Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Is Anti-Wall Street/Anti-Bankster Populist Rage Spilling Over To Sink Republican Pretentions?

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Will Pandit's big bankster bucks sway Arlen?

Americans have their dander up now and we're focused on who the real enemy is. It's politically-connected crooked banksters and Wall Street corporate criminals. They've wrecked the economy and driven nearly a million American families out of their homes and left millions more unemployed. But CitiGroup CEO Vikram Pandit still personally sucked up $10.8 million in 2008-- while taxpayers pumped $45 billion into his company to keep it from succumbing from his atrocious leadership and abject failure. That's nearly $30,000 a day every single day, including weekends. Excessive? America's business and political elite have led the country back into a boom-bust 1920s environment which features an unconscionably large discrepancy of what the top 2% of wealthy families have and what the rest of us have. After the 1920's FDR set about rebuilding and then strengthening the middle class. His reforms, which were viciously obstructed by the Republican minority, were the main targets of the Bush Regime and the Republican ideologues of Greed and Selfishness have left us on the doorstep of another Depression. I know the number is staggering and hard to believe, but the Finance/Insurance/Real Estate industries, which are at the root of our current economic meltdown, have spent $2,210,699,682 on legalized bribes to federal elected officials since 1990, much of it to persuade our political class to wreck society's regulatory system against the interests of their own constituents.

The biggest recipients of that $2.2 billion include influential lawmakers sitting in Congress today-- on both sides of the aisle: John McCain (R-AZ- $32,212,409), Chris Dodd (D-CT- $13,158,156), Chuck Schumer (D-NY- $12,817,946), Joe Lieberman (I-CT- $9,978,024), Arlen Specter (R- PA- $5,694,160), Mitch McConnell (R-KY- $5,001,478), Lamar Alexander (R-TN- $4,847,475), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX- $4,682,238), Max Baucus (D-MT- $4,630,243), and Richard Shelby (R-AL- $4,383,492) and Charlie Rangel (D-NY- $4,275,926), Spencer Bachus (R-AL- $3,789,474), Paul Kanjorski (D-PA- $3,176,964), Eric Cantor (R-VA- $3,119,188), and John Boehner (R-OH- $3,048,809) in the House. For those following Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan's dubious ethics, the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, scooped up $1,554,571 from this sector which he's supposed to be overseeing on behalf of the American people.

Today the GOP is reading out of the same playbook their party used in the 1930's-- and it isn't working for them. Another indication of their failure is the popular support the Obama Administration is finding for the tools it's asking for to start the process of rebuilding, once again, what the Republicans have wrecked. Big Business' jihad against working families will be dealt a severe blow if Employee Free Choice becomes the law of the land. And this morning an independent poll from Gallup indicates that Americans are not buying into the far right's anti-union propaganda.

Despite having spent millions of dollars-- some of it illegally-- on their anti-EFCA crusade, the Republican position hasn't persuaded many Americans. Democrats and Independents favor it and even 40% of Republicans aren't convinced by Big Business' lies or hysterical warnings and threats. Gallup found that 53% of Americans favor the law and 39% oppose it.


With battlelines drawn along the partisan split in Congress, much will depend on the ability of working families champions to hold onto 3 weak-knee-ed Democrats with strong Chamber of Commerce ties, Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor of Arkansas, plus Nebraska's Ben Nelson; on seating Al Franken-- which the GOP has vowed to prevent at all costs; and on holding onto Arlen Specter's support. The AFL-CIO has offered to support Specter in his bid for re-election, as they did in 2004 when he last ran for office, and the right-wing within the Republican Party has vowed to defeat him if he doesn't drop that support.
Specter has been told by several of his most faithful GOP backers in Pennsylvania that they'll abandon their support if he votes for a union-rights bill working its way through Congress, an ultimatum that carries significance both for the measure and for Specter's reelection next year.

...Allegheny County Republican Committee Chairman Jim Roddey said he's been hearing about Specter throughout the Pittsburgh area.

"If he votes for the [measure], he is going to have a real, real difficult time with the base of the party," Roddey said.

Roddey said he has spent the last several weeks meeting with Republican committees in Allegheny, where four out of five people he has spoken with have said they will vote for someone else in the primary if Specter supports the measure.

Sam Stein over at HuffPo is predicting that today's polling numbers have given Employee Free Choice backers "a big boost." Joe Biden joined other top Democrats to try-- unsuccessfully so far-- to persuade Specter to abandon the GOP and become a Democrat (again). Biden may be having more success in Arkansas, where his huge fundraising effort for Blanche Lincoln is also thought to be a help in creating momentum for Employee Free Choice. On the other hand, Republicans also have a prospective fence jumper. Dan Boren (Blue Dog-OK) is one of the most reactionary Democrats in the House and a violent opponent of the aspirations of working families, a total shill for his big corporate donors. He's already announced that he will join Republicans in opposing Employee Free Choice.

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7 Comments:

At 8:39 AM, Blogger Mod3Live said...

Since Arlen is facing a challenge from the right next time round, let's not give him any reason to run further to the right. Maybe it's time to start making nice with him - sending him candy and cards - inviting him to put a "D" after his name.

 
At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

he's my Senator.He really is between a rock and a hard place.But we here have learned he only does what works for him.

I wonder if he will retire?

 
At 11:03 AM, Blogger 333 said...

The Republicans have found their voice. They are now the Party of Whiners and NO! Sounds like a 3 year old doesn't it? Well that's their best shot.

Obama and Co. have been in office 3 months, and the Republicans expect Jesus to come to earth with a miracle cure because the longer this economy sucks like an Electrolux (no longer a US company) the more the US populous realizes they screwed the world up so badly, we barely have a chance at survival.

Of course they are going to scream bloody murder... They fucked up. Everyone is catching on.

My boyfriend said the other night, his favorite new saying is... " Oh well, too late, you're fucked..."

Sounds like the Republican party to me!

 
At 11:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

C3, your boyfriend is righton.

I think Howard Dean is a pretty unsung hero with the 50 state strategy.
If Obama really had any hormones he would add a couple of real "cabinet competitors" in Dean and Kucinich.

Libertarians!!!

 
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