December 13, 2014

The CRomnibus bill (Continuing Resolution Omnibus) which is designed to prevent another government shutdown includes provisions that would enable another economic meltdown like 2008. There are some pretty solid reasons that the more progressive and financially intelligent Democrats in Congress oppose this bill.

Think Progress explains: It has nothing to do with keeping the government funded; instead, it’s a provision that would undermine the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law passed to prevent another economic crisis like the one in 2008 from happening again.
The provision, known as a “policy rider” because it is not a spending appropriation but a change to an unrelated law, would significantly weaken Section 716 of the Dodd-Frank law. Part of what caused the economic meltdown that led to the bailout was banks making high-risk trades that were insured by the federal government — and when those trades blew up, the taxpayers were left holding the bill.


Virginia Democrat Jim Moran (VA) thinks that a provision that would utterly destroy the protections formed by the 2010 Dodd-Frank bill aren't all that bad. Appearing on Up With Steve Kornacki, he says,

I hate to be on the other side of a liberal icon like Elizabeth Warren (D-Ma)...I respect what she wants to achieve for this country, [but] that should not have derailed this bill.

Kornacki asks,

Do you feel she intimidated your (Democratic) colleagues?

The Virginia Democrat claims this bill is not devoted to placating Wall Street, he feels it is entirely motivated by the benefits it bestows upon folks in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors. He denies that this is a giveaway which will, once again, endanger the fragile financial sector which has been known to gamble taxpayers' money irresponsibly.

Moran believes a Democratic Party, led by the likes of Warren, causes Democrats to make choices that are too ideologically pure at the expense of practicality.

They want her to represent liberal views, they know she has a grandstand,... they know they can't explain the issue. They jeopardized $30 billion for the NIH, we put more than $11 billion into Head Start and early childcare...we put in $2.7 billion to fight Ebola,.. we killed 26 anti-environmental riders. If we don't pass this bill now, we're going to lose most of these gains.

Kornacki asks Moran what he thinks of Nancy Pelosi's objection to the bill. Moran was very reluctant to disparage the Minority Leader, but she has made her feelings very clear. Pelosi has said,

We’re being asked to vote for a moral hazard. Why is this in an appropriations bill? Because it was the price to pay to get an appropriations bill...This is a ransom, this is blackmail. You don’t get a bill unless Wall Street gets its taxpayer coverage. It’s really so sad.

Moran just thinks this is an attempt by prominent Democrats such as Elizabeth Warren, Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Oh) to kill a bill that is, for the most part, a good bill. Moran admits that as the Democratic Caucus gets smaller, it gets more liberal. The Democrats are as much concerned about their left wing as the Republicans are concerned about their right wing. Except the left wing of the Democratic party lacks the downright cruel, racist, sexist and fundamentalist components found on the other side of the aisle. He failed to mention that unpleasantness.

Moran feels this problem is caused by many Democrats letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. Rejecting the whole bill because of these provisions should not have been a poisoned pill. He tries to convince us that it's not for the benefit of big banks, it's for agriculture and manufacturing. Since the new 114th Congress will be entirely in the hands of the middle class-hating-Republicans, Moran thinks we missed the last opportunity to pass any progressive legislation and this bill contained more gimmes to the Democrats than the Republicans. Does he seriously think that knocking down Wall Street regulations is just a trivial matter? It must be pretty damned important because Republicans would never give more than they get. Never, ever, ever.

Jim Moran is retiring at the end of this session. He is exactly what the Democrats don't need. He feels we should give in to the insanity that caused the worst recession since 1929. The opinion he shares is we should be apprehensive about someone as "extreme" as Elizabeth Warren driving the party in a radical direction [which is diametrically opposed to the direction Ted Cruz wants to take the GOP]. Moran invoked the both-sides-need-to-give-in-spirits to help achieve cooperation, but fears that Elizabeth Warren will not compromise and she has ruined chances of any Democratic legislation.

The fact he made the comparison of the two Senators shows just how completely deluded the thinking of blue dog Democrats has become. Extremes on both sides are not equally radical, that's easily seen by who supports the far right. We don't see comparable groups like the NRA, the KKK, Oathkeepers or Stormfront on the far left. It's high time the Democrats stood firm and strongly oppose the lunatics that want this nation to become a corporate oligarchy, even though they've already managed to achieve that to a large degree.

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