An Important Vote


For my part I think that capitalism, wisely managed, can probably be made more efficient for attaining economic ends than any alternative system yet in sight, but that in itself it is in many ways extremely objectionable.

John Maynard Keynes, The end of laissez-faire (1926)

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Viddy of the day, a short talk by Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, talking about the Ohio angle on Wall street reform, job creation and the Disclose act.

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For all the news out today about the wikileaks documents, I figure that the rest of the world has an eye on that, I’ll hit another subject tonight.  Tonight’s article is about the election campaign reform bill known as the disclose act, which will be voted on by the senate tomorrow. 

This looks, on it’s face like the Democrats are trying, and successfully at that, to tar the Republicans as being pro-special interest money.  Because standing against this bill essentially means that the Republicans are against reforming the negative big corporation impact on elections in a positive manner.  And what it looks like now is that the big money interests in the GOP are more interested in keeping the spigots open and pouring into everyone’s pockets, rather than cleaning up the mess that corporate interests insert into the legislative process.

Why do I say it looks like that? Well it is expected that the Democrats will not have the votes necessary to get this past a cloture vote, meaning this bill will in all likelihood face yet another filibuster by the Party of HELL NO WE DON’T CARE ABOUT ANYTHING BUT THE REPUBLICAN AGENDA.  I have heard no word on the three senators who would be most likely to vote for a democratic measure, Sens. Snowe, Collins and Brown, of Maine and Massachusetts, respectively. One presumes that no word here mean no vote for this bill from them tomorrow.

Mind you, the bill itself is not perfect.  The Kucinich amendment has been stripped out, and the NRA gets a special exemption.  The  Kucinich amendment would bar companies that drill off the continental shelf from engaging in political activity.  One would think that would have some traction, seeing how that would preclude BP and their ilk from getting in the political process. But it was tossed in the name of political expediency, i.e., the Republicans would not go for that in any way shape or form, and the author of the senate version of this bill, Sen. Schumer of New York knows this.  Chuck isn’t stupid, and if that one amendment guarantees no Republican will support the bill, then it becomes, at least at this stage of the legislation, politically untenable.  You have to do what you can to get a bill on the floor that both sides will have some interest in, and that is why the kucinich amendment dies before it gets a chance. 

Maybe in conference if we get lucky and this thing passes, we’ll see it again. 

BTW, the resistance to this bill comes with the usual foreboding lies from the republicans, this time they claims what is at stake here are YOUR first amendment rights.   Bullshit.  Like YOU have billions of dollars to throw around, and YOU are the one who won’t be able to give tens of millions of dollars to sway the minds of Senators, Representatives and the general public to do things YOU want done. 

Silliness.  Those who are trying to instill this false fear of loss of first amendment rights into you want you to defend the right of conglomerates to control political messaging.

To read about the bill, find out for yourself, and also to read the actual bill itself, click here.

The vote is expected at 2:45 pm Tuesday.  To watch it on c-span2, click here to watch

If, as expected, the Disclose act does not get past cloture, the Lemiuex-Landrieu amendment, a bipartisan amendment that creates a program that provides small banks with incentives to lend to small businesses, will continue to be discussed on the senate floor.

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The introduction of a substantial Government transfer tax on all transactions might prove the most serviceable reform available,with a view to mitigating the predominance of speculation in the United States.

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Thus public works even of doubtful utility may pay for themselves over and over again at a time of severe unemployment, if only from the diminished cost of relief expenditure.

John Maynard Keynes, The general theory of employment interest and money 

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That’s about it America.  Hope your Monday was great, I’ll write you again tomorrow.

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