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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bush is now a safe vote

I never thought Bush would play the role of casting a safe vote, but that’s sure what it looks like with this week’s failed attempt to loan money to the car companies. Since he’s a lame duck, and doesn’t need to raise contributions from the rich anymore, he can afford to act a little more altruistic, and maybe try to improve his public image a little bit for his legacy in the history books. I’m reminded of his father’s food aid to Africa on his way out of office.

When I say safe vote, I mean his willingness to sign the loans into law, to go along with those who voted for it. And I mean safe in terms of appealing to the general public. It might be dangerous among his base. What makes it safe is that the Senate Republicans killed it so he didn’t have to. They didn’t have a majority, but they had enough votes to block any attempt to end a filibuster.

I believe that one of the biggest problems we will continue to see with the Democrats is that they will fail to force filibusters. Independent Senator Bernie Sanders has talked about this. They need to make the Republicans actually carry out their threats, giving their long stalling speeches and pulling their all-nighters. Make the Republicans burn the midnight oil. Keep them up past their bedtime. This ought to call attention to Republican stubbornness and obstructionism in conducting the people’s business.

That being said, I’m not personally in favor of the loan package that they were negotiating. Sure it’s fair compared to what they gave the bankers, but I wasn’t in favor of that either. As I’ve said on this blog, recent legislation is showing that bankers have a lot more power than carmakers. This is consistent with the explanations in "The Web of Debt." So compared to the $700 billion bailout of the private banking cartel, also known as Bush’s final pillage, the loan to carmakers would have been more fair in helping workers keep their jobs, but I still don’t think that’s the best use of the money.

A number of smaller companies are working on electric cars, and those are much better for the environment, especially if the electricity comes from wind power. The Tesla company comes to mind, but I’ve heard there are other companies that are even better, and there are plans for cars that are more affordable. So we are still very far off from where we need to be. Congress is not spending money on the people, the money they were considering for the people was not on the right things, and they’re not doing enough to expose and pressure the obstructionists.


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