The fur is flying, from what I’m reading on the Twitters. The Dems have tanked two procedural votes on McConnell’s plutocrat smash-and-grab bill, refusing to budge on the $500B slush fund to be administered by this community playhouse-grade Bond villain:
Mitch McConnell wants to give this guy, Steve Mnuchin, the discretion to decide how to dole out $500 billion in taxpayer funds and then allow him to hide the identity of the bailout recipients from the public for up to six months. This does not seem like a good idea. pic.twitter.com/28P1gmp9cM
— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) March 22, 2020
Gee, I wonder why they want to hide the receipts for six months? Maybe because Disgraceland in Palm Beach needs a new taxpayer-funded tennis pavilion? Anyhoo, the Republicans are screeching like scalded ferrets about the Dems “playing politics in a national emergency,” and some of the media shitheads are predictably falling for it. But so far the Dems — including red staters like Doug Jones and Joe Manchin — are telling them to go pound sand. Warren explains what the Democrats want:
The Senate needs to pass a stimulus that doesn’t just go to no-strings-attached bailouts for giant corporations. That's why @SenateDems are fighting for real funding this for public health crisis response & serious relief directly for workers, small businesses, & families. pic.twitter.com/hlLI0ExvAL
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) March 23, 2020
Maybe call and tell them you appreciate them hanging tough if you’re fortunate enough to be represented by a Democrat? The Capitol switchboard number is (202) 224-3121. If, like me, you’re represented by a scalded ferret, maybe contact them to say the Mnuchin slush fund is a non-starter?
Mitch McConnell is finding out that there’s a downside to being a conniving amoral SOB. When the chips are down, nobody trusts you. See also: Trump, Donald.
James E Powell
Pelosi & the house Democrats need to put their plan out as soon as possible. The general public is being swamped, as usual, by the press/media who lean strong Republican. We don’t need nitty gritty details, just broad outlines and nothing included that doesn’t relate to this situation
Democrats should also be making the point that Trump & the Republicans have been refusing to be accountable – witnesses refuse to show up, documents are never produced – for three years.
One thing puzzles me: why six months? That only takes them to September. Presumably the point is to hide the looting until after the elections.
Totally stealing Disgraceland though.
But… if there’s no slush fund, why should McConnell & Co. bother to pass the bill? And, hey, it’s only money.
Major Major Major Major
And the #1 headline at WaPo right now is:
So, seriously. We have no economy to speak of. Everything that is running is critical, and needs to be immune to market forces (like states bidding against each other for masks, driving up the price because it’s a perfectly inelastic market) and everything that isn’t critical is turned off.
Just accept that the economy is busted for a bit. Turn it off. Close the markets so they stop being a distraction and counterproductive to the real effort. Pause rents and loan repayments. Fannie/Freddie has approved that for mortgages, so it’s trickling out in dribs and drabs, but a unified approach would be 1000x better.
Bunch of fucking short-attention span cowards running the place.
@Splitting Image: Because 9 months (December) is too obvious, and when September gets here, they won’t reveal the information anyway. Win (pretend they’ll provide the info in time for the election) win (cry “politics” when the Dems demand the info in September/October).
@Major Major Major Major: Ugh. Dems really need to put their version of this forward in the House like RIGHT NOW, because the media is too fucking lazy to figure out that the Republicans are operating in bad faith.
Greg Sargent at WaPo:
Major Major Major Major
@Martin: We ‘just’ need to put the economy in a medically-induced coma while we get track-and-trace set up. You may have said similar in an earlier thread? We haven’t lost much in terms of real value yet.
Anyway, it isn’t actually that horrible (money-wise) unless we let it be. It’s the federal government’s choice (lord help us).
Hummus Where The Heart Is
For just that reason, i.e., you are thinking “they wouldn’t play games with the money and have it come out right before the elections, so it must be on the up and up…”
….bullshit, it would get extended from 6 months to … never.
The chances of finding out who got bailed out (cough, Trump, cough) would never see the light of day.
Gin & Tonic
@James E Powell:
Didn’t they pass that like two weeks ago?
Major Major Major Major
@Gin & Tonic: That was parts 1 and 2, this is part 3.
@Gin & Tonic: There’s a new one out just now: https://www.speaker.gov/newsroom/32320
@Major Major Major Major: That headline is correct. The story explains why the Dems In the Senate are blocking procedural votes: because the bill as written is mostly a corporate bailout, with no real protections for workers and no transparency. What’s the problem? It’s not a Both Sides(tm) or a But Her Emails” kind of story.
@James E Powell:
Meanwhile, Manchin is out front on the Senate bill, which is very smart politics.
The media stories were actually OK. I guess it’s just that some people need it spelled out in big letters.
The Senate excluded all Democrats when they wrote their plan. Then they said, you can take a peek and comment, now let’s vote.
The Democrats should have had their plan at least outlined. Instead, Schumer pulled some crazy shit about wanting to “massively boost” unemployment compensation.
The Republicans have been absolutely craven. The Democrats were not nearly as bad, but had trouble getting a freaking clue.
@dmsilev: The sorta funny thing is that all spending bills must originate in the House. McConnell was trying to jam Pelosi on part three. But I think it hasn’t worked out as he thought it would….
Major Major Major Major
@Comrade Scrutinizer: “$2 Trillion Stimulus Bill” is not an accurate description of the bill, at all.
The ratio on Fineman’s dunderheaded tweet is a thing of beauty.
Some money gets handed out now, in kind-of good faith. Embezzlement is committed in May, at which point it’s six months to the election and there’s no way to find out how much Mnuchin and Trump have sent to their offshore accounts before the election. They can wait six weeks, and the timing disguises the intent.
@Hummus Where The Heart Is:
Pretty much. But this is a transparent smash and grab, so I’m wondering why they’re even bothering with the fig leaf.
What some other countries are doing to try to keep a contracted economy stable:
In addition to support for business and the self-employed…
And yet, somehow, for some reason, the US cannot get its shit together and do a goddam thing
State and local governments are doing more. Moratoriums on personal and commercial evictions. The Los Angeles area Department of Water and Power said that people can ignore directives that their power will be turned off for nonpayment of bills.
@Major Major Major Major: Why oh why couldn’t the headline be “Republicans fail to block Democrats’ Wage and Small Business Bailout for the Second Time”?
Thanks. Six months from when the money is handed out, not six months from when the bill is signed. My cynicism must be slipping in my old age.
What other countries are doing.
Big business. Small business. Self-employed people. Working people. The unemployed.
You take care of your entire economy.
This has been my belief since the moment the state and federal governments started discussing mandated closures. Either they need to pause the whole bleeding thing to the maximum extent possible and let us ride it out, or they need to pay everyone they’re forcing to not work. This whole “you need to self quarantine and we might help you a token amount, so tough it out” crap they’re doing now? It’s going to cause a revolt in short order.
@Brachiator: The problem is that the headlines are fucking terrible even when the actual substance is pretty good. “DEMS BLOCK VOTE ON CORONAVIRUS AID FOR SECOND TIME” looks really bad, even if they note that it was blocked because it didn’t help anyone but corporations.
And even in that case, they weasel-word it. The articles don’t usually print “Democrats blocked the vote because the bill gives lots of money to anonymous corporations and ignores workers”, it’s “Democrats SAY the bill gives lots of money to anonymous corporations etc.”
Even when the substance is better than the headline, there’s still a lot of bothsides.
Republican Party delenda est.
The headlines may be bad. People want Republican venality clearly spelled out everywhere and all the time. But the news stories are good and pretty accurate. Apart from Fox News, you cannot say that the stories do not spell out what the Republicans are doing.
When the Democrats were excluded from participating in writing the damn bill, they should have been ready with a response.
And when you get down to it, the Democratic Party claim that the Senate Bill is just a slush fund is weak sauce.
The Democrats look bad for just opposing the bill instead of having their own strong alternative legislation ready. They saw that the Republicans were not going to play fair.
@MisterForkbeard: All the reporting I’ve seen about this “3rd stage” of the stimulus for the last 7-10 days has only talked about Moscow Mitch McConnell’s plans (with Donnie and Mnuchin) in the Senate. It’s as if Democrats and the House never existed. They all talked as if it were a done deal, it only took some mumbling and hand shaking and then everyone who mattered would be on board and Moscow Mitch would ram it through like he always does.
Reality intruded, and reporters have to actually do their job and talk about the House and Nancy now…
And a week+ has been wasted, all because Donnie and Moscow Mitch didn’t want to talk with Nancy and recognize her importance to the process.
@Brachiator: Opposing a half a trillion-dollar slush fund is weak sauce? I disagree. Here’s Warren showing how to turn a bullshit media framing around:
@Brachiator: They have one. They just revealed it.
Doing this right takes time though, so they’re a little bit behind. That’s pretty much unavoidable because they have to make sure that the law they’re presenting makes sense and covers all the bases too; they’re trying to govern.
You’re asking for them to be superhuman. They can’t be. That isn’t a tactical error on their part. It’s just reality.
Back in 2011 it would have been “Democrats fail to pass bill
So the equal version now should be “GOP fails to pass Corona rescue bill.”
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Betty Cracker: who was the Gollum-like creature who went from “you’re stopping people from getting checks” to “Why don’t they just strip out the slush fund?” in less than a minute?
I can’t figure out who would watch that channel, it’s like CNBC with a worse layout, but apparently Bloomberg has 62 billion pieces of evidence that they do
I’d like to thank all you Massholes who keep Warren in the senate. If I can’t have President Warren I’ll take Senator Warren as a damn good participation ribbon.
That Bloomberg drone sure has a weird way of framing questions. He was halfway to, “When did you stop beating your wife?” Dude, did you know she’s also a law professor?
I hope to heaven that Nancy Pelosi is taking precautions against Coronavirus. She’s my congressional rep. I don’t want to lose her.
We at least know she hasn’t been pallin’ around with Gaetz.
Nancy SMASH and Notorious RBG need to live in clean rooms for the duration.
@dmsilev: I just asked Senator Sasse not to be a piece of smegma and vote against Mnuchen’s snatch and grab.
Duh. You are living in the USA, right?
Already called, like three hours ago. Need to get every one I know to do the same. Both senators Dems. Left messages, will email.
I was looking at Susan F*ckingCollins on another thread and thinking, were you born with a decent soul, and somehow let your guard down and the demons in? Or were you born with a shitty soul? At this point I have more respect for an honest drunk puking in the gutter, who’s just horribly, sadly addicted to alcohol, than I do for these heartless, soulless monsters who are addicted to power and money.
Actually, I think we are up to $2 trillion now.
I think that Warren did an OK job. It was brief and to the point.
The GOP position was clear last week. The Democrats should have been ready with an alternative plan much earlier. Much of what they offer is their standard policy with a ribbon on it.
The GOP demonstrated that they were not acting in good faith the moment they refused to let any Democrats be a part of the team drafting the bill.
Also, compared to what other countries are doing, neither the Republicans nor the Democrats can claim to be covering all the bases. However, I think that the Democrats are at least fighting back more effectively than they did earlier.
It’s “Smash and grab”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smash_and_grab
“A smash and grab is a particular form of burglary that involves smashing a barrier, usually a display window in a shop or a showcase, grabbing valuables, and then making a quick getaway, without concern for setting off alarms or creating noise.”
calling it a corporate bailout is putting it nicely. this is a bailout for companies that donald trump personally decides get a bailout. and the venn diagram of “companies that get a bailout” and “companies that donate money to trump” is gonna be a fucking circle i guarangoddamtee it.
My understanding is that numerous House Dems had ideas for what should be in the bill and Chief Cat Herder Pelosi had to use all her skills and experience to put together a bill that made sense and that all House Dems would support.
right about now is a good time to remember that it was fucking Republicans who made it necessary to get 60 votes to pass any significant legislation in the Senate
Any Republicans crying about Democratic “obstruction” need to take their complaints to Moscow Mitch and Bill Frist.
@chopper: Trump being Trump plus the GOP predilection for not wasting a perfectly good crisis makes it a 100% certainty that this is what they are doing.
The “6 months” is a con. The Rethugs play this same con again and again on everything they can. They already have an excuse lined up that they can roll out in 5.9 months.
As several have pointed out, they will never disclose who gets our tax money, but you can bet it will only be billionaire R-donors and nobody else.
West of the Cascades
@Comrade Scrutinizer: this would also be correct, and the same amount of space:
Senate Democrats call GOP bill “corporate giveaway,” block vote.
West of the Cascades
A 1,000 page piece of legislation takes some time to write. Some Democrats have been articulating some of the essentials of the alternative plans for several weeks (e.g. Senator Warren).
And the venn diagram of ““companies that do not get a bailout” and “companies that have annoyed trump” will also be a fucking circle, or rather the second circle will be entirely within the first. Carrots and sticks!
I am firmly convinced that the SOBs of the Global Oligarchy Putsch had a long-term strategy in place to emplace one of their tools in every media outlet they could whose responsibility was to write the headlines for the stories. Most viewers/readers see the headline, even if they have no interest in the story, & it gets implanted into their subconscious.
If I became Supreme Leader of this nation I would have every headline of the last 20 – make that 40 – years reviewed for right wing bias & associated with the person responsible. Betcha you’d find a whole shitpile of those shitheads whose constant job was to twist the headlines against the Democrats.
And I would march everyone of the shitheads out in televised arrests with voiceovers explaining how they had consistently & continually lied to the American people.
Then I would have them shot as traitors. On live TV.
i would like to subscribe to your newsletter…
I mentioned it before but I’ll bring it up again. How much do you think that they a planning to steel for the big beautiful wall?
@West of the Cascades:
RE: The Democrats should have been ready with an alternative plan much earlier.
I thought that money bills had to originate in the House. So I don’t even know how the Senate wrested control of the bill.
But from the beginning, the Senate was in control and McConnell deliberately excluded Democrats from the group who initially drafted this legislation. This was Problem Number One.
I don’t know the best way to counter this, but the Democrats always have to act knowing that the GOP will act dishonestly.
@Brachiator: it’s not uncommon for money bills to be passed in the Senate. Then the House just adopts their language and they get a House number and now presto its a house bill and it’s originating there.
No One You Know
@Comrade Scrutinizer: How many people read past the headline?
That’s the problem. IMHO.
really like that turn of phrase; it sounds so …. cajun?