Sunday, October 5, 2008

RAIN - 29 Days to E-Day

Continue the RAIN

RAIN Refresher: From now until the election we will begin each post with a review of the Remove All Incumbents Now (RAIN) campaign. A good rain washes clean all the road scum, dust and filth. We hope that a cleansing of Congress will result in the firing of the legislators who are part of the group that bailed out Wall Street with nearly a trillion dollars, at least 150 billion of which was blatant authorized pork by Democrats to appease Republicans who had previously rejected the bill then changed their vote allowing it to pass. We are not sure how much of the bailout, if any, was actually needed.

A press release from a major news source follows:
Dateline October 1, 2008: “Tonight the Senate passed the $700 billion Wall Street bailout bill by a vote of 74-25. This follows the rejection of the bill by the House on Monday.” According to a poll, 62 percent of Americans opposed the giveaway, but the lobbyists are did everything possible to assure the rejection was overturned. According to Bob Borosage, co-director of The Campaign for America’s Future, House leaders "are bringing in the small business lobby and the banking lobby to buy the twelve Republican votes they need."

The Senate took up the bill to bribe House members who voted against it to change their positions when it returned to a vote on the House floor on Friday. This procedure may be unconstitutional, because revenue bills must originate in the House. As another means of inducement—or blackmail—the bill includes the repeal of the alternative minimum tax. Three days later the bill passed the house by a margin of 253-171.

Economists call the bill a fiasco: One esteemed economist was quoted as saying,
"a disgrace: a bailout of reckless bankers, lenders, and investors that provides little direct debt relief to borrowers and financially stressed households and that will come at a very high cost to the US taxpayer."

The debacle started with homeowner defaults on subprime mortgages but now includes other types of mortgages as foreclosures spread. Soon mortgage brokers began to falsify borrower income information to allow loans that normally the borrower could not qualify for. Borrowers could get a loan with zero down and paying interest only. Qualifying was done with a wink and a promise. Such loans in the industry became known as “Liars loans.” But like any other Ponzi scheme borrowers simply waited until their home value had inflated, sometimes a matter of weeks, and sold or “flipped” the house at a profit in some cases in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Often homes were “flipped” several times before being built!

Who stood to gain from the housing Ponzi bubble? Huge numbers of executives, managers, and shareholders throughout the financial and real estate industries, were enriched and the scheme provided jobs to millions of people. The bubble also brought back foreign capital to U.S. markets that had been scared away by the bust of 2000-2001.

Everyone seemed to benefit, but it was those at the top who skimmed the greatest profits. And for an economy that had already given away millions of its best manufacturing jobs, the bubble acted as a kind of substitute economic engine. It also resulted in tax revenues that allowed the current administration to implement its 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for the rich and provide funding for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Of course these tax revenues were not enough, as the national debt has soared to over $10 trillion. (much of the above information was gleaned by an article in Global Research by Richard C. Cook, a former U.S. federal government analyst)

Who is to blame – Democrats or Republicans: The answer is simple – the system is corrupt. Neither party has clean hands. If you lean to the left feel free to beat up the current administration on whose watch the bubble burst. If you are a card carrying Republican feel free to dredge up those emails that blame the Clinton administration for starting the slide and the Democratic Senate majority for the past two years. It makes no difference who the bigger thieves are! Both sides are culpable. The problem is with Congress.

The system is broken: Many a young legislator has run for office with an eye toward making America better. Often they are fiscal conservatives with high ideals who might represent either party. They have a plan and a platform and change in mind. Once elected and to Congress they are slapped with the reality of the corrupt system. To be in a position to make any changes they must be appointed to a committee by senior members. Unless the young idealists are willing to set their ideals aside and support the senior members, they will wilt in a corner with few or no committee assignments.

Senior Congress people have already been corrupted by lobbyists who represent special interests with huge budgets and plenty of Congressional clout. Oftentimes lobbyists, many of whom are former congressmen who know the system well, actually write legislation that will suit their purpose, at the expense of the American taxpayer. The young, idealistic legislator has one of two choices - spend the term as an impotent legislator with no power to make change, or be seduced by the system and give up his ideals. Neither is a good option for the American people who elected him.

How to fix it: I offer a plan called RAIN for Remove All Incumbents Now. Just as a good rainstorm washes away all grime, dust and accumulated filth, so will this RAIN cleanse Congress. When you go to the polls November 4, vote as you please for president, but vote AGAINST every incumbent (those running for re-election) on the ballot. Those lucky enough to not be running this election will provide stability for all the newcomers but the message will be clear and if they do not change their ways it is just two short years before the next RAIN storm will wash away more stench, grime, and filth.

I am but one person and for this campaign I have no budget, no political affiliation, and no corps of volunteers to help. This is a grass roots movement in the truest of American traditions. I ask you to forward this on to anybody who you feel agrees that the corrupt system needs to be changed including other bloggers and media sources.

In the meantime I will continue to write daily about RAIN both in my blog and my news media column at: (my blog) and at where I am a featured columnist.

A little blogging music Maestro: From the Broadway musical Les Miserables, “A Little Fall of Rain.”

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