reply to post by Justin Oldham
It's worth noting that the actual number on that bailout bill is eight hundred billion dollars. The rats in the Senate added another one hundred
billion dollars in pork to pay off any and all resistors. That's the version that hte House approved of so whole-heartedly.
The real problem to be faced . . long term . . is Democratic supremacy on Capitol Hill. The GOP minority is expected to be small enough to present no
real legislative threat to the Democrats. If the Dems want to play rough, it'll be very hard for the Republicans to do little more than gum up the
works on procedural matters.
Hello? It takes 60 votes in the Senate to do anything dramatic. To get more right wing ideologues approved as judges, GOP Majority Leader Bill Frist
threatened to use a parliamentary maneuver of dubious legality - he called it the dooms-day threat - to end the Senate’s unique super-majority
requirement to shut off debate. Cloture. With VP Cheney in the chair making procedural rulings the Dems consented to a hefty number of such otherwise
incompetent judges to go on the Federal bench.
Briefly (an oxymoron for me?) the Senate’s historic 2/3rds majority requirement was not adopted until the early 1820s. It stayed that way until 1964
when in the aftermath of grief over the JFK assassination, LBJ helped mightily by Hubert Humphrey got it lowered to the current 3/5ths vote to shut
off debate - to end a filibuster. LBJ did that in order to OVERCOME the power of the Southern Democrats to BLOCK civil rights bills. In the 1980s
those Boll Weevils - ultra conservative say reactionary Southern Dems - were invited into the Republican Party by Ronald Reagan and I’m happy to
report, they went over in droves! They had found a NEW home and willing allies from which to wage their endless race war on America's blacks!
Let's be clear on one thing. The Republicans had it all their own way from 2000 to 2006. They held the House, Senate, and the Presidency. They even
managed to appoint two (2) Supreme Court Justices. If they had been united, and on the ball, we would be talking about THEIR supremacy just now.
America is a very conservative say right wing country (and excessively religious). Liberals are only called upon when the Conservatives have mucked
the system beyond repair. Then, after the fix, it's back to business as usual as soon as possible! Sweet Jesus!
Bill Clinton lost the
Congress in 1994 to Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America. That the Contract was breached matters not a whit to the true believers. The GOP could
work no mischief with the Federal judiciary because Clinton would not nominate any of their ilk. In 2000 the Senate turned up evenly divided. 50-50.
VP Cheney predictably cast the deciding vote to organize with the GOP.
Then, in May, 2001, Sen. Jeffords of VT moved to Independent status and announced he would vote with the Dems to organize the Senate. That gave the
Dems a 51-49 hold. Not exactly a "slam dunk" of George Tenant fame. The Dems lost control in the mid-term 2002 election and the GOP held a 55-45
majority going into the 2006 election. The Dems regained control of the Senate by 50-49 with 1 vote from the Independent now Sen. Sanders of VT, Sen.
Jeffords having retired. Which brings us to 2008. Note: The other Senate Independent is Sen. Lieberman of CT but Joe still votes Dem to organize (he
also keeps his Senate seniority standing). See my explanatory post above.
We suffer when the party in power does NOT have to make any compromises. That's an important thing. In the long run, we face some very real problems
if one party or the other gains total supremacy. hate to say, but we could be at that point. The Democrats are on the verge of having near total power
for a very long time to come.
Yesterday’s CBS 60 Minutes Steve Kroft interviewed some knowledgeable people who tried to explain why we are where we are. Money-wise. You can see
it at CBS.com.
A simple word meaning “it comes from something else.” Say you hold a 100 home mortgages and you want to sell them to me as a
package. You prepare yet another instrument which includes those 100 mortgages by reference and you sell me that instrument, which is a derivative.
One thing coming from another.
The Hustle. To make the sale of bundled mortgages bring the maximum buck, all the sellers offered to SWAP any bad mortgages at for a good
mortgage and naturally, charging a nominal fee. Kinda like insurance but NOT! For the seller it was pure unregulated profit. Michael Milken reborn!
For the buyer, it turrned out to be a RIP-OFF that US taxpayers are now asked to PAY OFF! To the tune of $800 b. the first installment I fear.
Rehash. A “SWAP” means that for each bad mortgage I find in the 100 you sold me, you will replace (SWAP) it for a GOOD one or pay me in cash
money. This - the SWAP - was a clever device to avoid the laws of insurance which require reporting, holding reserves and limit the amount of risk
that can be taken and so on. The totally unregulated SWAPs were totally UNFUNDED. There were NO reserves. And it is those SWAPS that are estimated to
be up to $45 t. or $55 t. Estimated because NO ONE IS LOOKING. We really don’t know who sold what to whom!
Then the over priced, oversold housings bubble burst!
The Trojan horse ARMs begun to take their (predictable) toll and more and more home
mortgagees went into bankruptcy. The buyers of the DERIVATIVES began to look to the guys who sold them the SWAPS for their promised cash.
As smart as they were, the SWAP sellers never anticipated this. In fact, the did not give a good ***-****! Reaganomics says let the buyer beware! They
- like Wachovia Bank - had not enough cash on hand or available to see them through. And basically, that is where we are today.
Don’t worry. The R&Fs* will take care of themselves. Just watch Bush43 to see what I mean. He shamelessly grovels for the moneyed class! YES, the
Dems did add $100 b. to the bailout bill but that was to help ORDINARY Joe’s save their homes. (*Rich and Famous - the top 20% of Americans. Your
gated community types. No drive-by shootings there).
Without knowing, I’d guess the total of EARMARKS that loaded the bill would not exceed $5 b. In the America of 2008, that is a NOMINAL cost! Hey,
we throw $2 b. a week away in Iraq! Ordinary citizens know they are helpless to ask why or on what. So don’t talk accountability to me.
For a real insight into the problem, see
Or you can view the movie in full screen mode by clicking the bottom button that's second from the right. Mr. Schneider Goes to Washington. Make some
popcorn and enjoy!
[edit on 10/6/2008 by donwhite]