Government Shut Down Kabuki Theatre

The crisis loams, the doors close shut, people dependent on government paychecks whirl like dervishes in panic wondering how they will pay for food and shelter. An hour before the clock strikes twelve, when all turn into pumpkins, a deal is struck to not shut down the government.

A deal has been reached between U.S. President Barack Obama and congressional leaders on a budget plan for the rest of this fiscal year that would avert a government shutdown, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Friday.

What was thrown to the lobbyists to make it at the last hour? It appears part of the agenda to destroy the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, now known as the Consumer Financial Bureau, was added as a rider to the 2011 budget.

Trust a financial sector lobbyist to bring both sides together. We all know the banks don't want any agency whatsoever trying to enact consumer protections.

Just today Elizabeth Warren said the Republican agenda against the Consumer Financial Bureau was all about benefiting the banks:

Republican lawmakers are doing Wall Street’s bidding by trying to restructure the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s funding and leadership, Obama administration adviser Elizabeth Warren said today.

There Goes Another Populist - Senator Jim Webb, Virginia, Not Running in 2012

There goes another vote for the U.S. middle class. Senator Jim Webb won't run for the Senate in 2012. The press is prattling on, claiming the reason Webb isn't running is because he might lose the 2012 election. I don't think so. I suspect he's just tired of the Washington B.S. Here is Webb's statement:

Five years ago this week, on February 8, 2006, I announced my intention to run for the United States Senate. We had neither campaign funds nor a staff. We were challenged in a primary, and trailed the incumbent in the general election by more than 30 points in the polls.

Over the next nine months we focused relentlessly on the need to reorient our national security policy, to restore economic fairness and social justice, and to bring greater accountability in our government. I will always be grateful for the spirit and energy that was brought into this campaign by thousands of loyal and committed volunteers. Their enthusiasm and sheer numbers were truly the difference in that election.

Did you think in 2008 you would read this headline, "Democrats about to pass Bush Era Tax Cuts"?

Democrats control the Senate. So, did you ever imagine this headline from Business Week, Senate Set to Pass $858 Billion Bush-Era Tax Cut Measure Today:

The U.S. Senate today is poised to pass President Barack Obama’s $858 billion proposal to extend Bush-era tax cuts for all income levels, cut payroll taxes and extend expanded jobless benefits.

Senate Gives Away the Rest of the TARP $350 Billion

Senate gives away more money

There is no anything to give the money directly to homeowners. We have only Larry Summers claiming to ease foreclosures.

That means nothing. They can claim almost anything would help homeowners when in fact the money goes directly to banks where as it is we have no accountability.

more details

Republican Sen. Vitter:

There's been mistake after mistake, embarrassment after embarrassment, and a complete lack of accountability in the TARP program," said Vitter. "The American people are not going to be fooled twice ... I urge all of my colleagues not to be fooled again, to say no to an open checkbook.

Obama wants the other $350 Billion of the TARP

My, my. Now Congress is going to approve handing over yet another $350 Billion dollars, the second half of the original $700 Billion, to have it ready for when Obama is sworn into office.

There are promises of better accounting.

A vote is expected this week.

Is this insane when so many said there are much better and more importantly cheaper ways to assist financial institutions, many written about on this site?

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., said Sunday that lawmakers were assured there would be fuller accounting of the money spent on the bailout. Banks and other financial institutions have received billions from the government with few rules, and most won't say where the money has gone.

The Hypocrisy of Democrats in Offshore Outsourcing Rhetoric

On Real Clear Politics is the article, Offshoring is One Sure Thing.

Barack Obama's pick for commerce secretary, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, vows to create millions of technology jobs that can't be outsourced. Sounds good, particularly in this melting economy.

On the other hand, Richardson supports expanding the H-1B visa program, which had greased the departure of good-paying tech jobs to lower-wage countries. The program lets U.S. companies employ up to 65,000 temporary foreign software designers, engineers and other skilled professionals a year.

Wal-Mart - Retail Political Lobbyist

Well, I'd say this is a good sign for believing in Democrats. Thanks Wal-Mart for that inside tidbit!

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is mobilizing its store managers and department supervisors around the country to warn that if Democrats win power in November, they'll likely change federal law to make it easier for workers to unionize companies -- including Wal-Mart

The Nation, Greider on Gomory, Dem Policy

This is a very critical article, written in April, 2007 The Establishment Rethinks Globalization. by William Greider. It covers Gomory and the attempts to interject sanity into US trade policy.

Gomory's critique has great political potential because it provides what the opponents of corporate-led globalization have generally lacked: a comprehensive intellectual platform for arguing that the US approach to globalization must be transformed to defend the national interest. Still, it will take politicians of courage to embrace his ideas and act on them. Gomory's political solutions are as heretical as his economic analysis