"Section 8. Review. Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."
Breathtaking in its scope, isn’t it? This is what the White House wants us to accept as “necessary” in order to solve a problem it technically didn’t create (though its “friends” sure helped) over the past eight years.
As catastrophic as this meltdown is, what is most disturbing is not the question of what Paulson will do with $700,000,000,000 — it is the fact that those in power feel comfortable enough in their hubris to expect us to accept this unprecedented grab for raw power.
What precedent? The one above, which generally is asking the other two branches of the government to, in effect, throw out the Constitutional assumption of non-delegation.
Each branch of the government is – by the very nature of its purpose – not allowed to “sign over” its central function to the other two branches. What is being “asked for” by Paulson and the Bush administration is, in essence, this: Legislative, Judicial, you are no longer allowed to carry out your primary purpose mandated to you by the United States Constitution.
In the past eight years we have seen a tremendous erosion of our rights. There was some hope with the last election that the PATRIOT Act would be severely curtailed – portions of it at least – but that didn’t happen. In combination with this, we’ve seen our rights as members of this “economic” society also greatly diminished.
Indeed, what’s happened in the past 72 hours is frighteningly reminiscent of the horrors pointed out in Naomi Klein’s bestseller, The Shock Doctrine. Granted Milton Friedman wasn’t here for the final crash of the wrecking ball into the now dilapidated edifice of what once was the greatest economy in the world.
But then he didn’t need to be. His acolytes now control virtually every facet of corporate America and the federal government.
President Roosevelt, in his 1936 acceptance speech before the Democratic Convention, warned Americans, in no uncertain terms, against a clearly emerging threat to both their freedom and way of life. His term for them was economic “royalists”. These royalists, the President said, were (for the moment) content to allow the average Joe and Jane American retain their Bill of Rights, just so long as they would allow themselves to become enslaved economically. But, as the President announced, one is no more “free” if his economic “rights” are taken from him than if he were stripped of his Bill of Rights.
I urge everyone to read this extraordinary speech. There isn’t a politician alive today, nor has their been one in the past 40 years, who would have the political guts to say what President Roosevelt said there that day.
Now we are seeing the wholesale stripping of these rights, political and economic.
The men and women of this country have lost their ability to make a decent living. Only 12% of our economy is devoted to manufacturing, while 21% is devoted to the financial sector. Most the rest is taken up by the euphemistically titled “service” sector. Real wage growth stopped years ago. Median income, which is the only rational way to measure income growth, has gone down. A two-income family long ago stopped being a luxury and became a necessity.
The one last piece of the American Pie left us was the possibility to own a home. Now that’s being ripped away from us, too. So this is a perfect time – while we’re all in SHOCK – for the thieves, as they finish stealing the silver, to also ask us for the keys to the car.
Will we give it to them? Or will we finally begin to take back our lives? Our country?
A country that hasn’t been “stolen” by illegal immigrants, gays, Iraqis, Muslims, secular humanists, non-Christians, scientists, Hollywood, Canadians, our school teachers, liberals, moderates, the French, or even people who listen to NPR; but rather by those at the top — the top of the corporate ladder, the top of the “Christian” Right ladder, the top of the partisan political ladder…
And those at the very top — the one percenters.
The ones who by their very actions show that:
More is never enough…
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