Monday, December 21, 2009

Congress marches on

Pretty much as expected, the Healthcare Bill moves on, with no public option and annoying abortion restrictions. I was disappointed -- but not surprised -- that the Medicare buy-in was scrapped, but after all, it was a challenge to the beloved health insurance industry. The Dems, once this is passed, need to take the propaganda offensive with spots touting their historic accomplishments, for certainly the Party-Of-the-Rich (POR) will continue attacking it publicly.

But now we move on to the a bill (rep. Frank) and a half (sen. Dodd) to regulate the financial industry. It looks like Chris Dodd will be the new Joe Lieberman -- defending his big campaign contributors to the death. He is one of the largest, if not the largest, recipient of bank and investment industry money. He initially signalled that he would write a bill including consumer safeguards and regulation of risky investment. But Dodd's political fortunes, at least in terms of voter support, is very dubious at this time -- partially because of his previous big-bonuses sell-out during the recent financial crisis. His financial masters no doubt see this vulnerability, and have stepped in to remind him that without their money he is toast. Once people start talking about "negotiating" with the POR you know the end to their usefulness to the public is in sight.

Look for a total cave-in by the Dems and the President on this -- won't be even close, the way it was with healthcare. The financial industry has been the angel for the new Democratic party -- the party of Goldman-Sachs, the party of FDR-not. This will pretty much guarantee the continuation of risky investments, big bonuses, crises and bailouts. Of course, we can't afford another bailout, but don't worry, the fat-cats have well-stocked larders on their yachts and many (tax-sheltered) ports of call in a storm.

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