OK! We're halfway through the week and we're off to a great start. Last week I gave the spineless Dems five friendly suggestions for things they could do on the off chance they were interested in winning the midterm elections on November 2nd:
1. Deliver a blunt, nonstop reminder to the American people about exactly who it was that got us into the mess we're in.
2. Declare a moratorium on home foreclosures.
3. Prosecute the banks and Wall Street for the Crime of the Century.
4. Create a 21st century WPA (hire the unemployed to rebuild America).
5. Pledge that no Dem will take a dime from Wall Street in the next election cycle.
So how are we doing five days later? Not bad! It turns out that at least some of these ideas were so simple even elected Democrats could come up with them!
1. Dems have started running tough, killer ads that have balls and SAY WHAT NEEDS TO BE SAID. Check these out:
In the California Senate race, Barbara Boxer is going after Carly Fiorina on the outsourcing Fiorina did as CEO of HP.
Rep. Tim Bishop of Long Island, New York hits his GOP opponent Randy Altschuler on how HIS business sent jobs overseas.
Richard Blumenthal half-nelsons his Connecticut Senate opponent (and former WWE CEO) Linda McMahon who said we should consider cutting the minimum wage and then lied about having said it.
Jeez, it's like they wanna win! More of these, please -- NOW!
2. Foreclosure Moratorium fever among the Dems has amazingly swept the nation in the last week!
Democratic Attorneys General all over the country are now demanding moratoriums for their states: California (Jerry Brown, now running for Governor), Connecticut (Richard Blumenthal, now running for Senate), Delaware (Joe Biden's son Beau), Massachusetts (Martha Coakley, who probably wished she'd done this earlier since she lost the special Senate race in January to Scott Brown), Illinois (Lisa Madigan), Texas (Greg Abbott -- a Republican!) and Colorado (John Suthers -- another Republican!). And so is Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley (at the urging of Rep. Elijah Cummings, who you may remember from Capitalism: A Love Story).
Meanwhile, the Attorneys General of Iowa, Ohio and North Carolina are opening probes into the mortgage industry. And the banks are feeling the heat -- GMAC, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America have already suspended foreclosures in 23 states (with Detroit's Rep. John Conyers, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, calling on them to extend it to Michigan and the rest of the U.S.).
Wells Fargo? Citibank? Are you paying attention? Now's the time to do something good so you can later mention it to the sentencing judge.
And it goes on and on. Check the special section on my website that I'm updating every day as more and more Democratic officials announce they will no longer allow banks to kick families out of their homes.
3. Prosecute the bastards! Looks like that's what they're maybe finally going to do. Check out this stunning letter sent to Attorney General Holder yesterday by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and 30 other members of congress (PDF):
"...we urge you and your respective agencies to investigate possible violations of law or regulations by financial institutions in their handling of delinquent mortgages, mortgage modifications, and foreclosures. ... The excuses we have heard from financial institutions are simply not credible three years into this crisis. ... It is time that banks are held accountable for their practices that have left too many homeowners without real help."
According to the New York Times, banks will likely face a "wide range of government investigations" for years. Judges may ask for them to be indicted for perjury or obstruction of justice. The Justice Department could prosecute banks for mail and wire fraud, or for making false statements to the government. And the SEC could open civil investigations.
Now we need to hear the Justice Department announce their investigation.
And look -- Larry Summers is gone. Great move! The people's advocate, Elizabeth Warren, is in -- genius move! If that's the direction Obama is now heading in, then these bankers may be shaking in their Salvatore Ferragamos.
So, not a bad start, Democrats (20 months late)! Just four weeks to go and I'm feeling that maybe, just maybe, we may prevent the All Souls Day Massacre. The pundits, who are essentially tools for the Corporate States of America, may have to eat a lot of crow. And if the Dems escape death's door, they had better not let this nonsense happen again.
So, President Obama and Congress, let's get busy on ideas number four (WPA jobs) and five (pledge to take no further campaign money from Goldman and their friends).
C'mon everybody -- there's at least three million of you reading this (including the 700,000 of you who are my Twitter followers and my 300,000+ close Facebook friends). Let's pressure the Dems to quit cowering and kick some butt -- NOW!
P.S. On a different subject... One of the most moving, hopeful and powerful documentaries I've seen this year (or any year) opens at the Quad in NYC on Friday. It's called, "Budrus," and it's about a town by that name in the West Bank. The Palestinians in that town (and many of their Israeli neighbors on the other side of the Wall that's being constructed) come up with a way to totally undo the Israeli Defense Forces: pledge to defeat the occupiers by never firing a bullet, never throwing a stone, never causing any harm to their Jewish brothers and sisters. Whoa! What happens next is so effed up, so incredible, you have to see this movie to believe it. The film is brilliant. It won the top Founders Prize for nonfiction film at my film festival this summer. It will soon be coming to other cities. Do not miss it!!!
UPDATE: Demands that Attorney General Eric Holder investigate criminal actions by banks have been heard in D.C. A few hours ago, the Attorney General announced his Justice Department is in fact investigating if laws were broken by the banks that collapsed the mortgage market. Keep it up, Dems...
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