Ah, for the days of Jimmy Stewart's impassioned Mr. Smith fighting the cartoonish power structure in the halls of Congress for his boys' camp. A Hollywood melodrama of pure good versus pure corruption, and after Mr. Smith gives his speech millions of young boys mobilize to make Mr. Smith's dream a reality. What would it take to mobilize today's X boxed Ritalin generation?
Democratic Representative Anthony Weiner gave his Stewartesque speech the other day on the floor of the House of Representatives calling for support of a bill to fund the continuing healthcare needs for 9/11 responders. All of this would have been completely unnecessary if our country had built a socialized medicine infrastructure instead of this corporate private-payer system. The injured and the families of the injured would not have to wring their hands and tearfully beg that someone, some charity or some politician would take up their cause and offer the benevolence to assist them.
There is something sick, perverse and moldering about this sound-stage melodrama called legislation in the House of Representatives. The 9/11 aid was intentionally attached to a tax increase on offshore corporate profits. In short, this bill was crafted by the Democrats to lose. By attaching corporate tax increases to 9/11 healthcare aid the House and the Democratic Party are attempting to use the sick and the disabled to score election year points.
It is a replay of the Simpson's episode where federal aid to defend Springfield from being destroyed by a comet was torpedoed when a senator attached a ten million dollar rider supporting the perverted arts. In Springfield it was funny; in Washington it is a shameful display of inept partisan election year politics.
For several months aid to the unemployed was used as a political football. Democrats blamed Republicans but it was Democrat Ben Nelson who blocked the initial proposal. What penalty or retribution did Nelson suffer at the hands of his Democratic colleagues for putting the unemployed through this long trauma? Nothing, nothing at all, he's still good old Ben. He votes with the Republicans when we need him to and that's why they love him. Let the guy in the safe seat vote with the other side and then we can blame it on the Republicans.
I am a lifelong Democrat and currently in our party there is a move to silence the critics of the President. The hang-around-the-fort guys offer to us that we had better support the President and the Democrats in Congress because we're better than the other guys. I'm sorry, but I'm off the reservation and I'm not going to accept this bullshit that is supposed to be better than the other guy's bullshit! This is not the party majority you're tinkering with. It is the public's belief in Democracy as a system.
Making Jimmy Stewart speeches might make for good sound bites for Mr. Weiner on the six o'clock news, but stepping into the well to make that speech knowing before breakfast that the bill would never pass is a fraud perpetrated on the American public and cynically perpetrated on the 9/11 responders needing help.
So Anthony Weiner took to the well and shouted and screamed and made his neck bulge. But by tying it to ending a tax loophole it was obvious that all the Republicans and some of the Democrats would vote against it. Then, just to make sure that it didn't pass by accident, Democrats used a procedural move requiring a two-thirds vote for passage. The Republicans didn't defeat this legislation, Nancy Pelosi and the house leadership did. If these fraudulent, unconvicted career criminals want my vote then they need to do something to earn it.
The people in this country find themselves in the worst crisis since the last Great Depression and the Democrats in Congress think playing games is the answer? The President yesterday announced government loan guarantees to help Ford sell 200,000 more cars in Canada and Mexico. Ford Motor Company has been selling cars in Canada since 1904. Why does it need loan guarantees now?
Admittedly, it is only a $250 million project and by government standards that's peanuts. The President is quite proud of it and the Import-Export Bank will finance it. The Import-Export Bank was chartered by executive order in 1934 by you-know-who. Its stated purpose is to arrange financing and insure foreign purchases of United States' goods for customers unable or unwilling to accept credit risk. The mission of the bank is to create and sustain U.S. jobs by financing sales of U.S. exports to international buyers.
What this program is doing is putting up to $250 million in loan guarantees to facilititate the financing of $3.1 billion of export sales for over two hundred thousand vehicles being sold to buyers in Canada and Mexico. These guarantees will be, in effect, co-signing the loans with foreign buyers on their car note. These aren't new markets or risky ventures; this is corporatizing of public debt. It is a government program to insure against corporate loss at public expense, good old American fascism and the President is proud of it.
Ford will share in $2.3 billion in clean energy manufacturing tax credits.
Ford has been approved for $5.9 billion in Energy Department loans to transform factories in five states to produce fuel-efficient vehicles.
Ford received a $62 million grant for a program for accelerating manufacturing of next-generation electric vehicles.
The 9/11 responders must suffer while Anthony Weiner does his Jimmy Stewart impression.
One million unemployed were forced to wait for weeks living in fear that their unemployment benefits would not be reinstated.