legislation

Congress Betrays The U.S. STEM Worker Once Again

stemThe House of Representatives is out to destroy the American Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Professional. Republicans passed H.R. 6429 with the oxymoron title, STEM Jobs Act of 2012. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and this bill gives 55,000 foreigners a year who graduate from an American university with a Masters or PhD in these fields an employment sponsored green card. Democrats didn't like it, not because it will labor arbitrage American Technical Professionals and lock out some Americans from even being accepted into Masters and PhD university programs. No, Democrats don't like the idea of separating the agenda of giving those here illegally legal status from the corporate lobbyist never ending demand for more foreign guest worker Visas and turning the American higher education system into a glorified green card ATM. Democrats believe they will never get their unlimited migration agenda through Congress without sacrificing the American Science and Technology professional to the globalization wolves.

As GOP Primaries Numb Your Brain, Congress is Up to More Tricks

clockworkorganbraineyedropsWhile inane campaign rhetoric lulls you to sleep, forcing you to watch reruns of shipping wars until your brain melts and flows into that puddle of lost dreams and promises, Congress has been up to some things.

Remember those outrages du jour, such as using Stimulus funds to hire foreign guest workers? Remember your hard earned taxpayer dollars being used to bring in Chinese foreign workers and Chinese steel to build the Oakland Bay Bridge in California?

A very important amendment passed the Senate and was entered into Bill S.1813, MAP-21, alternatively known as the Transportation Bill. The amendment strengths the Buy America provision by closing a loophole.

Senator Sherrod Brown on the Senate Floor:

Legal Congressional Bribery Exposed by 60 Minutes

CBS 60 Minutes has another bombshell report. It seems while handing cash under the table to members of Congress is graft, offering pre-IPO stock, guaranteed to make a profit for an elected representative...isn't. In Congress: Trading stock on inside information, we have yet another blow by blow playbook on how to use your elected public office to get rich quick.

The White House, Big Oil, and the "American Power Act"

Michael Collins

This analysis looks behind the scenes at how the ban on offshore drilling was lifted and what that had to do with the ultimate prize for big oil, the American Power Act.  It focuses on the current administration.  That in no way implies that the problem originated in January 2009.  The out sized and destructive influence of the oil monopoly has been with us for since the 1870's.

Banning Offshore Drilling

In 1969 a Unocal oil rig off the coast of Santa Barbara, California began leaking oil.  The extent of the leak, damage to wildlife, and the shoreline caused considerable outrage.  The state of California banned offshore drilling shortly after the leak.  In 1980, Congress banned offshore drilling in most federally controlled waters.  President George H.W. Bush reluctantly banned off shore drilling in 1990 for California, Florida, Oregon and Washington and in the North Atlantic.

An Update on Financial Reform Legislative Shenanigans

Update: The bill passed, 59-39. Next stop will be the conference committee, where a manager's amendment along with other modifications are possible.

Update: Republicans blocked the Merkley-Levin amendment. The amendment which would have stopped proprietary trading with taxpayers, account holders money. Nasdaq News:

Two of the most anxiously awaited amendments to the U.S. Senate's financial-overhaul bill will not get votes after Republicans maneuvered to kill a controversial plan to sharply curb a lucrative Wall Street trading business.

As the endgame on the bill drew close, Republican leaders convinced U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback (R., Kan.) to withdraw his hot-button amendment that would have excluded auto dealers from oversight by the new consumer watchdog created by the bill.

Brownback's move effectively squashed a second, contentious amendment that had been attached, for strategic reason, to the Brownback amendment. The second amendment--hotly opposed by Wall Street--would have banned most banks from using their own capital to make market bets, so-called proprietary trading.

Beware of the Manager's Amendment

Beware of the Manager's amendment! Today it was announced Senators Chris Dodd and Richard Shelby are putting a manager's amendment into the Financial Reform bill currently before Congress.

Manager's amendments are notorious. They are often massive, no one gets to read them before a vote. Literally they can gut the very bill being crafted and voted on for months in a matter of seconds.

According to the Huffington Post, a number one corporate lobbyists' priority is being considered for the manager's amendment.

Senator Dodd seems lukewarm at best on the question of state authority and has refused to rule out including a version of Carper in his manager's amendment

The Carper amendment would block states from enforcing consumer protection laws.

To introduce a massive bill, under the guise of a manger's amendment, at the last minute, which no one has read, is common. When the financial reform bill was passed out of committee, Chris Dodd introduced a manger's amendment then, at the last minute.

House Financial Services Committee Chair Barney Frank did the same thing.

What do you want to see in a jobs program?

Manufacture This has a blog post, What do you think a jobs bill should say? Good question. While they leave an email address to send in ideas, I thought we might post our ideas into the public sphere.

Leave your policy and legislation wish list in a comment and I will update the post with suggestions.

Here is what I would like to see:

  • Cancel all State and Federal offshore outsourced contracts. Bring those jobs back.
  • Immediate freeze on all guest worker Visas.
  • Mandatory Expansion of Nursing Schools with above market value Professor Salaries. Students must be permanent residents, U.S. citizens.

Derivatives, Remember Them? Obama's Legislative Proposal

A legislative proposal for derivatives regulation has been release from the Obama administration. The actual bill is IMPROVEMENTS TO REGULATION OF
OVER-THE-COUNTER DERIVATIVES MARKETS
(large pdf). Here is he U.S. Treasury overview of the bill in a press release.

First, what kills me is the Treasury calls OTC and CDSes financial innovation. I don't think mathematical fiction is a new science frankly. It's so strange to me that no one is looking to regulate these instruments themselves.

Ok, what's in the bill (or what is not in it)?

The Wall Street Journal:

The Keys to the Kingdom - Congressman Peter DeFazio on the Bailout

It's a Bunch of B.S.

You heard it. He said it.  Representative Peter DeFazio called Treasury Secretary Paulson's Bail Out Bill a bunch of B.S.....

 

The Reaction?    Damn straight Congressman DeFazio!

If only we had more of you to represent us!

Anyone not familiar with Congress Representative Peter DeFazio of Oregon, you should be.  This is one guy who cannot be bought and speaks some obvious truth and votes accordingly!  Pander?   Not this guy and he sure as hell isn't pandering in this speech.


Text of Bail Out Act Before Congress - TAKE ACTION NOW!

Update 09/28/08: If you are looking for the latest draft of the bill, look here. The draft in this blog post is now out of date - The Economic Populist Admin.

Calculated Risk has the scoop on the text of the bailout bill. 

Hat tip to Calculated Risk via Kossack 3 goldens, who has supplied the text of the Wall Street Bailout Act that Bush expects Congress to approve within the next week.

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