Senate Has One Standard for Wall Street and One Standard for Main Street

Ryan Grimm of Huffpost is reporting a double standard has formed in the Senate thanks to the Democratic leadership. Apparently when it comes to the confirmation of Wall Street favorite Ben Bernanke, Democratic leadership is fine with a 50 vote threshold to shut off debate (cloture) of the nomination but when it comes to something like REAL health care reform the vote threshold is 60 votes. What it comes down to is who is buttering your bread?

If it is good for Wall Street then its 50 votes. If it is bad for Wall Street (and private health insurance industry) then its 60 votes. So what is going on? Let's just say it isn't a Profile in Courage:

Democratic leaders in the Senate are asking colleagues who are reluctant to support Bernanke's nomination for a second term as Federal Reserve chairman to nevertheless vote with them to end a filibuster and allow a vote on the actual nomination. The reluctant members would then be free to vote no to express their displeasure. Several Democrats have committed to just that and others are considering it.

The public health insurance option was stripped from health care reform because it didn't have 60 votes. An expansion of Medicare took its place but it, too, was dropped for having fewer than 60. Both proposals had at least 50 votes. Dawn Johnsen, a nominee to head the Office of Legal Counsel, has the backing of progressive organizations, but a 60-vote threshold has held her up for a year.

When its convenient for Democrats and the Wall Street/corporate benefactors 50 votes is the new hurdle. But when it comes to providing Medicare for All - its 60 votes. Chris Bowers does a good job of calling out Senate Democratic leadership:

The double standard at play here is that some Senators want to make it look like they opposed Bernanke, but don't actually intend to stop Bernanke. By contrast, some of these same Senators will actually use the filibuster to block the public option, and don't want to make it just look like they are opposing the public option.

This is a good example of how some Senate Democrats use process issues, such as the filibuster, to make to appear like they are on your side, even when they are not:

1. When they don't actually want to stop something the grassroots wants to stop, some will vote against final passage, but vote to invoke cloture. They will claim "hey, I voted for change at the Fed," even though they sided with Bernanke on the most important vote--the one for cloture.

2. Alternatively, when they want to oppose something progressives want, but don't want to make it appear like they opposed it, they will say "hey, there aren't 60 votes," without saying which votes are unavailable or batting an eyelash about the hypocrisy with the first bullet point.

For non-partisans ignore the words "grassroots" and "progressives" and substitute "middle class families". Don't be fooled neither party, particularly the leadership, is concerned about Middle Class Families.

Just think the Supreme Court last week said the money doesn't corrupt. What fucking bubble is Justice Kennedy living in?

More on that and the crap that the White House is trying to pull coming up later.

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This is just pathetic

I agree too, magically everything now requires 60 votes, yet somehow in the past the Senate could work just fine with 50 votes....

yet here we are with 4 serious holds, a whole lot of questions and Bernanke refusing to say who received $2 trillion dollars in loans, never mind ignoring missing the entire housing bubble and fighting against a CFPA, and wala, it's 50 votes instead.

I'm really starting to think we need impeachment trials for a lot of Senate members. This is so obviously corrupt...

also as far as health care goes, I am strongly leaning against any agenda, any legislation, any bill that cannot be written in 100 pages or less. Doesn't it seem like anything with the title comprehensive in it is guaranteed to be loaded with corporate lobbyist written agendas?

Seriously. How about taking each good idea, starting with making it illegal to deny insurance to those with pre-existing conditions and just pass each one separately.

Same with Financial reform. Break it down, pass each main reform point separately.

Not only does this put each Rep. on the record on each very specific issue, it stops the hiding of corporate lobbyists, special interests agendas buried deep within miles and miles of legislation that even the more seasoned geekies cannot get through....or at least do one read before it's too late to point out all of the loopholes.

Notice on the House Financial reform bill. Many made valiant attempts to read and analyze the bill. Only one reporter made it through the entire thing and he too did not discover all of the exceptions and loopholes.

I tried like hell, must have spent 2 entire days on it and I only identified 2 of the 4 major derivatives loopholes in the actual legislative text.

Another thing that would do, on these 60 votes for cloture...
let them filibusterer. Let those who wish to block something like making it illegal to deny health insurance benefits to those with pre-existing conditions stand up and filibusterer. Put it on TV and cherry pick out the diatribe.

I can hardly wait until Harry Reid is defeated frankly...
except for the fact we're going to get a corporate representative of course with the label GOP flavoring.

Somewhere on EP I said

that I wasn't prepared to regret voting for Obama. Well, after yesterday's show I can comfortably say that I regret voting for Obama. Conservatives were calling him the Manchurian Candidate. Well from my perspective he is the Manchurian Candidate on the right - he is channeling way too many neo-liberal policies.

Now, he is a deficit hawk - give me a break. Deficits didn't matter for Reagan, Bush I or Bush II. Deficits ONLY matter when it comes to using the instruments of government to help working class families.

Let me publicly apologize to Congressman Dennis Kucinich. I should have wrote your name in on the ballot in 2008. - Financial Information for the Rest of Us.

Did you read Krugman today?

He quotes a reporter saying in email:

I feel like an idiot for supporting this guy

I like Kucinich. I vote for him every time in the primaries...yet he too has his insane moments that make zero economic sense. But yeah, he was the only thing even close to a Progressive on the primary ballot.

Every single one of them sucked big wankers to me which is yet another reason I moved to having EP around...instead of really participating. I think I wrote 2, count 'em, "requested" blog posts for campaigns, although I do like Grayson. I think he's trying damn hard and ya now, he's had a few missteps, obviously blog culture doesn't work out too well in the House of Representatives sometimes...
on the other hand, we can say things like "are you shittin' me" and F word laden diatribes which considering the state of things...well, it's pretty damn appropriate.

Anywho, because we have such absolute bullshit, now both parties, including shocking and amazing economic fiction presented as fact.....

I feel more devoted to EP than ever. I want to build up this site, for as expected we do have both wings of the same corrupt bird going on here and so little policy based on what is really happening, and correct responses to what is happening.

I didn't have to read him

I have been so angry since last night when I heard about the bullshit attempt at deficit reduction. Earlier in the day we get this "Middle Class Relief Package" that was far from bold. This is the best that Biden's Middle Class Task Force had to offer! Then came this bullshit "freeze" and I watched Bernstein try to defend this stuff on Rachel Maddow's Show. That was enough for me to say he is too neo-liberal for my liking. - Financial Information for the Rest of Us.

WSJ has nice table of votes, currently 52 Yes on Bernanke

here, which validates even further this crap on removing 4 holds, not 1, not 2 but 4, which requires 60 votes.

It's a nicely formatted table so you can quickly scan who's where what with their vote and past votes on Bernanke.

I personally am getting very tired of swimming through Bernanke testimony that gives no facts, no accountability, ...I'm sorry this is just stonewalling on a host of very expensive issues....$2 trillion friggin' dollars for one.

Bernanke vote today

It's unclear if they did just the 50 votes or bought off Senators to invoke cloture (which is probably what has happened)....

Sigh, why do I feel like I'm in Bush part 3?

It's worse than Bush

At least with Bush, you knew he would protect Wall Street and corporations - it's in repuglican DNA.

A lot of people voted for Dems, especially for Obama, expecting that they would fight for families - NOPE. - Financial Information for the Rest of Us.


Honestly I don't know but after ferreting out econ. stats, facts, theory on a range of topics....I firmly believe we have a lot of corporation representation generally and one could see it, I mean one of the major campaign funders for Obama was hedge funds.

So, what we need are real representatives who are sticking to the facts and responding accordingly instead of sweeping general rhetoric that doesn't match the economic stats.

There are a host of Dems who claim to be "for the middle class" who are in fact selling them down the river. Chuck Schumer is one of the worst...

He wrote a book that was complete fiction and Biden? ha ha he's "for the middle class". Now Bernie Sanders, Byron Dorgan are really "for the middle class" and their bills which of course are sent to committee to die...prove it.

I mean we have literally policy, legislation being presented as for the U.S. middle class that statistically is showing, along with the theory it will hurt the middle class.

Honestly one of the worst offenders on this are those special interest "no human is illegal" or whatever unlimited migration/open border groups. It's well documented illegal labor represses wages, as does any large sudden increase in labor will, it's just the way supply/demand labor laws work...

We also have the U.S. chamber of commerce others spinning all sorts of labor arbitrage agenda as "for the middle class"...

and I'm sorry this is not in reality, and we need policy that takes reality into account.

I mean this Stimulus, so much of it went offshore, quite a bit as well as no-bid contracts. There were some in Congress who tried to get these "sieve holes" plugged up and of course met with great resistance. Remember the screams on "buy American" was "protectionism"...well, these idiots, this is taxpayer money to temporarily stimulate a domestic economy....what the hell do they think that's about? Of course you need "protectionism" for the very economy you're trying to jump start...

I mean just absolutely insane.

probably a follow through on this should be

playing the Populist game of claiming they voted against Bernanke yet magically voted for cloture. If they voted for cloture and voted against him, at this point I would claim that doesn't quite count.

Myself, I really was on the fence for some time on Bernanke but I got plain pissed off swimming through his diffusion, statements that said absolutely nothing or did not answer the question. i.e. Stonewall Ben. I'm sick to death of this crap because derivatives and this amazingly complex shell game with CDSes/CDOs and financial dependencies is so confusing....just trying to get to the bottom of the real causes of the financial meltdown is hard enough, one doesn't need to add an additional layer of bullshit frankly.

Wall Street wins again.

Bernanke wins nomination 70-30 - the most No votes in history. Thank you Mr. President.

The Era of NO Accountability Continues! - Financial Information for the Rest of Us.