up, are handed one more gift on a silver platter. No more! Not again!
P.S. Having read further the details of this bailout bill, you need to know you are being lied to. They talk about how they will prevent golden parachutes. It says NOTHING about what these executives and fat cats will make in SALARY. According to Rep. Brad Sherman of California, these top managers will continue to receive million-dollar-a-month paychecks under this new bill.
There is no direct ownership given to the American people for the money being handed over. Foreign banks and investors will be allowed to receive billion-dollar handouts. A large chunk of this $700 billion is going to be given directly to Chinese and Middle Eastern banks. There is NO guarantee of ever seeing that money again.
P.P.S. From talking to people I know in DC, they say the reason so many Dems are behind this is because Wall Street this weekend put a gun to their heads and said either turn over the $700 billion or the first thing we’ll start blowing up are the pension funds and 401(k)s of your middle class constituents. The Dems are scared they may make good on their threat. But this is not the time to back down or act like the typical Democrat we have witnessed for the last eight years.
The Dems handed a stolen election over to Bush. The Dems gave Bush the votes he needed to invade a sovereign country. Once they took over Congress in 2007, they refused to pull the plug on the war. And now they have been cowered into being accomplices in the crime of the century. You have to call them now and say “NO!” If we let them do this, just imagine how hard it will be to get anything good done when President Obama is in the White House.
THESE DEMOCRATS ARE ONLY AS STRONG AS THE BACKBONE WE GIVE THEM. CALL CONGRESS NOW. _