Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Hundreds of lobbyists, acting as pimps for corporate America, have designed a series of new bills and Republican whores in Congress are ready to prostitute themselves by voting in favor of them:
Let's consider first the prospective loss of hundreds of thousands more American jobs. CAFTA is NAFTA extended to the bottom of Central America, with results just as detrimental to our workers as the Clinton trade treaty was. The House is scheduled to vote on CAFTA July 28. You can let your representative know what you think of this bill by clicking here.
Then there's the Energy bill, which has two provisions that will cost ordinary taxpayers a hunk of change. The first is repeal of PUHCA. I'll let Molly Ivins explain it:
We are about to repeat one of the huge mistakes of the 1920s and '30s because we have forgotten why PUHCA (pronounced Pooka) was instituted in the first place. PUHCA is the Public Utility Holding Company Act, passed in 1935, which prevents concentration of ownership of power plants. Both the House and Senate versions of the energy bill contain a repeal of PUHCA.
As Kelpie Wilson points out in an article for Truthout, "For 50 years we have had reliable, cheap electric power that has allowed strong economic growth, and no PUHCA-regulated energy holding company has ever gone broke."
PUHCA was partially repealed in the '90s, and even that much deregulation was part of what led to Enron, Westar and other slight mishaps.
PUHCA puts utilities under strict regulation by both state and federal governments. It restricts ownership of utilities to public or private companies that are in the business of producing power.
The most likely candidates to take over power companies are the big oil companies, now awash in cash. There goes the electrical grid: Why fix it when you can charge more for doing nothing?

And speaking of all those oil profits, the framers of the Energy bill are determined to protect every last cent of it for Exxon and Mobil. The People's E-Mail Network (PEN) explains the second trick the whores will turn:
This year again the administration is trying to deliver a huge payoff
to their corrupt oil company campaign contributors, absolving them of
any future liability for polluting our water supplies with MTBE, an
insidious smelly solvent infiltrating water systems all over the country.
Let me get this straight, the oil industry, which is rolling in so much
windfall profits cash that their biggest problem is they don't know what to do
with it, THAT oil industry can't afford to clean up after their
environmental disasters? This measure barely passed the house but not in the
Senate and will now be settled in conference.

PEN makes it easy to register a protest on these two issues.
And finally, to make it easier for Republicans to continue getting elected so that they can do the bidding of their procurers, they are rolling back the campaign finance laws on soft money. Public Citizen has the story:
This legislation not only would legalize unlimited “soft money” once again by repealing parts of the recently passed Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act, it would even erase some of the critical reforms enacted in 1974 after the Watergate scandal. Richard Nixon and Tom DeLay would both love this bill.
Here’s one flagrant example: Currently, wealthy individuals can give a total of no more than $101,400 to all candidates and parties in a two-year election cycle. The Ney-Pence-Wynn bill would raise this limit to $3 MILLION – a 30-fold increase. Imagine the corruption that a lobbyist for the big drug companies or the energy industry could buy with that kind of money!

Mainstream media usually just love a good sex scandal, but they won't touch these. I read about them on the internet, not in the newspaper. The brother and sister who got kidnapped in, what was it, Montana? The Post is still writing about them, but the New-Pince-Wynn bill? Nada.

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