Saturday, January 31, 2009

Claire, You Had Me at "Idiots"

"We have a bunch of Idiots on Wall Street who are kicking sand in the face of the American taxpayer." Sen. Claire McKaskill, (D) Missouri

For the past eight years, the behavior of a whole lot of Democrats in the House and Senate has infuriated, exasperated, or disappointed me. Their wimpiness, even in the face of the Bush Administration's unprecedented unpopularity, has been confounding beyond the normal head-scratching.

At nearly every instance, even after their victory in 2006, they've howled and yowled and ranted and raved, and said everything we long-suffering Democrats have wanted to hear--and then they've turned their backs on us and voted against any notion of common sense, against any hint of common good.

They did it in October, 2002, when 26 Democratic senators voted FOR Bush's war in Iraq. They did it again when they caved on the FISA laws, grumbling pitifully little while giving Bush the authority he so craved. And late last year they did it again when they approved hundreds of billions of dollars worth of bank bailouts without asking for either a reckoning or a receipt.

I'm not the only one wondering why Our Good Dems had to wait until Obama sat down in the Oval Office before they could get their guts back. They're an odd bunch. We know that. But every now and then one or more of them will do us proud. Yesterday was Claire McKaskill's day. Her finest hour came in the senate as she lashed out at the "idiots" who actually thought it was okay to reward themselves with huge parties, huge bonuses and huge airplanes paid for by America's taxpayers. (Lord knows where they got that idea.)

Here she is:

The Cap Executive Officer Pay Act of 2009 that McKaskill is hoping will pass is short and oh-so-sweet. Here it is in it's entirety.

So, okay, this makes me very happy. I'm happy. Even though I'm thinking the $400,000 cap, heavy symbolism aside, would seem more like a huge reward than a terrible punishment to most of us.

But let's go back to October 1, 2008 for a minute. Remember the day the bailout vote came up? Only 9 (nine) Democratic senators voted "no", and Claire McKaskill wasn't one of them. So, impassioned as she was, as deliciously pissed as she seemed to be. . .don't we have to wonder if a whole lot of that rage wasn't directed at herself? I mean--what did those senators think the bankers would do with a no-strings, manna-from-heaven windfall like that?

They're money men. They spend. They don't share. So how about remembering that the next time those creepies come a'crawling?



  1. What will the Senate do with the Stimulus Bill?

    I've been watching Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R - Texas) debating John Kerry (D - Massachusetts) debating the economic stimulus bill and it's related problems with bipartisanship on MEET THE PRESS. Needless to say, Kerry is pushing for jobs, education and infrastructure employment. Hutchinson is pushing for tax cuts, of course, and is threatening another 100% Republican pullout. What stuck in my mind, however, was her statement that the Infrastructure has been well-funded so far and is not a problem.

    This caught me by surprise (but not, apparently, host David Gregory who seemed much more interested in trapping Kerry in a statement on Thomas Dashiell's tax situation.) I'll have to wait until they post the video online to catch the statement again, but I'm pretty sure our highways and bridges have not had strong Federal support and the infrastructure is falling apart. One of the reasons is the last 8 years of tax cuts pushed by the Bush Administration and six years of it with a Republican controlled Congress that threw away a surplus and cut the taxes and, finally, lost billions of dollars on war spending - read borrowing from China, etc. - and other throwaways. But Hutchinson thinks the infrastructure is covered, and let's cut more taxes.

    The Republicans got us into this mess and they seem insistent on keeping us in it, despite Obama's visibly forward approach to working with them.

    Give me a break. Jobs are disappearing in the tens of thousands (I just found out that I will probably lose my part-time teaching gig at the end of the term, so I'm back with the crowd having been jobless more than once in the last three years) and the local business economy is shrinking from area to area. Retirement funds are disappearing in big bites as 401(k)'s have their investments shrinking from month to month.

    So what will the Senate do with the Stimulus Bill? Tune in next week.

    Under The LobsterScope

  2. The Republicans have learned over the years that if they say something long enough and hard enough it'll become fact. Enough of their stooges will pick it up and carry it further, and pretty soon you'll have millions of people believing the earth is flat and our bridges and highways and electrical grids are in terrific shape.

    Well, that was then and this is now. There's no denying this country is in terrible shape and the Repubs are in for a real shaking-up. Nobody buys their bull anymore.

    The last thing we need is more tax cuts. The first thing we need is a white-glove inspection of all the infrastructure problems that were ignored and abandoned for the last 12 years.
    And we surely don't need the David Gregory's of the world diverting our attention away from the problems we're going to face for years to come.
    Tom Daschel, unfortunately, is another story, but if they were there to debate the Stimulus Bill, a real moderator would have stuck to the issue and held their feet to the fire.
    I'll go and read that transcript when it's out, too. Thanks for commenting. I'm sorry to hear about your job woes. It's really no consolation to know that there are legions before you and even more to follow.


I welcome your input and want to keep this as open as possible, so I will watch for and delete comments that are spam, vicious or obscene. Trolls not welcome. We're all adults here.