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Talking Heads:

No visible means of support and you have not seen nuthin yet

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The House of Representatives today passed the Senate version of the $700 Billion Bail-out.  For now, it’s over.  Bush signed the bill shortly after the vote, and we have not seen nuthin yet.

In case you haven’t noticed yet, the market is not exactly tripping over itself to show its appreciation.  After the announcement of the bill passage, the Dow lost all of the 200 or so points it had gained today, and then some. 

I haven’t even had time to read the bill yet, but have heard so far that there’s some pork.  It shouldn’t surprise me that our Congress, while debating the bill most watched by the public in years, and during a campaign so focused on reform, would blatantly use this opportunity to serve themselves.  From Reuters:

It includes various other provisions in apparent bids to secure specific votes. Among these are an exemption for excise taxes on certain wooden arrows designed for use by children and more favorable tax treatment of income from litigation over the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska. The arrow provision would aid a company in southwestern Oregon, represented by Democrat Peter DeFazio, who voted no on Monday. The Exxon Valdez provision is aimed squarely at Rep. Don Young, an Alaska Republican who also voted against the bill on Monday.

There is also a section allowing restrictions in the use of Mark to Market accounting rules, along with financing a study (as if we need to spend that money to know what’s going on).  As my partner DJ has stated before, a good deal of the problem lies in this practice.

But for as much public opposition as there has been to this bill, today may be a turning point.

  1. Today may be the day we all remember we came within a hair’s-breadth of complete collapse and saved ourselves from the brink of destruction
  2. Today may be the day we all remember that Congress and the President thumbed their noses at the American public and placed a devastating yoke on the lives of our children for the next three decades.
  3. Today may be the day that the 2008 Elections took a dramatic turn, and brought in an overwhelmingly Republican Congress and a Democratic President as campaigns across the country highlighted the selfishness and lack of integrity of the current government and pressed for change at all levels.

My hope is that this creates a meaningful opportunity for Republicans running against incumbant Democrats.  That opportunity requires forming a much more substantive solution for the economy, developed by cooperation amongst Republicans and economists, that would allow the Market to clean up this mess itself and pay back whatever has been provided by the government in bailouts within a short time.  Both Warren Buffet and Wells Fargo are proving that it can be done.

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Here’s a link to the roll call.  This bill would not have passed without Republican help.  Democrats only made up 172 of the 218 votes required to pass today.  91 Republicans voted for this bill.

Normally, I would provide you a link to the government web site where the bill is posted, but I’m having trouble finding that right now.  CNN has a copy of the bill on their site (it looks it’s the right one).

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If you are from Iowa, you’ll be interested to know that the only Congressman to switch his vote was the Democrat from District 1, Braley.  He voted in favor of the bill after voting against it the first time.

Here is how they voted:

Braley (District 1): Yes

Loebsack (District 2):Yes

Boswell (District 3): Yes

Latham (District 4): No

King (District 5): No

RIght along party lines.

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