Alan Grayson Was Right About The Bankster Bailout After All
Remember when we thought anyone yowling about "the Fed" was some kind of a crackpot like Ron Paul? We were supposed to think that. Wall Street invested a lot of money into making sure we would think that. Then along came Alan Grayson, who was both a Harvard-trained economist and lawyer, and he got progressive Democrats to pay attention. In the end he worked with Ron Paul and they passed legislation to audit the Fed. Some said it was too late; the great heist had already happened. But no one from Wall Street has been tried or imprisoned for their crimes and none of their DC accomplices have been inconvenienced. And now the media is starting to catch up, a little, with where Grayson was 3 years ago. Bloomberg did a good job exposing even bigger giveaways to the banksters than we feared. Last night Grayson was on Keith Olbermann's show talking about the contours of a bankster bailout that Boehner, Cantor and Ryan forced through Congress for Bush, Paulson and, most important, the Wall Street crooks who have financed their political careers and their consolidation of power.
You'll never hear about it on Fox, but it was the ability of Boehner, Cantor, Ryan and some of their cronies-- well-bribed cronies-- to twist enough Republican arms into blatantly switching votes from NO to YES that allowed TARP to pass a few days after it had failed.
Right, there wasn't one vote in the House on TARP; there were two. After Bush sent the bill that his financial team insisted on over to the House, the first vote came on September 29, and it failed, 228 against to 205 in favor. 95 Democrats and 133 Republicans just said NO to the gigantic ripoff. These NO votes came from across the political spectrum. Progressive Democrats like Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Carol Shea-Porter (D-VT), John Lewis (D-GA), John Conyers (D-MI), Hilda Solis (D-CA, now Secretary of Labor), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and Donna Edwards (D-MD) made common cause not just with Blue Dogs like Jim Matheson (UT), Collin Peterson (MN) and Gabby Giffords (AZ) but with Republicans, also from across their political spectrum-- from radical right fanatics like Bachmann, Franks, Foxx, Garrett, Mean Jean Schmidt, Pence and Hensarling to mainstream conservatives like Dent, Biggert and Walter Jones.
All hell broke lose when it failed, the Bush Treasury Department screeching that the world would end, never mentioning that by "the world" they meant their personal investment portfolios and those of all their wealthy friends. They went into high gear-- and it was all fear and fear and scare and scare until the House voted again, on an even worse bill. They put together a small team of top Wall Street-oriented Republicans who favored the bailout and told them to crack heads, twist arms, hand out Wall Street and K Street promissory notes and $150 billion in pork projects and get that bill passed. Their heroes (with the amount of legalistic bribes from the financial sector in brackets next to their names) were:
John Boehner (R-OH- $5,432,255), rewarded with the Speakership
Eric Cantor (R-VA- $5,636,715), rewarded with the Republican Majority Leadership
Paul Ryan (R-WI- $2,525,572), rewarded with the House Budget chair and a national spotlight
Roy Blunt (R-MO- $4,815,944), rewarded with a Senate seat
Spencer Bachus (R-AL- $5,076,674), rewarded with the House Financial Services Committee chair
That one was voted on a few days later, on October 3, and it passed, 263-171. There were no longer 133 Republicans voting NO. After Boehner, Cantor, Bachus, Blunt and Ryan got through with them, 25 changed their minds. Charlie Dent (R-PA) was one of them. Watch:
So which other "fiscally conservative" Republicans seeking reelection again next year voted for the TARP bailout in 2008? Here's a partial list, mostly Republicans who might be vulnerable if their constituents figured out that they voted for the bailouts while posing as opponents to them. The creeps in bold are the ones who voted NO the first time, then switched their vote under pressure from Boehner's goon squad.
Judy Biggert (R-IL)
Mary Bono Mack (R-CA)
Vern Buchanan (R-FL)
Ken Calvert (R-CA)
Dave Camp (R-MI)
John Campbell (R-CA)
David Dreier (R-CA)
Vern Ehlers (R-MI)
Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ)
Jim Gerlach (R-PA)
Wally Herger (R-CA)
Pete Hoekstra (R-MI)- running for Senate now
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
Peter King (R-NY)
John Kline (R-MN)
Dan Lungren (R-CA)
Buck McKeon (R-CA)
Gary Miller (R-CA)
Sue Myrick (R-NC)
Mean Jean Schmidt (R-OH)
Pete Sessions (R-TX)
Chris Shays (R-CT)- running for Senate now
John Sullivan (R-OK)
Mac Thornberry (R-TX)
Pat Tiberi (R-OH)
Fred Upton (R-MI)
Frank Wolf (R-VA)
Aapparently we as a society haven't learned a hell of a lot. If you'd like to help Grayson get back into Congress, you can do that here at the Blue America ActBlue page. With Barney leaving the House Financial Services Committee, we need Grayson back in there more than ever.