Contact your representatives today!

I’m not really the most political of guys, I’m much happier talking about box-office reports than public-opinion polls, but I’ve been angered by George W. Bush from the moment he stole the election in 2000. Something about the way he subverted democratic principles and the will of the people in order to grab power kind of rubbed me the wrong way. Funny how he’s proceeded to subvert democratic principles and the will of the people a thousand different ways since then. Started an illegal war, illegally detained and tortured prisoners, didn’t bother pursuing the people responsible for the events of 9/11, looked the other way while an American city was destroyed, illegally wiretapped American’s phones, those kind of things, I’ve got to say, they just don’t sit right with stats

And yet, I’ve kind of let all those things go by without really getting involved. But this Wall Street bailout thing has sent me right over the edge. No pretext, no explanation, no excuse, just a loaded revolver aimed at the temple of the American middle-class, "hand over all your money so that my wealthy friends can stay wealthy or else." Did someone say $700 billion dollars? Try $1.8 trillion dollars. And keep in mind, the language of the bill only limits taxpayer involvement at $700 billion at any given time — that is, we’re talking about a slush fund of $700 billion, to be replenished and handed out however our financial overlords see fit, with no oversight, no checks or balances, on Bush’s say so. Everyone is talking about it as a bailout, but I have a hard time seeing it as anything besides just handing over the keys to the Treasury to Wall Street. And you can tell from the markets that Wall Street sees it for what it is — a blank check, a carte blanche to keep going full-steam ahead, no correction, no regulation, no punishment required. Yahoo! We finally failed so big that we now get to raid the Treasury!  It’s grand theft in broad daylight on an unimaginable scale.

So, I don’t generally do this, but please, Write your Congressperson, write your senator. It’s fun and easy and, believe it or not, it makes a difference. If enough people show that they are royally pissed off about this, maybe the spineless Democrats won’t cave on this one — after all, congressmen don’t make so much money that they won’t be affected by this. (Speaking of which, I simply cannot believe that this, this, has become a partisan issue — why are all the headlines today about the "Democratic Response" to this obscene, dripping phallus of a bill? For Christ’s sake, fucking NEWT GINGRICH is against it! UPDATE: Christ on a pogo stick, even rabid conservative hate-hound Michelle Malkin is against it — and she’s dumb as a post and evil as creosote!)

UPDATE: If you’d like to know what all this has to do with the election, you will not get a finer, more readable, more comprehensive overview than this right here.

Longtime reader The Editor tells me that a snail-mail letter to your representatives carries more weight than a phone call or email, but due to the emergency nature of this atrocity that’s being rammed down America’s throat in record time, I urge readers to do both. Write the email, copy the text, paste it into your word processing program, print it up and send it.

Thanks! Analysis of Jeepers Creepers, Pumpkinhead, The Wizard of Oz, and A.I. are on their way. To my readers who suggested I watch Tetsuo: The Iron Man and Ginger Snaps — well, I tried. I really did. Sorry.


30 Responses to “Contact your representatives today!”
  1. capthek says:

    The other thing that isn’t being pointed out about the Bush administration enough is his old line about how he was an oil man, so as president he would use his oil connections and knowledge to keep prices down.

    Yep, he was a republican so he would keep us safe from terrorist attacks, yep, he was a businessman so he knew how to keep our economy strong, the education president, ect…

    Honestly, if another republican becomes president within a decade we will have the ultimate proof that this nation has no memory, even if our most helpful time of youtube.

  2. Longtime reader The Editor tells me that a snail-mail letter to your representatives carries more weight than a phone call or email, but due to the emergency nature of this atrocity that’s being rammed down America’s throat in record time, I urge readers to do both. Write the email, copy the text, paste it into your word processing program, print it up and send it.

    Is this now true? A couple of years ago, we were told that snail mail had been slowed down due to inspections put in place after the anthrax scare, and that at times, paper mail didn’t get through at all.

    • malsperanza says:

      In my real life job, we do some lobbying of Congress (on copyright law). We hear again and again from professionals that

      a) A snailmail letter counts a lot more than an email, though email counts too;

      b) A letter (whether paper or e) sent to a Rep. or Sen. from anyone who is not a voter in that district/state doesn’t count for squat.

  3. quitwriting says:

    I’ll do what I can, man.

    You might find that interesting.

  4. stormwyvern says:

    Robert Reich has put together a list of conditions that could be attached to the bailout which have been put into a petition here. I know online petitions for anything are not hugely effective unless they get very large numbers of signatures in a relatively short amount of time, but I do encourage everyone to take a look at it and get informed in general. What we need to tell our Congresspeople is that the American people are against this bailout – either without conditions or in general, that we understand the facts of the situation and aren’t just having a kneejerk reaction to our money going to big Wall Street companies, and that no one who matters is going to be angry with them for not acting quickly on this or for attaching conditions to the money. The general public doesn’t see a positive spin on this. It isn’t money for Haliburton disguised as support for our troops. It isn’t tax cuts for the wealthy disguised as money for everyone. No one sees this as anything but tons of money that we have to pay the government being funneled into private companies that are going through a rough patch. If Bush says he’ll veto it if there are conditions attached. let him. Let him go to the public and explain why it would be so horrible to give Congress oversight of the money or ensure that the executives who caused this mess have to feel some of the pain too or put the regulations that Wall Street spent so much time and money and effort insisting that they didn’t need that could have prevented this entire crisis from happening back into effect. Let him try to convince the American people that Wall Street needs a big blank check with no strings attached and that it’s in the taxpayers’ best interests to cough up the money. It should make for a good laugh, if nothing else.

    • Todd says:

      Of course, Bush won’t explain any of that, he’ll simply tar anyone who opposes him as a traitor, as he has done in every other case so far. That’s why the whole Friday-night nature of the bill was presented the way it was — We must act now! The nation is in peril!! — so that he could pose as a savior while stealing the nation blind — not just us, but several generations to come.

      • stormwyvern says:

        Yes, but like I said, I don’t think the public is buying it this time. People aren’t seeing this as something that’s effecting everyone or a sacrifice they have to make for they greater good. It’s finally a proposal that is too blatant to spin as anything but handouts for people at the top funded by taxpayers. Bush may well try to paint this the same way he has every other policy fight he’s faced: claiming to be doing the right thing and making the hard choice and keeping the country safe while his opponents look for easy, poll-driven answers that will ultimately weaken America. But again, I don’t think it’s going to fly this time. It doesn’t take an economist to see this plan for what it is. There are no big ideas or patriotic emotions mixed up in here. I haven’t been very optimistic about the average American’s political literacy as of late, but I honestly think that people get this and no amount of rhetoric is going to make them think that giving unheard of amounts of money to giant companies is a good idea.

  5. stainedecho says:

    I did write my senator, and I linked your “fox and hen house” post, because it was fantastic and I think more people need to see it. 🙂

    • Todd says:

      Where did you link to me from? I couldn’t find it on your LJ.

      • stainedecho says:

        Oh, I meant I linked your lj in the e-mail I sent to my senator. I didn’t link you in my lj, but I probably will shortly. 🙂

        • Todd says:

          Oh awesome! That’s ten times better.

          • stainedecho says:

            Keep an eye on C-SPAN to see if Evan Bayh says anything that might sound eerily similar to your post… who knows? 🙂

            • Todd says:

              The weird thing is that I had the hen-house idea the moment I heard the news, but I waited a day to write the piece because I assumed everyone would be using the metaphor all over the place. Then, strangely, no one else did.

          • stormwyvern says:

            I was thinking of citing your foxes running the henhouse piece in my various letters to Congress, but the site I was using to send them thought I was writing too much anyways (not a shock), so I ended up letting it go. It’s a fantastic metaphor though and I share your surprise that it hasn’t been used more widely.

  6. jbacardi says:

    My senators are Mitch McConnell and Jim Bunning, two of the most evil assholes in Washington, so I don’t think my email will even get read, let alone make a difference. Still, gotta do something, so I’m gonna try.

    A saddening majority of people where I live are just fine with Dubya because he claims to believe in God and be a religious man. It makes me angry and sad in equal measure.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Dear Ken

    Dear Ken Salazar,

    I voted for you. Please stop letting the Republicans rape society in the anus with Wall Street for the dildo. Or I will not vote for you again.


    Maybe I’ll pretty it up before I send it but I think he’ll get the idea.

  8. gillan says:

    Just sent letters to my representative and both senators. Thanks for prodding me into action.

    Looking forward to the Jeepers Creepers and Pumpkinhead analyses.

  9. johnnycrulez says:

    I’ve sent copies of your Henhouse metaphor (credited to you, of course) to several of my friends who were unsure of what to think about the whole thing.

    I thought Jeepers Creepers was really good up until a certain point. Are you going to review the Blob? You said you agreed with me on how awesome it is, but I wasn’t sure if that meant anything.

  10. robjmiller says:


    I’m convinced that if you can watch Pumpkinhead, you can watch even the most frantic, incomprehensible asian horror flick.

    In that vein, you should see Survive Style 5+ (honestly, I’ll use any context to pump that movie). One of the 5 storylines is horror-related (ultra-stylized undead), it has my favorite Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano (of Zatoichi remake and Ichi the Killer fame), everyone’s favorite British hitman Vinnie Jones, and it is probably the funniest movie I have seen in years.

  11. malsperanza says:

    One thing that terrifies me is that the Gops will somehow manage to suggest that Obama looks weak on this topic because he is taking a fairly responsible view that simply refusing to bail out the banking system would melt the world ecoomy.

    McCain is trotting around saying No Bailout, as if it were that simple. So it seems crucial to me that the voting public learn a little more about Phil Gramm, who would no doubt be the next Secy of the Treasury in a McCain administration. Gramm gramm gramm.

  12. Anonymous says:

    So now, apparently, Henry Paulson doesn’t like the idea of adding punitive elements to the bailout package. We can’t scold the CEOs, lest they refuse to accept the billions of dollars in free money they desperately need.

    If this is the case, I wouldn’t trust this guy to run a gas station, much less our national financial system.

    Wrote both my senators online, btw.

    — N.A.

  13. kornleaf says:

    would you call altered states or jacob’s ladder monster movies?

    • Todd says:

      Altered States perhaps (it’s been a long time), Jacob’s Ladder not.

      • yezra says:

        I dunno… It was, technically, all in his head, but those doctors leaning over Tim Robbins in the basement of that hospital were pretty monstrous. I felt like I was trapped inside a Francis Bacon painting at that point.

        Loved Altered States. Haven’t seen it since it was in the cinema. Is that even available on DVD?

  14. kornleaf says:

    personally talked to boxer, lofgren and honda about this, we are all rather pissed and rather pissed about a few other things, mainly all these lies that have been thrown around about this and other situations.

    listening to NPR over this makes my head hurt;
    first of all; Fanny-may etc; how the hell does a single company have THAT much effect on the financial market. Apparently if it fell it would have had a WORSE effect than if the ENTIRE economy of Japan collapsed.
    second; this situation could have been avoided by simple keynesian principles of market stability for CONTROLLED growth. But no, we are greedy whiner babies.

    I feel soo bad for the people who have been screwed over by this; people who are having mortgage problems, people just now trying to get credit, the future…

    yeah. sad state of affairs, and we have the disappearing fresh water problem that no one is talking about that we are going to have to deal with soon. yay!