One of those rare “Coalition of the Lunatic Fringe” Moments resulted in a 96 to 0 Senate vote.
Bipartisanship is a rare thing in Washington, but the Senate just 96-0 to pass a bill to “Audit the Fed,” a version of legislation championed by Ron Paul for decades and supported by Michelle Bachmann and other Republicans, but also backed this time by Democrats led by Rep. Alan Grayson and Senator Bernie Sanders.
The latest push started in last year, with a push from labor leaders Andy Stern and Rich Trumka and a coalition of groups on left and right organized by liberal blogger Jane Hamsher and Michael Ostrolenk of the Liberty Coalition. Its members ranged from progressive fixtures like Robert Borosage and Dean Baker to old-line conservatives like Phyllis Schlafly and Grover Norquist.
Hamsher’s view just now on why the legislation passed: “It didn’t leave any room for someone to play the Joe Lieberman role. Nobody could say they were being ‘principled’ in opposition and take refuge in partisan politics — it was clear that they would just be covering for the banks.”
Naturally Ron Paul is not much happy with the compromise made by his erstwhile Socialist ally. As expressed by wonkette:
It is a much weaker audit bill than the Ron Paul-Alan Grayson audit bill that’s already passed the House, which would allow Ron Paul to wander around the Federal Reserve on a scavenger hunt for seven secret vials of Dragon Blood that the Internet says are there.
It does not go far enough in the fore of his long-term plan, as expressed by the title of his well-selling book “End the Fed”, as opposed to the wide-spread desire to figure this clunker out.
Four of the largest U.S. banks, including Citigroup Inc., racked up perfect quarters in their trading businesses between January and March, underscoring how government support and less competition is fueling Wall Street’s revival.
Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the first, second and fifth-biggest U.S. banks by assets, all said in regulatory filings that they had zero days of trading losses in the first quarter. Citigroup Inc., the third-largest, doesn’t break out its daily trading revenue by quarter. It recorded a profit on each trading day, two people with knowledge of the results said.
So it was, 96 to 0. We’ve a few curious conundrums in the realm of desiring more coalitions of the screwballs against the Tedious Center. Right now the son of Ron Paul, Rand Paul, is running away with the Republican Senate nomination. Having taken a look at him, I have to say: I hate Rand Paul — it’s as if every endearing position partaken by Ron Paul has been lobbed off and we’re left with everything spiteful about Ron Paul. But, sure his nomination is welcome — it’ll present that awkward presenation of a more than likely Democratic victory, off-setting the Republican November.
Meantime, Tom Coburn was seen voting on the right end of the Bank Break up bill — putting an answer to the question “Which of the two Oklahoma screw-balls is most useful?” — James Inhofe remains completely irredeemable.
We’re stuck in a zero zone with the Interlocking Blame Games of the Trans-Atlantic, British Petroleum, and Halliburton — and the governmental agency Minerals Management Service. Obama’s angry words suggest a bit of the old “Buck Stops There”, even if the bulk of the problem comes out of a lax regulatory guidelines through the Bush Administration — it’s not as if Ken Salazar’s appointment was cause for celebration, as Obama offers more Continuity than anyone would want. On the front of the politicians batting this around, I keep hearing Mary Landrieu — Democratic Senator from Louisiana — speak, and I hear nothing but the cash register ringing up from her campaign donors. And to quote Haley Barbour —
“We don’t wash our face in it, but it doesn’t stop us from jumping off the boat to ski,” Barbour said.
Certainly the Bi-Partisan jig is getting us roughly nowhere on the environment on many fronts.
So, back to the Coaltion of the Fringes, surfing about for an answer on where Paul and Sanders can take another swipe at something, against a tedious Center. How about Hemp? Which, you know, always seems to intertwine itself with the matter of the War On Drugs.
Fascinating topic. The way Hemp Activists tell it, Hemp is the Miracle Product that will solve just about everything. And we’d be using it if it weren’t for the power of the Oil Barons in the early part of the last century and a following Propaganda Offensive. If not for that, why –!! Which ends with a sort of “If you say so” on my part.
The deal with the leaves, on the other hand… well — once upon a time, sometime in my Freshman year of high school — always was an amusing undercurrent of vague political activism of rather self-motivated political opinion. Art class. A couple of students are batting around their cause, possibly for an oh so provacative school assignment — plastering out arguments. The Art Teacher walks up as the conversation continues, intervenes, and sternly throws out the case of the multitiduous new fangled chemicals spouting in today’s cannibus not there in his generation, and asks the students to quit swallowing up NORML propaganda.
So it is with that that only Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich can save us from the Military Industrial Drug Enforcement Complex. Well, they succeeded in opening up the Fed for a brief spell.