Saturday, December 11, 2010

Gracchus loquitur!

Meanwhile, ‘‘in da Senate’’:

‘‘His bank was bailed out big time by the taxpayers. But under the legislation the President negotiated with the Republicans [he] will receive $1.1 million in tax breaks. So $1.1 million in tax breaks for a major CEO on Wall Street, who over the last 5 years received $89 million in total compensation.

  ‘‘Meanwhile--just to contrast what is going on here--2 days ago, I brought before the Senate legislation which would provide a $250 one-time check to over 50 million seniors and disabled veterans, who for the last 2 years have not received a COLA [cost of living adjustment] on their Social Security. Many of those seniors and disabled vets are trying to get by on $14,000, $15,000, $18,000 a year . . . .   Because the Republicans filibustered, I needed 60 votes. I could not get 60 votes. I could not get one Republican vote to provide a $250 check to a disabled veteran trying to get by on $15,000 or $16,000 a year.’’

Light posting lately as I focus on finals.  I particularly lament the absence of posts on the readings for the daily Mass.  In my absence, I leave you with the Mr. Smith Goes to Washington goodness of Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the only socialist ever elected to the U.S. Senate--and a democratic socialist of whom  Eugene V. Debs would be proud.

The first link is to the text of Sanders' impassioned eight-hour long old-school filibuster of the recent tax compromise, from which comes the text quoted above.  I don't agree with every element of Sanders' analysis, but the overall sentiment is righteous and magnanimous.  

The second link is to Sanders' recent attempt at economic common sense, the ‘‘Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Exist Act,’’ a masterpiece of brevity in legislative draftsmanship--it's only seventeen lines long!--that will sadly but surely die in committee.

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