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Ear to the Ground

Why Russ Feingold Won’t Vote for ‘Fig Leaf’ Financial Reform

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Posted on Jun 30, 2010
senate.gov

“False security is no security at all,” writes the Wisconsin senator, who says he will not vote for the financial reform bill because it would not prevent another meltdown and “has Wall Street’s fingerprints all over it.” According to Feingold, “the administration and conference leaders have gone to significant lengths to avoid making the bill stronger.”

Feingold, one of a handful of senators to vote against the deregulation of Wall Street in the 1990s, writes of his colleagues, “I don’t need to be lectured about this issue by people who supported the repeal of Glass-Steagall, [the law whose elimination] paved the way for this terrible recession.”  —PZS

Russ Feingold on the Huffington Post via @ggreenwald:

Since the Senate bill passed, I have had a number of conversations with key members of the administration, Senate leadership and the conference committee that drafted the final bill. Unfortunately, not once has anyone suggested in those conversations the possibility of strengthening the bill to address my concerns and win my support. People want my vote, but they want it for a bill that, while including some positive provisions, has Wall Street’s fingerprints all over it.

In fact, reports indicate that the administration and conference leaders have gone to significant lengths to avoid making the bill stronger. Rather than discussing with me ways to strengthen the bill, for example, they chose to eliminate a levy that was to be imposed on the largest banks and hedge funds in order to obtain the vote of members who prefer a weaker bill. Nothing could be more revealing of the true position of those who are crafting this legislation. They had a choice between pursuing a weaker bill or a stronger one. Their decision is clear.

On this bill, like the others that preceded it, the biggest financial interests have won.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, June 30, 2010 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment

Feingold standing up.  My hope is for the populace to come up with more Senators like Senator Feingold and knock all the Bankster Senators out.

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/06/30-9

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By T. A. Madison, June 30, 2010 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment

I like Sen. Feingold, especially when compared to 90% of his colleagues in the Senate.  Much has been made of among journalists, columnists and commentators here that the two party system is broken.  Gore Vidal called it “One party with two right wings”. 

87% of those polled rate the Congress negatively. 

The level of dissatisfaction is rarely cited or given context.  According to the Rasmussen Reports website, approval ratings of Congress (both houses) fall out this way:

Excellent 3%
Good 9%
Fair 31%
Poor 56%

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/congressional_performance

This may at first seem “expected” (the clerk at Sen. Feinstein’s office glibly rationalized it that way)… until one remembers that Congress is an elected body of representatives of the people who voted them into office.  As a condition of their holding office, they must swear to be Constitutionalists, to “defend the Constitution against all enemies both foreign and domestic [italics mine]”.  Conservatives and Democrat collaborators are vulnerable to that standard.  That is the distinction to be made.  Citizens should cite it repeatedly.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, June 30, 2010 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment

When will people realize what the Political Spectrum is?  The Right, which is the Republicans has never represented the populace, any bit of representation the Left gets has always come from the Left. 

It took over forty years of a strategic Conservatism Agenda for Conservatism to get the populace to think they are all Conservatives, which is what got our nation to the state that it is in today, and it will take a long time to return it to a balance between Liberal and Conservative, but with the nation’s politics so far to the Right, the Right-Wing Conservative Republicans are not a choice for the populace, even though there are only two political parties.

It was a deliberate plan of the Right-Wing that brought the DLC and corrupted many of the Democratic representatives, and it worked for them for a time, but the populace has been busy paring the false representatives out of the Democratic Party and if the populace doesn’t jump back Right because they think they don’t have anywhere else to go, in time the populace will be able to regain political equilibrium and life will be better for the working person.

Wisconsin’s Russ Feingold thinks the Bankster’s reform is a fig leaf for the populace, does Florida’s Alan Grayson and Ohio’s Dennis Kucinich concur?—if so, it is a fig leaf, because Alan Grayson and Dennis Kucinich have not been corrupted by the Republican led Democratic Leadership Council.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, June 30, 2010 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment

When will people realize what the Political Spectrum is?  The Right, which is the Republicans has never represented the populace, any bit of representation the Left gets has always come from the Left. 

It took over forty years of a strategic Conservatism Agenda for Conservatism to get the populace to think they are all Conservatives, which is what got our nation to the state that it is in today, and it will take a long time to return it to a balance between Liberal and Conservative, but with the nation’s politics so far to the Right, the Right-Wing Conservative Republicans are not a choice for the populace, even though there are only two political parties.

It was a deliberate plan of the Right-Wing that brought the DLC and corrupted many of the Democratic representatives, and it worked for them for a time, but the populace has been busy paring the false representatives out of the Democratic Party and if the populace doesn’t jump back Right because they think they don’t have anywhere else to go, in time, the populace will be able to regain political equilibrium and life will be better for the working person.

Wisconsin’s Russ Feingold thinks the Bankster’s reform is a fig leaf for the populace, does Florida’s Alan Grayson and Ohio’s Dennis Kucinich concur?—if so, it is a fig leaf, because Alan Grayson and Dennis Kucinich have not been corrupted by the Republican led Democratic Leadership Council.

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By felicity, June 30, 2010 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

Samson - I agree about Feingold who for some reason has been keeping a really low profile for a long time now. 

Regardless of what one thinks of Al Gore, he nailed the state of politics these days when he explained years ago why he wasn’t going to run for the presidency.

“What politics has become requires a level of triviality and artifice and nonsense that I find I have in short supply.”  (Might explain Feingold’s low profile.)

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Samson's avatar

By Samson, June 30, 2010 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

PS .... Feingold is the rare Democrat who’s words you can listen to, because he actually usually seems to speak the truth.  He must feel very out of place around other Democrats.

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Samson's avatar

By Samson, June 30, 2010 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment

Someone send Diogenes and his lamp over to Feingold’s offices.
———————-
The trick is not to listen to the Democrats.  Don’t listen to their words.  Watch the money.  And watch their actions.

Sure, Obama ran around saying he’d bring change.  But for any who looked, there were tens of millions of wall street dollars in his campaign accounts that said that no change was coming. 

No politician that would ever bring real change will get millions from wall street.  Wall street ain’t known for just given tens of millions to people who would clean up wall street because of wall street’s inherent human decency.  Nope, when you see wall street’s money, that’s wall street’s man.  No matter what he’s saying to con people, you know that’s wall street’s man.

Hint to the left ... next time, try not voting for the candidate with all the wall street money.

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By Steve E, June 30, 2010 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

Yup, the Obama Administration is a farce, always has been and will continue to
be. I, like millions of others supported this corporate puppet and clown after
listening to his many promises of “hope and change” as well as “transparency”.
What we all got was a liar and a cad. He will quit after his first term because he is
a gutless wonder and wants to follow the same luxurious road that Blair took and
act much the same as Bubba Clinton, max security and many flowery speeches as
he and his wife play the ultimate diplomatic gad flies at taxpayers support. Next
up to bat, Hillary with Bubba in tow.

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G.Anderson's avatar

By G.Anderson, June 30, 2010 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment

“In fact, reports indicate that the administration and conference leaders have gone to significant lengths to avoid making the bill stronger. Rather than discussing with me ways to strengthen the bill, for..”

This adminstration, the Obama adminstration, went to significant lenghts to avoid, making the bill stronger…

What can you say, when you campaign that your going to change things, that you will be different, when you offer that pledge to people who are hopeless, who are on the edge of catastrophe, and then this?

To say that this is a betrayal of all those hopes and all those efforts of people who thought that things could be different, would not be enough, because it’s worse than that….it’s worse than a betrayal…

When the next finanical melt down comes, and it’s just around the corner, guaranteed by this bill, the outcome is not going to be pretty…

It’s past time to sharpen up the pitchforks, light the torches, and prepare….

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