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Friday, September 21, 2018
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Working Americans Getting the Short End of the Stick (My Most...

This piece has run in newspapers in my very red congressional district (VA-06). ***************************** Let me begin by citing a few facts to substantiate a statement...

Who Cares About Justice? (My Latest Challenge to My Republican Neighbors)

This piece has run as an op/ed in newspapers in my very red congressional district (VA-06). ************************* Justice has been called the most important virtue for...

Serving the Few, Conning the Many (The M.O. of the G.O.P.)

This piece will be appearing this week in newspapers in my very red district, VA-06. ******************************* In a piece here some months ago, I argued that...

How Hate Poisons the Political Well (3rd message to the conservatives...

This is the third and final installment of a series that has begun appearing in several newspapers in my very Republican congressional District (VA-06). The...

Are These the Kind of People Who Should Choose Our Future?

This will be running as my weekly op/ed in the newspapers of my very Republican congressional District (VA-06). ********************** Such things are rarely displayed so blatantly,...

Malign Alignment: How an Alliance of America’s Darkest Forces Made the...

This piece has lately run in newspapers in my conservative congressional District (VA-06). ************************* As I am writing this, the Republicans in the Congress are trying...

Northam & Perriello, Pipeline & Dominion: The Money-Power Problem on the...

On Thursday evening, I accompanied my wife, April Moore, to an event being held by Harrisonburg Indivisible. The event was an “educational forum” in...

Bernie, It’s Not “the Billionaire Class” You Need to Defeat But...

Dear Senator Sanders, You’ve done the nation a great service in calling attention to the way Big Money is rigging our politics and our economy. But...

Two Virginia Democrats Vote with Wall Street

One of the first votes attempted by the enlarged Republican majority in the House of Representatives was barely defeated, as they attempted to pass a bill with provisions to weaken the anemic Dodd-Frank bill passed to rein in speculation by big banks and Wall Street after the financial crash of 2008. The House leadership tried to pass their bill through a suspension of the rules. That maneuver requires a 2/3rds vote of all members, and I suppose the GOPers thought there were enough Democrats beholden to Wall Street to get it passed. They were wrong, but two Virginia Democrats joined 33 of their colleagues and voted with the Republicans, Gerry Connolly (D-11) and Don Beyer (D-8). (By the way, a suspension of the rules would have meant the bill couldn't be amended or debated. "Democratic," huh?)

Why was this bill so lousy for the average American?  For starters, it would have let banks keep collaterized loan obligations (CLOs) for two more years, in essence gutting the Volker rule that made it illegal for banks to gamble their depositors' money on risky securities trades. CLOs are similar to those pooled mortgages that proved worthless and helped destroy our economy. It's estimated that about 95 percent of those CLOs are held by banks with at least $50 billion in assets. (Can anyone say, "Too big to fail"?)

Lest we think this is the first try at undoing the regulation of giant banks following the crash of 2008-2009, most Americans don't realize that the omnibus budget bill passed in the last days of the previous Congress (when Democrats still controlled the Senate) allowed subsidized derivatives, the very things that formed the heart of the credit collapse in 2008. That trick allows big banks to keep borrowing from the Fed to finance such derivatives. This latest attempt was simply trying to put more nails in the coffin of financial reform and regulation.

GOPers even had a provision in their poison-to-the-consumer bill that would have enabled large corporation to stop releasing their annual reports in computer-friendly formats, thus making it more difficult for prospective investors to make informed judgments about whether to invest in them or not. Now to my main question:  Why did Gerry Connolly (D-11) and Don Beyer (D-8) vote with the Republicans?