portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts oregon & cascadia

economic justice

Wyden, for once anyway, makes the cut

Oregon's Senator Ron Wyden voted against the regressive, repressive Republican bankruptcy legislation. Good for him!
Here's the Honor Roll of Senators, all Democrats, who voted against the bankruptcy bill --

THE HONOR ROLL

Akaka (D-HI)
Boxer (D-CA)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Corzine (D-NJ)
Dayton (D-MN)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Harkin (D-IA)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (D-CT)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murray (D-WA)
Obama (D-IL)
Reed (D-RI)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sarbanes (D-MD)
Schumer (D-NY)
Wyden (D-OR)

from the official roll call at

www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=1&vote=00044
regarding the disgusting Senator Lieberman 15.Mar.2005 01:13

bt

From Paul Krugman in today's New York Times:

"As it happens, Mr. Lieberman stated clearly what was wrong with the bankruptcy bill: "It failed to close troubling loopholes that protect wealthy debtors, and yet it deals harshly with average Americans facing unforeseen medical expenses or a sudden military deployment," making it unfair to "working Americans who find themselves in dire financial straits through no fault of their own." A stand against the bill would have merged populism with patriotism, highlighting Democrats' differences with Republicans' vision of America.

But many Democrats chose not to take that stand. And Mr. Lieberman was among them: his vote against the bill was an empty gesture. On the only vote that opponents of the bill had a chance of winning - a motion to cut off further discussion - he sided with the credit card companies. To be fair, so did 13 other Democrats. But none of the others tried to have it both ways.

It isn't always bad politics to ... claim to support things you actually oppose: just look at who's running the country. But Democrats who engage in these tactics right now create big problems for a party that has been given a special chance - maybe its last chance - to remind the country of what Democrats stand for, and why."

-- Paul Krugman.

Now, I realize that some are going to chime in that the Democrats do NOT stand for anything. And sometimes it certainly does look like that. Nonetheless, all but Senator Lieberman and two other Senate Democrats are now standing tall against Bush's plans to privatize Social Security. And the Democrats are filibustering Bush's worst judicial appointments. Many key Democrats are also laying plans to run the best candidate they can against Senator Lieberman to get his sorry ass out of the Senate.

joe LIEberman, part 2 15.Mar.2005 06:26

"self-hating jew"

I agree, capitalist/zionist oppressors like mr. lie-berman are the raison-d'etre for antisemitism. He belongs with rush limburger and alan keyes on capitalist-hate radio, not in the senate. Zell miller with a f...ing yarmulkah. Shame on him.

Thanks for your remarks and the Krugman article 15.Mar.2005 06:32

Progressive Democrat

You are 100% correct. It is a day to live in infamy when three Democratic members of the U.S. Senate are voting against Social Security.

"A fool and his money are soon elected." -- Will Rogers

Open, Despairing Letter to Senator Reid 15.Mar.2005 09:54

Stephanie Dray

Published on Wednesday, March 9, 2005 by DailyKos

Dear Senator Reid,

Since the election, most days, I feel determined. I have become more involved, more passionate, more informed. There is no other choice--because to accept the defeat I felt the day John Kerry made his concession speech is to admit more blackness into my life than I can handle.

I don't do hopelessness and depression well. I'm a take-action person. Show me where to aim, and I'll fire. I've been proud of the work I've done since the election and I've been proud of the work you've done since becoming Minority Leader--and there have been some hopeful days.

But then there are bad days. Very bad days, like yesterday, when that Bankruptcy Bill slammed the Senate like a tidal wave, and the whole Democratic Party got swept under. Not Nader, not the media, not anybody but blogger Maryscott O'Conner seemed to have seen it until it was too late.

Senator Reid, to be frank, you must get control of your caucus. There have been three votes in the past four months that have meant a great deal to Democrats in which you got steamrolled. I know you're not going to win every battle--but you need to win one, and you need to do it yesterday.

Right now, to Democratic faithful, the situation feels like an ancient massacre. We've got our backs to the water, Hannibal's hordes are bearing down on us, and we can't even see our battle standards go up until it's too late.

I made my phone calls, I've donated, I've drummed up attention, I sent faxes, I write letters, I recruit members, I start clubs. I'm willing to do whatever you need me to do, but I have to see some progress, however symbolic.

I realize you must be skeptical of the blogsphere and the way some of us hate the Democratic Party every time you all don't vote exactly the way we want you to. But that's really just a small portion of us, as was evident in the way we analyzed the Bankruptcy amendments the other day--when it came to that one Amendment that 19 well-respected Democrats voted against, all of us kind of went 'Huh, maybe it was bad drafting'.

It's not like we can't be reasoned with if the effort is made. I know my Senators have more important things to do than to explain things to me personally, but when you let even freshman senators vote for something like this, Democrats owe the whole nation an explanation.

Some people in the blogsphere think the solution is housecleaning. Usually I think that's ridiculous. I don't want to spend my money defeating Democrats. I'm not a one issue voter. And I don't believe having a Republican in that seat that votes against my interests 90% of the time rather than Ben Nelson's 60% of the time, or whatever it is, is a reasonable trade. But I've changed my mind about primary challenges--I'm ready to start funding them after today.

Today was one of those days when the enormity of what we are up against, and our impotence, was just overwhelming to me. I won't crucify any one Senator for their vote on this issue, and I won't condemn you for failing to block this legislation. I realize that you too are up against a lot.

But please understand, you need to be cracking skulls up there. Channel LBJ--I don't care whose arm you have to twist to the breaking point. Make sure Ken Salazar is stuck with every crappy assignment from here to eternity for the kind of hubris he shows in breaking party ranks over and over again in his first four months in office. Get Leiberman on a shorter chain. Even if you have to pick a fight in order to win it, please do it.

We just can't wait much longer for a victory. We can't wait on the judges. I don't know how much more energy we are going to have under this kind of demoralization.

Senator Reid, please rethink our strategy about filibusters. If the Republicans are going to use the nuclear option, then so be it, let them use it, because if they're going to use it over bankruptcy they're going to use it on the judges too. Let them get it out of the way that much quicker so that at least there isn't even the illusion that we're participants in this national travesty.

Senator Reid, your troops are willing to fight and lose, but we're not able to tolerate defeat at our own hands over and over again.

Sincerely,
Stephanie Dray

 http://www.stephaniedray.com/

Good riddance regarding Lieberman's political influence 15.Mar.2005 12:33

Sephiroth

Not only is Joseph Lieberman a supporter of Reaganomics and the social-Darwinist economic philosophy, but he is downright reactionary on culture issues. His pro-Sharon fervor for Israel can only encourage more terrorism, and I haven't heard anything from him critical of the decision to invade Iraq. And when it comes to domestic culture, keep in mind that this guy has hosted the 700 Club in the not-so-distant past in which he complained openly about liberal cultural values (the "anything-goes mentality" as he called it) When it comes to artistic and musical freedom he is like Tipper Gore on meth. And to think that Gore and Lieberman were the Dem. nominees in 2000!!! Whatever happened to the FDRs and RFKs of yesteryear???

Democrats 15.Mar.2005 19:31

George Bender

Copied from another thread, which got pushed off the newswire so probably no one read this:

DT: "Here we go again, George. Kerry did NOT vote for cloture."

You've got me confused with someone else. I didn't write that.

Clinton raised taxes on the rich, balanced the budget and expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit for poor people. The minimim wage was raised to a still very low level. His reign was marked by higher employment, but I don't know that he had anything to do with that, and it turned out to be a bubble. What it meant for me was that I could find a shitty, low-paying job. He tried to do something about medical insurance, but his and Hillary's plan was a complicated mess which pandered to the insurance companies and hardly anyone understood, which probably had a lot to do with it being shot down.

So all that is the "positive" side.

On the negative side, there was NAFTA. The budget was balanced partly on the backs of poor people through cuts in safety net programs. Clinton finally lost my vote when he signed the so-called welfare reform bill in 1996, which abolished welfare as an entitlement program and put a five year lifetime limit on it. Clinton also failed to do anything to help unions. Federal anti-union laws have made it almost impossible to organize new unions in the private sector if the employer opposes the effort.

Clinton and Gore came into office determined to drag the Democratic party to the right. It was no secret and was widely commented on, favorably, by columnists. The result was that both the Democratic and Republican parties moved right, pulling the effective "center" of American politics to the right, where it still is. And will remain, as long as Democratic voters select conservative Democrats, like Kerry, in the primaries. Plus the Democrats will keep losing.

As for Kerry, I found nothing visionary in his platform. He supported the war. His jobs program was tax credits for corporations. His medical insurance program was more tax credits for corporations. Incremental change, no bold moves that might inspire anyone, God forbid, nothing that I thought might actually make my life better, or the lives of people I know. Nothing in it for me.