Saturday, May 02, 2009

the worm has turned: “The Democrats have no more excuses” | Salon

I enjoyed this take on the current state of affairs by David Sirota. Now, do you think they’ll have the moral courage to begin talking about restitution to individuals and restoration of communities before they talk about bailouts of huge entities, and being “too big to fail”?

May 1, 2009 | As counsel for the Warren Commission investigating the Kennedy assassination, Arlen Specter described a "magic bullet" that changed America. Four decades later as a U.S. senator, Specter is providing another history-altering magic bullet -- one Democrats will either fire off in a starting gun, or use in their suicide.

By leaving the Republican Party this week, the five-term Pennsylvania lawmaker eliminated the last Democratic rationale for inaction: the Senate filibuster. With Minnesota Democrat Al Franken expected to be seated soon, and now with Specter, Democrats will have the 60 Senate votes needed to overcome all parliamentary obstructions.

This legislative magic bullet will force Democrats to fulfill their policy promises and potentially commence an era of dominance, or they will fail and be annihilated at the polls.

No longer can they blame Republicans for stopping bills to reform healthcare, tax, defense and trade policy. In command of the White House, the autocratic House of Representatives, and soon a filibuster-proof Senate majority, Democrats will have total authority to do whatever they want, and no scapegoat to fault. That means, as ABC News' Rick Klein said, "This is Democrats' turn to govern, no excuses" -- and it means we're about to find out whether their pledges were genuine.

Ever since the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress, Democrats have guaranteed "real change" if we give them back control of government. They've made this pledge despite helping Republicans to deregulate the financial system and to plunge the country into the Iraq war. And at every turn, they've blamed the GOP, rather than themselves, for gridlock.

The Democrats have no more excuses | Salon

In another Salon piece, Glenn Greenwald recounts Dick Durbin’s candor a few days ago, about the bankers owning the US Congress. We haven’t heard about it or seen it anywhere else. Wonder why. Great piece, read it all.

Sen. Dick Durbin, on a local Chicago radio station this week, blurted out an obvious truth about Congress that, despite being blindingly obvious, is rarely spoken:  "And the banks -- hard to believe in a time when we're facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created -- are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place."  The blunt acknowledgment that the same banks that caused the financial crisis "own" the U.S. Congress -- according to one of that institution's most powerful members -- demonstrates just how extreme this institutional corruption is.

The ownership of the federal government by banks and other large corporations is effectuated in literally countless ways, none more effective than the endless and increasingly sleazy overlap between government and corporate officials.  Here is just one random item this week announcing a couple of standard personnel moves:

Former Barney Frank staffer now top Goldman Sachs lobbyist

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