Tuesday, September 27, 2005

We Blame the Victims

The Gray Lady, our formidable “New York Times,” ran a Web page story on Monday night Tuesday morning (now gone) on how the victims of Katrina are about to be screwed by the bankruptcy reform bill passed by the (r)epublican-led Congress and signed by their friend in the White House.

Here’s the lede from Mary Williams Walsh and Riva D. Atlas: “When Congress agreed this spring to tighten the bankruptcy laws and crack down on consumers who took on debt irresponsibly, no one had the victims of Hurricane Katrina in mind.”

Were they capable of such clairvoyance, our congressional leaders would have kept it out of the picture anyway.

There is nothing to help distinguish “responsible” consumers in trouble, from those that are not, and the effect of the bill was to deliver goodies to the (r)epublicans favorite welfare target – corporate America.

Of course, as the article notes, “[M]any once-solvent Katrina victims are likely to be caught up in the net intended to catch deadbeats.”

Again, that’s because a net’s a net. It’s dropped for tuna, it kills dolphins, and so it goes, the ham-hand of (r)epublican governance.

The article goes on to point out that Democrats, with some truly compassionate folk from the other side of the aisle, wanted to “reopen” the bill and make sure storm victims, which would be pretty easy to prove if you were one, get a little relief from the new bankruptcy regime.

And here’s a surprise: “But House [r]epublicans, who fought off a proposed amendment that would have made bankruptcy filings easier for victims of natural disasters [that was a worthy cause], said there was no reason to carve out a broad exemption just because of the storm.”

Well, how about a not-so-broad-exemption that says if you lost everything in the hurricane, you get a break from hounding creditors?

Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner (r), who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, said “no” to legislative relief on the hurricane front and said the lawmakers who lost the long fight over the law, “ought to get over it.”
Those who “lost” you see. Not Americans, but winners and losers.

For those of you burdened with the abbreviated historical memory most Americans possess, Sensenbrenner’s one of the pieces of shit who wasted the country’s time, and abandoned its security, to the tiresome impeachment President Clinton.

Here’s this prick’s number (202) 225-5101. the scribe has already called him, you should too!

According to Salon.com, Rep. Sheila Jackson, a Berkeley Democrat and the only person in the House to oppose the original resolution authorizing (w) to go to war, had this to say at the time of the bankruptcy bill’s passage:

“Families that are affected by natural disasters such as a hurricane in Florida or the mudslides in California should not have to apply their scarce relief effort monies to bankruptcy debt. The intent in providing federal and state monies to families who are victims of such natural disasters is to relieve the burden that the disaster has caused, not to increase their net worth. Bankruptcy reform should address many specific issues, such as the negligent mismanagement of money, but to hurt those who are already suffering from flooding or a collapsed roof or house that has gone out to sea is absolutely ridiculous.”


And why, cooking under klieg lights Katrina hath summoned, would a (r)epublican already nervous about his midterm election prospects hold firm on screwing victims?

Because lobbyists for credit card companies are holding the reins and riding them hard, whispering in their waxy ears: “We’ll take their money no matter what the circumstances.”

That’s the free market folks. Anyone who’s ever called Capitol One or Aspire for a little love and understanding knows what I’m talking about.

But it’s all okay, because here in the U.S. of A., we blame the victims who are are the last ones able to help themselves and hence the easiest pickings for those who are stronger, for those who would prey.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Nice, scribe. What about those Angels?

Deb said...

After the economic report from the SF Chronicle it is more than clear to me that filing bankrupcty is my only out, but I can't afford it and it is only going to get worse. If people don't have a job, don't own a home (anymore), why do they think people are even going to try and pay bills with money they don't have, with jobs that no longer exist. Between the cost of rent, gas and food the American shell game of paying bills is about to come to a crashing halt. Great it's nice to know that even if we have an earthquake my financial situation can't get any worse, or better.

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