Less than an hour after I finished tonight’s show, the Senate passed the financial regulation bill by a vote of 59-39. The two Democrats who voted against cloture yesterday and again today, Russ Feingold and Maria Cantwell, also voted against the final bill. And I agree with them.
They held out because they didn’t believe the bill was strong enough. They both wanted amendments brought to the floor that would have strengthened the bill, by bringing back Glass-Steagall and ending “too big to fail.”
Huffington Post reports:
“We need to eliminate the risk posed to our economy by ‘too big to fail’ financial firms and to reinstate the protective firewalls between Main Street banks and Wall Street firms,” said Feingold in a statement after the vote. Feingold supported the amendment to reinstate Glass-Steagall, among others.
“Unfortunately, these key reforms are not included in the bill,” he said. “The test for this legislation is a simple one — whether it will prevent another financial crisis. As the bill stands, it fails that test. Ending debate on the bill is finishing before the job is done.”
Here is the amendment that Cantwell is fighting to have attached. “Senators Cantwell and John McCain (R-AZ) have filed another amendment not yet debated that would reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act’s separation of commercial and investment banking. In her floor speech, Cantwell said she would like a vote on this measure, but that her primary concern was the derivatives issue,” said a statement from her office.
Unfortunately, tonight’s vote shows that the Senate is more concerned with the bankster’s contributions to their campaigns than with how their actions affect the rest of us. Yes, it’s all about the money.
My first guest tonight also knows that meme. Alex Gibney, Academy Award winning documentary producer and director is probably best known for his film, “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.” Tonight he joined me to talk about his new film, “Casino Jack and the United States of Money,” which tells the outlandish and unbelievable story of Jack Abramoff. In both of those films, it’s all about the money.
A couple of weeks ago, I was joined by Nashville-based singer/songwriter Danny Tate, who’s fighting for his life and livelihood against his brother and an unscrupulous probate judge in Tennessee. Danny’s final court dates come this Monday and Tuesday, following a big Awareness/Flood Relief concert Sunday night. Tonight, in addition to Danny, Kevin Montgomery -another wonderful artist, who’s taken Danny’s cause to heart and organized the concert – came on the show to give us an update on what’s going on.
And we wrapped up the week with the wonderful, just back from Haiti, John Fugelsang. (For him, it’s really not about the money!)