Tag Archives: NDC

To Whom Among Us Will Stop this War?

(Keep the calls up! – promoted by blogswarm)

Last night, Keith Olberman went off on the Democratic Party for looking awful for capitulating to Bush on Iraq. Awful.

It is time to stand up and that begins with Ellen Tauscher. In the last major vote, her caucus looked like the idiots club with the following members voting against ending the war:

Vice Chair Ron Kind (WI-03), John Barrow (GA-12), Melissa Bean (IL-08), Shelley Berkley (NV-01), Ben Chandler (KY-06), Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Bob Ethridge (NC-02), Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD-AL), Mike McIntyre (NC-07), Charlie Melancon (LA-03), Dennis Moore (KS-03), Allyson Schwartz (PA-13), David Scott (GA-13), and Vic Snyder (AR-02)

It is time for Tauscher to step up and get her caucus in line.

Ellen Tauscher: Protecting Freedom-loving Corporations from the horde of Real People at the Gate

So I was talking with an esteemed linguistics scholar at Berkeley (I’ll leave that up to your imagination as to who it is) the other day about Tauscher. I mentioned the couple of interviews with the media and some of the basis for a primary challenge.  I discussed all the areas that really angered us. You know, the “left cliff”,the“kabuki dance”,and my personal worst Tauscherism ever…THE BANKRUPTCY BILL. But we talked about what Tauscher was really doing, and after a little while a few words kept coming up

Tauscher fails to protect Americans from Corporations.  Or, put another way, Tauscher protects Corporations OVER Americans.  She doesn’t fight for the people, rather she fights for DC’s lobbyists.  And don’t take this as some left-wing screed against all business, or all trade or whatever nonsense.  I’m most certainly not against all business.  After all, I like my tech toys, how do I get those without business…or without trade?  No, this is about fair, reasoned trade, not just jumping at every possible deal to allow American companies to exploit foreign labor pools.  I was quoted, well actually paraphrased, in the CoCo Times saying that I believed in ideology over viability.  I assure you this is not what was said, but another part of the remark was accurate:  Once voters hear Tauscher’s record, they won’t like it or her, he said.

Yup, I said that.  It’s true too.  She has a record that sets her up perfectly for a challenge, not from the left per-se, but from populism.  She is actively supporting corporations over people.  A populist primary challenge would hammer her on the fact that she hasn’t stood up against corporatism like her neighbors in CA-11 and CA-07 have.  That’s really what’s underlying everything with her: she’s anti-populist.  She is of the money,or as David Sirota put it, she is a “leader of the Money party”:

Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA): Tauscher has been one of the most aggressive spokespeople for the Money Party, using her position to undercut major Democratic efforts to address core economic issues from a middle-class perspective. As an example, it was Tauscher who ran to newspapers desperately trying to let K Street know that she would be working to undermine Democrats’ efforts to reform our trade policy. More recently, she told the New York Times that Democrats would be engaging in a“kabuki dance” with their own base voters – implying that there would be moves for show, but that pay-to-play business as usual in Washington will continue in the new Congress.

In other words, she fights in favor of the moneyed interests over the interests of the people.  Let’s move over the flip…

Let’s start with the bankruptcy bill, and then we’ll get into more stuff later. I’m going to bust out the famous New Democrats’ Letter regarding the bankruptcy bill, and this is all over the place, and most assuredly this won’t be the last time you see it grace these (virtual) pages. (ViaAtrios):


To: NDC Members

From: Reps. Ellen Tauscher, Ron Kind, Artur Davis and Adam Smith

Re: NDC Key Vote Alert!

Date: April 13, 2005

Tomorrow, the House will consider S. 256, The Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act. We write to let you know that final passage of the Bill will be a key vote for the NDC and to encourage you to support this common-sense, bipartisan legislation.

Encourages Personal Responsibility

This bill reflects the New Democrat principle of greater personal responsibility by ensuring that those who have the ability to pay off some of their debt do so, and reaffirming that bankruptcy should be a last resort instead of a first option. Requiring people to file under Chapter 7, rather than Chapter 13, and set up a payment plan to repay some or all of their debt is reasonable and fair.

Protects People Living Below Median Income

Only those living above the median income and who have ability to pay debt will be required to do so. Conversely, millionaires who use bankruptcy as a method of financial planning will no longer be allowed to buy extravagantly and subsequently have all debt written off.

Helps Consumers and Small Businesses

Bankruptcy costs are passed on to other consumers, and the average family pays hundreds of dollars a year in higher prices. Small businesses that might otherwise not be paid for their goods or services will have a better chance of gaining compensation as a result of this bill.

Ensures Help for Most Needy

S. 256 includes protections ensuring alimony and child support payments are made. We believe single parents and dependent children need our help far more than millionaires who benefit from current bankruptcy laws. All consideration will be given to factors including job security, medical bills, and other circumstances.


New Democrats have long fought for common sense changes to our bankruptcy laws. Bankruptcy reform legislation has passed the House of Representatives numerous times. In the 108th Congress, it passed 315 to 113 with 90 Democrats voting for it and 70 percent of NDC members supporting it. Earlier this year, S. 256 passed the Senate with a vote of 74 to 25. It is past time that Congress pass sensible bankruptcy reform.

S. 256, The Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act

YES on Final Passage

I think the years since enactment have proven what a disaster the bankruptcy bill really is.  It’s really one of the worst pieces of legislation ever written.  Is it bipartisan? Sure? The credit card companies paid congress members of both parties to sign onto the legislation that THEY wrote.  This legislation wasn’t Republican or Democratic, nope this was Banky Goodness the whole way.  And as for getting help for the most needy? Then why no exceptions for National Guardsmen, medical catastrophes, or for natural disasters?  Sensible bankruptcy reform? Hardly.

No, this was Ellen Tauscher and the NDC selling out to the corporate elite.  She needs to account for these votes and prove that she deserves re-election.

Results of Ellen Tauscher Sell-Out on Bankruptcy Bill

On the eighth of March, 2005 the Bankruptcy Bill was still in the Senate. But the New Democrat Coalition wanted to get out in front of the issue and expedite the legislation in the House. So they wrote a stern letter to then Speaker Dennis Hastert and put together a press release to declare their, “intention to work across the aisle to pass bankruptcy reform into law.” The entire press release and letter (with NDC Chair Ellen Tauscher in the Hancock position), were posted online by The New Republic under the headline For Shame. TNR’s web response stated in part:

This magazine and multiple other opinion outlets on the center-left have written at length about how the bill in question is a truly contemptible piece of legislation. Worse, there is no plausible political rationale for supporting it other than to appease credit card companies.

Appease the credit card companies they did. The NDC move helped pass the bill, which made MNBA such a valuable commodity that it was bought up by Bank of America. Surprising nobody, least of all NDC members, BOA earnings are up an astonishing 47%

The legislation was truly contemptible and the politics were even worse. Not only did Tauscher sell out, but she triangulated against any Democrat opposing the bill as being out of the mainstream. Here is the second paragraph of NDC’s press release:

“I’m pleased to see so many New Democrats band together in calling for a mainstream solution to bankruptcy reform. I hope Speaker Hastert will heed our calls and move promptly to bring this legislation to the floor soon,” said Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher.

So if anyone says contempt for Tauscher is simply a debate about Rubinomics, they are wrong. This is a problem with a safe Democratic Party seat being wasted on somebody willing to sell out and let the powerful get richer through legislation.

And the days of the Democratic Party screwing over people so corporations get richer are long over.

Last night Jim Webb gave an amazing response to George Bush’s State of the Union. At CMR, Sherry Greenberg explained the significance by noting, “Webb echoed the themes that won it for us in November — the failed folly of Iraq and populism.” Indeed, Democrats have finally found success by doing the exact opposite of the DLC and NDC.

Tauscher’s problem is that Webb could have been talking about just as much about her as the President when it came to economic policy:

When I graduated from college, the average corporate CEO made 20 times what the average worker did; today, it’s nearly 400 times. In other words, it takes the average worker more than a year to make the money that his or her boss makes in one day.

Wages and salaries for our workers are at all-time lows as a percentage of national wealth, even though the productivity of American workers is the highest in the world. Medical costs have skyrocketed. College tuition rates are off the charts. Our manufacturing base is being dismantled and sent overseas. Good American jobs are being sent along with them.

In short, the middle class of this country, our historic backbone and our best hope for a strong society in the future, is losing its place at the table. Our workers know this, through painful experience. Our white-collar professionals are beginning to understand it, as their jobs start disappearing also. And they expect, rightly, that in this age of globalization, their government has a duty to insist that their concerns be dealt with fairly in the international marketplace.

In the early days of our republic, President Andrew Jackson established an important principle of American-style democracy – that we should measure the health of our society not at its apex, but at its base.

That is how politicians are measured too.

Something to think about with Tauscher having economic meetings with the White House.