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View Diary: The Bankruptcy Bill, Examined (240 comments)

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  •  Bribery Based Initiatives (4.00)
    I posted this in response to Maryscott's earlier thread, so here it is again.  Go here for the diary-

    30Damn Pieces of Silver

    Today Maryscott OConnor wrote a wonderful diatribe about the bankruptcy bill. The gist was simple- these evil bastards are selling out Mr. and Mrs. America to their corporate masters.  

    Maryscott's Outrage DuJour

    Yesterday Armando wrote an equally strong diary about Democrats and staying in attack mode, rather than trying to "play nice" with the bad guys.  Fighting Dems: Bareknuckled Politics

    These, combined, got me to thinking about an earlier diary of mine, which I now wish to update as a unifying theme:

    It's really pretty simple- Everything these evil thugs do is in exchange for bribes and at the expense of the American people.  

    I would dearly love to see EVERY debate with the bad guys start with the simple statement "You're not doing this for the American people, you're doing it for .  They stand to make billions of dollars off this legislation at the expense of working men and women."  How easy is this debate to have?  Let me show you.  What are the big issues in play these days?  How about Social Security and Bankruptcy?  Okay, here we go:

    Social Security

    Here are Bush's biggest individual campaign contributors, in order of contribution:

  •  Morgan Stanley  $600,480

  •  Merrill Lynch   $580,004

  •  PriceWaterhouseCoopers   $510,500

  •  UBS Americas   $467,075

  •  Goldman Sachs   $386,600

  •  MBNA Corp   $354,350

  •  Credit Suisse First Boston   $332,040

  •  Lehman Brothers   $327,325

  •  Citigroup Inc   $317,525

  • Bear Stearns   $308,150

  • Ernst & Young   $300,640

  • Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu   $289,450

    Bush's plan would divert billions of dollars out of the US treasury and into their hands, and a lot is sure to stick there in management fees, commissions, expenses, costs, etc.  

    Every aspect of Bush's plan reeks of kickbacks.  Yeah, it's pretty hard to explain the problems with the "clawback" and the mandatory annuities.  We fall back on wonkspeak and the bad guys make shit up in reponse.  People don't know what to believe.  Wouldn't it be easier, and a lot more persuasive, to say "and it just keeps getting worse.  The insurance industry kicked in $23M to Republicans in 2004, and now President Bush is adding a requirement that everybody use their "private accounts" to buy an insurance policy, an annuity, the day they retire.  If that's not a kickback I don't know what is!"


    Did you notice MBNA up there?  From

    Finance and credit companies contributed more than $7.8 million in individual and PAC contributions during the 2004 election cycle, 64 percent to Republicans. Credit card giant MBNA's employees and PAC contributed more than $1.5 million, including $354,000 to President Bush's reelection campaign. The company spent $5.2 million on federal lobbying in 2003.

    How hard is it to confront Republicans with this?  Just how hard is it to say "you sold out Joe Sixpack for 30 pieces of silver"?  Why can't EVERY conversation start that way?  How about "you care more about MBNA's millions than a woman with cancer losing her home."  Isn't this the truth?  Isn't this what it's really all about?  If it is, why do we bother with wonkish debate that only we listen to?    

    This is an easy sell.  The point is that it is a theme we can hammer every day for the next four years.  But, you may ask, can we get airtime?  Won't the evil media freeze us out?  Not a frickin' chance.  Sure Fox hates us, but they love a good fight more.  Until now, they've fought and we've wonked back at them.  Do you really think they won't love to watch the feathers fly as accusations zing back and forth across the screen?  

    For years Republicans have done a wonderful job of telling the poor white evangelicals that they care about "morality issues," only to abandon them to return to the lap of corporate masters.  There's nothing wrong with pointing that out.  I, for one, have no qualms about saying "many people of strong religious beliefs have voted for Republicans, assured that their most heart-felt issues would be addressed, only to find that, once in office, they were deprived of health care, their Social Security insurance was sold out to Merrill Lynch, their bankruptcy protection was sold out to MBNA, and abortion was still legal.  These people, these good people of strong moral conviction, were used, used by politicians bought and paid for by big corporations.  Republicans only care about every day Americans until they vote.  After that, they only care about feeding their masters."

    We know what's going on.  Republicans, the real ones, the ones in power, not the religious conservatives being used and discarded, are corporatists at heart.  Their goal is nothing less than a complete return to the days of the robber barons.  We need to say this, on every issue, on every day.  It's called staying "on message," and the Republicans are good at it.  We need to pick a single message that applies across the board to damn near everything these evil people do, and I suggest BRIBERY BASED INITIATIVES is it.  It allows us, as Armando suggests, to ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK!!  And it cuts right to the heart of what made Maryscott cry, the evil selling out of every day Americans to corporate greed.

Follow the money. It leads to the truth.

by dhonig on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 06:12:41 AM PST


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