By Nancy Churchill
A Progressive Visionary
Who knew that an America election could degenerate into an endurance contest? That non-violent resistance could be as simple as courageously standing in line for hours just to cast a ballot? That voting could turn many thousands of ordinary Americans into heroes?
This past presidential election was a game-changer. Much more than just a win for Democrats, it was the people’s repudiation of Big Money’s influence in our elections. This election day, the people won, Big Money lost.
Nothing was more satisfying than the looks of disbelief on the faces of conservative operatives as they watched their takeover plans slip away. I was reminded of the stupid dog who’d tried to convince the cat there was food in the alley, only to discover his fabrication had convinced only himself.
But beware, Big Money’s shenanigans planned for the lame-duck Congress!
Katherine McFate of OMB Watch warns that senators are fast-tracking the Independent Agency Regulatory Analysis Act of 2012 (S. 3468). It would strip independent federal agencies of much of their independence, require expensive and unnessary cost-benefit analyses, and hand over to the White House the congressional control that’s currently in place.
These requirements would significantly curtail the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) ability to protect investors from financial fraud, for example, by delaying implementing of the financial oversight of the Dodd-Frank law. Yet, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (HSGAC), with chairman U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), may mark up this bill during the upcoming lame-duck session, even though no hearings have been held on the bill.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., cautions that Congress, egged on by Wall Street and corporate America, are planning to ram a deficit reduction plan through a lame-duck Congress, aimed at cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, while lowering tax rates for the wealthy and large corporations.
Meanwhile, U.S. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, urges the passage of the 21st Century Trade Agreements Act now, before negotiators from 11 nations and 600 corporate “advisers,” scrambling behind closed doors, conclude the corporate-coup-by-trade-agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The Trade Agreements Act would stop trade pacts that offshore U.S. jobs and flood us with unsafe imports, and would open up the negotiating process for the public and congressional oversight.
The power of Big Money runs deep. Heroically standing in line to vote won’t be enough to stop a hostile takeover of our democracy. Get involved during this lame-duck session of Congress. Tell both your U.S. senators to oppose the Independent Agency Regulatory Analysis Act, S. 3468, and pass the 21st Century Trade Agreements Act. Tell your representative to oppose cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to lower tax rates for the wealthy. They’ll surrender to Big Money, unless we stop them.
Visit United Republic (http://act.unitedrepublic.org/event/cosponsor/3865) to get the money out of politics, and Move To Amend (https://movetoamend.org/) to end corporate rule. Democracy needs participation to survive!
Highlights of Nancy Churchill’s life are growing up in Congo, Africa, until she was 15, racing stock cars as an adult from 1976 until 2001, and writing as a liberal political junkie since the early ’90s. She lives in Oregon, Ill.
From the Nov. 21-27, 2012, issue