Kurt Schrader Picks Wall Street Over Main Street

Dan Petegorsky

In the epic David versus Goliath battle to rein in the financial industry and prevent the predatory and ruinous practices that led us over the cliff to economic ruin, the House of Representatives struck a blow for common sense and for the little guy yesterday when it passed a major bill to overhaul regulations.

Kurt Schrader? He joined every single Republican in siding with Goliath.

Not only did Schrader vote against passage of the final bill, he voted against Main St. and against common sense on key amendments to strengthen the hand of everyday people and consumers against the banking giants and Wall St. speculators who have enriched themselves at our expense:

This last amendment was virtually identical to the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009, which passed the House on March 5, 2009. That time, Schrader voted Yes. But the bill was defeated in the Senate prompting Dick Durbin’s now famous remark that “the banks own the place.” Do they also now own Schrader?

Kurt Schrader has some ‘splainin’ to do.

Comments

  • alcatross (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Dan Petergorsky wrote: ...the banking giants and Wall St. speculators who have enriched themselves at our expense...

    Looks like federal employees aren't doing too badly themselves. Nearly 20% of federal employees now make $100K or more per year - a 46% increase in the last 2 years (i.e., during the recession...)

    The salary bonanza has pushed the average federal worker's pay to $71,206, compared with $40,331 in the private sector. Time for me to update my resume!

    And here we're celebrating the possible creation of yet another multi-billion dollar federal agency to ultimately be as ineffective as the layers of bureaucracy already in place.

  • (Show?)

    alc, i cannot believe you are making an argument based on "average" anything. that is simply a random number; it explains as much as does (a+b)=(b+a).

    the average private sector job inclues minimum & sub-minimum wage jobs, of which there are zillions. the lowest federal wages tend to start higher, and there are fewer of them. there are a variety reasons to explain why average is a bad choice for comparison between the two sectors. you may have an argument to make in this regard, but basing it on average salaries is pretty poor, second to "all government is bad".

  • Blue Collar Libertarian (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Schrader ought to be brought up on charges of lying to the public to get elected. Misrepresentation is a serious problem with these people. They don't seem to notice the difference between the truth and a hole in the ground.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
    (Show?)

    All true, including alcatross, imho.

    It's bad. The parallel consumer credit bill, whatever it was called, was meager help. Someone on the Hill needs to be riding herd, on a regular basis, to see that the details at least create a level playing field, if not consumer friendly. How about the right to close a credit account? Capitol One's new scam is to state "we're unable to close out your account until we wait 6 weeks to see that all purchases have cleared". Besides being blatantly untrue- they can close it whenever and pending charges simply fail- they then regard their fees as card activity, and never close the account. Saw recently they tried to assess fees between a Chapter 7 filing and its conclusion, to get a few hundred dollars not covered in the filing, when the consumer had closed out the account in writing a month before filing. Come on. She writes to the company saying close my account immediately and they dick around for 4 months. That is the kind of thing that we need to get a handle on.

    I can't really recommend it, because it's been slightly comical (when not outright pitiful), but the UK legislation dealing with bank bail-outs, essentially mandated that they change their attitude. No predatory thinking, and they have to actively demonstrate concern for the consumers' financial situations. You really should see the Lloyd's commercial suggesting that a few trips around the block at lunch might be more worthwhile than a gym membership. The bits where a little old lady comes into a branch and a suit asks all concerned if she is sticking to the financial plan they agreed on, is downright creepy.

    But that bit about the gym membership is the nut of it. You will never see that here because it's commercial interests uber alles, and you and I make up alles. We haven't been able to write decent anti-terrorist money laundering legislation because we can't parse "normal banking" from money laundering! This country is run by business for business, not the people. Only a revolution will ever change that, and the dittoheads are right on this one, it won't be "America" when it happens. The question our camp asks is just what are they so proud to lose, anyway?

    (Is the "Kurth" deal an amalgam of Kurt and Darth or thinking ahead to "Goliath"?)

  • (Show?)

    Is the "Kurth" deal an amalgam of Kurt and Darth or thinking ahead to "Goliath"?

    That's hysterical! It was actually a completely unintended typo, though clearly a perfect moniker under the circumstances. I've "corrected" the title above, but I tell you what: let's keep "Kurth Schrader" in reserve, to be activated in the future depending on whether the Congressman chooses to remain with the Dark Side, ok?

  • JonB (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I do find it odd that Congressman Schrader voted the RIGHT way on the Minnick amendment (which would have stopped the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency) and then voted against the overall package. Especially since it was the second to last amendment before final passage.

    It's very disappointing he would vote against common sense protections for the people over banks.

    for a while, we were unsure about Congressman Wu, but in the end, he did the right thing.

    I'd really like to hear from Schrader's office to find out just why he voted this way.

  • (Show?)

    OUR Kurt Schrader? In BED with monied interests? Surely, you JEST!

    All this time I thought he was The Second Coming of Wayne Morse ...

    ;-)

    (And readers wondered why I said I was ROLF when I got a Facebook invitation to be one of this guy's "fans.")

  • mp97303 (unverified)
    (Show?)

    If you read Matt Taibbi's latest, you will see that the Obama administration sold us out the day after the election. Why do I bother voting anymore?

  • alcatross (unverified)
    (Show?)

    t.a. barnhart commented: alc, i cannot believe you are making an argument based on "average" anything. that is simply a random number; it explains as much as does (a+b)=(b+a).

    I wasn't trying to make an argument - but the figure of $71,206 for the average federal worker's salary is hardly a 'random number'...

    Sure, I recognize there are 'zillions' of low-paying jobs that are going to pull the private sector number down - although I also recognize there are a not insignificant number of private sector salaries well above the highest federal employee salary. But a $30K differential in favor of federal jobs? That's well more than DOUBLE the differential of ~$13K in 2000.

    Plus the story has always been that salaries in comparable jobs in the public sector pay less than in the private sector - but private sector jobs typically have better benefits. Well, at an average of ~$41K per year versus ~$10K per year in the private sector, we can unequivocally say the federal benefits are better. But while salaries for many of us in the private sector have stagnated or even decreased these last few years as average Joes like alcatross and t.a. barnhart wrestle with the recession and the new economic realities, it's obviously: 'Recession? What recession?' for federal employees.

    And the federal government added 13,000 new employees in just the last year! Note the unemployment rate in Washington, DC is ~6.2% -- far below rates of other large cities: 9.3 percent in New York; over 10 percent in Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles - and the national average of 10.2 percent.

    I've never said 'all government is bad' - but I do very much believe that ineffectual, over-priced, redundant government is bad. And I believe that the new bureaucracies that would be created if this legislation went into effect as is will bring yet another generous portion of the latter (and a bunch more $100K+ federal employees)

  • (Show?)

    "Looks like federal employees aren't doing too badly themselves. Nearly 20% of federal employees now make $100K or more per year - a 46% increase in the last 2 years (i.e., during the recession...)"

    Yeah, that's nearly 1/100th of what a SHITTY Wall Street speculator makes! They're soooo comparable, I agree!

    How many federal employees live in the DC area, one of the most expensive cities in the country? How many live in NY, THE most expensive city in the country?

  • Jake Oken-Berg (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Dan P-- Thanks for your post. I looked up the votes on the bill yesterday and was dismayed to see Congressman Schrader's "no" vote. Has his office released an explanatory statement? I've checked his website several times and can't find anything except for an ironic post about "standing up to the credit card companies." Wouldn't the "Consumer Financial Protection Agency" he just voted against help average consumers stand up to credit card companies?

  • AdmiralNaismith (unverified)
    (Show?)

    With Democrats like this, it's becoming increasingly hard to justify having even one Republican in Congress. The Democrats are their own opposition party.

  • Kev M (unverified)
    (Show?)

    He's trying to look "moderate" to get re-elected.

    Shocking? I think not.

  • (Show?)

    He's trying to look "moderate" to get re-elected. Shocking? I think not.

    I doubt it. Clamping down on the bankers and Wall Street isn't just the moral and economically sensible position, it's also extremely popular among voters of all stripes. Remember: the "audit the Fed" provision that the House approved and that was part of the final bill was authored by the strange bedfellow pairing of Alan Grayson and Ron Paul.

  • alcatross (unverified)
    (Show?)

    torridjoe commented: Yeah, that's nearly 1/100th of what a SHITTY Wall Street speculator makes! They're soooo comparable, I agree!

    I WASN'T trying to compare the two... but if you insist: a SHITTY Wall Street speculator LOSES money - and doesn't remain a Wall Street speculator very long. Whereas a SHITTY federal employee typically has a job for life unless they commit some obvious offense for which they can be terminated. And there aren't 383,000 Wall Street speculators even in total - shitty or otherwise - let alone 383,000 Wall Street speculators making over $10M per year.

    In fact, observing the way much of the federal government handles our money, I wouldn't be surprised to find out there are a good number of former SHITTY Wall Street speculators that are now $100K+ federal employees.

  • (Show?)

    Has his office released an explanatory statement?

    If they have...I haven't seen it. Of course I've asked to be put on their press release/advisory list to no avail. (sigh)

  • (Show?)

    a SHITTY Wall Street speculator LOSES money - and doesn't remain a Wall Street speculator very long

    ROTFLMAO.

    A.I.G. Planning Huge Bonuses After $170 Billion Bailout "The American International Group, which has received more than $170 billion in taxpayer bailout money from the Treasury and Federal Reserve, plans to pay about $165 million in bonuses by Sunday to executives in the same business unit that brought the company to the brink of collapse last year."

    The Rich and Powerful Can Avoid Risk "The financial sector did not merely transfer risk onto the taxpayers. It greatly amplified the risk, and took out large bonuses, before handing the bill to the victims across the national and world economic landscape."

    I could list hundreds more examples, but, really, why bother.

  • (Show?)

    "but if you insist: a SHITTY Wall Street speculator LOSES money - and doesn't remain a Wall Street speculator very long."

    In what fairy tale world does this happen? My fairly recent recollection is that a whole bunch of shitty speculators lost a few trillion dollars by pulling derivatives of derivatives of derivatives 30 times over out of their ass, and then saying "whoops! can you save us?" to the federal government.

    And far from being fired, we discovered this week that if they complain and piss and moan a little bit, the federal government will back off of enforcing even $500,000 BONUS limits (not salary, BONUS) for these very same losers who have tanked your 401K. Much less FIRE them, ha ha. Is it warm on your planet? Not even a limit of 500K in a BONUS...which if you do the math on, is five times what a federal worker makes in a whole year, total, period.

  • (Show?)

    Of course, there is also the possibility that Congressman Schrader looked past the state intent of the measures and considered their impacts.

    For example, it sounds great to authorize bankruptcy courts to write-down loans and reduce the principal balance to the value of the collateral--until people go to get a home mortgage in the future and banks require huge equity or additional assets to be pledge in order to get a loan at all.

    Of course, then you'll all be screaming for new laws to require banks to make questionable loans to marginal borrowers so we can start this cycle all over again.

    It isn't the Curt Schraders in your party who are putting your supermajority at risk in both Congress and the Oregon legislature.

  • (Show?)

    you'll all be screaming for new laws to require banks to make questionable loans to marginal borrowers so we can start this cycle all over again.

    Oh, come on, Jack, that's beneath you. You know that crap about CRA causing the crisis is bullshit. Plus, the mortgage modifications are a win-win for the borrowers and the mortgage holders, since they're a far better alternative than foreclosures/defaults.

  • (Show?)

    Dan, I never said the CRA caused the credit crisis. And guess what? If writing down mortgages is really in the best interest of both parties, they'll do it without a bankruptcy judge requiring them to.

    The problem with giving the bankruptcy judge the ability to do this unilaterally is that banks and other financial institutions will take this into account when they make future loans. Or more accurately, when they DON'T make loans in the future.

  • LT (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Jack, I was with you until this:

    "It isn't the Curt Schraders in your party who are putting your supermajority at risk in both Congress and the Oregon legislature."

    Is your name Jaque Raberts?

    For some reason, people lately have given the impression it is OK to mispell a Congressman's name and no one will notice.

    That aside, on the substance here, I called Schrader's local office on Friday and said that if Elizabeth Warren, the TARP overseer was on one side of an issue, and someone else I didn't know much about (like a lobbyist) was on the other side, that I was inclined to go with Eliz. Warren's side of the issue because I trust her.

    The woman who took my call said that was a valid point, she would pass it along, and took my name and address.

    If KURT were to be back here, asked this question, and didn't want to be pinned down on a serious explanation of his vote, that would worry me. I have a lot more sympathy for the folks who say "I couldn't vote for this bill because of Section 5" specific bill explanations than the type who require 3 or more follow up questions before they give a straight answer.

    Over the years, Kurt earned much good will in my book, and I will wait for his explanation before I make up my mind on this.

    AND--those of you who dislike this, a) did you campaign for Kurt? b) do you live in the district? c) do you have an alternative candidate who you know could get elected in the 5th District?

    If not, "Democrats like this..." are better than Republicans holding the seats. I was looking at an old tape and saw a segment from Netroots nation where Cong. Carol Shea Porter, Alan Grayson, Patrick Murphy were being interviewed. One thing said was that sometimes Democrats (esp. from swing/GOP districts) have to vote for what is in the interest of their district, or they won't be returning.

    I can remember people being very angry with Darlene Hooley for some vote they didn't like. But she was enormously better member of Cong. than Jim Bunn.

    The candidate has to match the district, and I doubt one vote is enough to bring a major challenger. YMMV

  • (Show?)

    Oh my God! You mean this is KURT Schrader not CURT Schrader? I keep getting those two confuse. Forget everything I said then. Obviously I'm hopelessly confused.

    Now which one of them is married to Martha and which one is married to Marta?

    Seriously, I feel I'm doing good if I remember its "Schrader" and not "Shrader." But then, I don't get bent out of shape when people refer to me as Jack Robertson either.

  • (Show?)

    If writing down mortgages is really in the best interest of both parties, they'll do it without a bankruptcy judge requiring them to.

    I agree - and giving the judge that power creates an additional incentive for lenders to do that.

  • Sportland (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Alcatross - I would love for you to re-enter this thread and rebut Dan's points.

  • (Show?)

    Democrats (esp. from swing/GOP districts) have to vote for what is in the interest of their district, or they won't be returning.

    LT - I don't understand how this applies to Schrader's vote on the financial reform legislation. Why exactly would the legislation be harmful to Schrader's constituents, as opposed to others around the state/country? Again, these measures are very, very popular. Recent numbers I've seen on specific provisions of the bill had approval ratings from the high 60s into the 80s.

  • Bill R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I don't know the rationalization for Kurt Schrader's vote here. But on the whole his voting record may be about as good as we are going to get given the constituency he has. The people here who want to ignore that political parties are fluctuating coalitions need to go back to Pol. Sci. 101 and stop insisting on an ideological uniformity that even the GOP can't produce.

  • steve (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Here's the pattern: new congressman wonders how to fund his re-election, meets these really swell people in expensive suits that suggest that if he is friendly to their interests, his money worries will disappear. In fact, he will obtain a pile a cash big enough to scare away potential opponents and set him up for a nice long career.

    VOTE HIM OUT! Even if it is necessary to cycle a Republican through the district. He is not interested in public service, merely in enriching himself. If he wins next time, he will be very difficult to dislodge, and be a counterproductive embarrassment for years to come.

  • Dr John Smith (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Steve, this is where the thinkers part company with the party animals. Most the movers and shakers on this blog have to have a Dem victory. That's a non-negotiable. All that other "stuff" is a nice to have. This is about getting a better candidate. But if Schrader were to change his mind and be the candidate, voila! These same folks would be voting for him. One must remember as they spin anything to their preconceived conclusion, that they lie to themselves as well as us. Most Americans cannot be honest with themselves, or even appreciate what is real. As our gov is "of the people", it bites pretty hard!

    The rest of us care about results, and realize that sometimes you have to turn away from a goal to reach it and that not everyone with a D after their name is great and not everyone that doesn't have it is a poor leader. They would grant that...but would never vote for a non-Dem. It's a gangsta thang.

    Political parties do more harm than they are worth. In such a shallow society, independent thinkers are truly alone. You want results. The party faithful want a Dem (and results would be nice, but are negotiable). That is a major disadvantage that small parties have. Most that follow them don't see it as a my gang had to win, no matter what proposition. Dems and Reps that believe the ends justify the means and will change any position on a dime to support the candidate, will always have an advantage in a non-parliamentary system.

  • (Show?)

    But on the whole his voting record may be about as good as we are going to get given the constituency he has.

    Again, do you have the slightest evidence that people who live in OR-05 are any less outraged at Wall Street than people in the rest of the country, and any less eager to see the speculators reined in?

    This has nothing to do with "ideological uniformity," even less with a Congressman voting the interests of his constituency. That's a lazy argument, one that seems to be very much in vogue these days, especially in relation to the health care fight. It allows "pundits" to claim, for example, that supporters of the public option are stubbornly insisting on "ideological purity," while, say, Blue Dogs are "moderates" concerned with their constituents and serious things like "fiscal responsibility" - even though (a) the public option remains far more popular than the alternatives being debated, and (b) the "compromise" options being put forward by those "pragmatic moderates" actually cost significantly more.

    All sound bites and fury, signifying nothing.

  • (Show?)

    Gee--if only we'd been paying attention to this vote in advance and a few people had tried to PRESSURE Schrader to vote the right way...

    Oh wait, we just trust him to do the right thing cuz we put him in office, right? At least that's what I was told over and over when I pressured him on the healthcare vote at this blog.

    Silly me.

  • (Show?)

    Carla - the financial industry has spent $344 million lobbying Congress against reform in the first three quarters of 2009 alone. Let me repeat that: $344 million in lobbying. And that's just what's been reported, and does not include campaign contributions.

    So - yeah, trusting that members will automatically "do the right thing" isn't good strategy. Now, in Schrader's case, he was not on the banking committee, so hadn't been ID'd as a shaky vote during the markup, and I hadn't seen his name showing up on the "in question" lists until very near the actual floor votes.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
    (Show?)

    This article addresses a national problem, but it has some relevance to politicians from Oregon in Congress: Are Americans a Broken People? Why We've Stopped Fighting Back Against the Forces of Oppression

  • LT (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Carla, did you actually campaign for Schrader? Have you ever seen him in a town hall meeting?

    "Oh wait, we just trust him to do the right thing cuz we put him in office, right?"

    What exactly did you do to "put him in office"?

    Among other things I talked with a friend who usually votes Republican but was offended by the GOP primary battle, and told him what a great W & M co-chair Kurt had been. He thanked me because he had been wanting to talk to someone who actually KNEW Kurt.

    I did not say I would agree with every vote Kurt or anyone else has cast. And when Kurt has a town hall meeting, he will need to explain this vote.

    But I have said it before and I will say it again:

    I have more respect for someone who gives a clear explanation to the folks who ask about voting record

    ("that was a tough vote and I came down on that side because..." or citing a particular section of the bill which made the decision, or some other specific)

    than I have for someone who tries to fudge a vote explanation and maybe answers after the 3rd followup question.

    There are never going to be elected officials who please everyone---esp. there are never going to be downstate elected officials who please everyone in the Portland area. But would you rather have a Republican in that seat? There are those who talk about "circular firing squad"---members of a party who attack those elected officials they disagree with for not being pure enough.

    I am not saying that was the best vote Kurt cast since being elected, but I will wait until I hear vote explanation before I judge his vote. It is not as if he was the deciding vote ---the bill passed.

    I agree with my friend who described blogs like this as "The drama of those Internet 'know-it-alls' who think the best way forward is to eat our own, hits it right on the head. I couldn't agree more".

    You may think my friend is wrong--former Democratic elected official, as well as having been a Democratic National Convention delegate --- because "all good Democrats believe.... ".

    Been there, done that, got the political scars. Democrats are at their best when they clash over issues, rather than letting consultants tell them what to believe.

    If someone dislikes this vote, they have that right. And people like me have the right to wait for the explanation before commenting.

    This is the "reservoir of good will" approach. I've known Kurt for years and in my book he has built up a reservoir of good will (due in part to being a legislator I asked a direct question and he gave me a detailed answer ).
    There are others at all levels of government who I wouldn't believe unless there were 2 confirming sources----and lots in between.

  • LT (unverified)
    (Show?)

    "Again, do you have the slightest evidence that people who live in OR-05 are any less outraged at Wall Street than people in the rest of the country, and any less eager to see the speculators reined in?"

    Dan, do you live in the 5th District?

    Do you have any clue about how many residents of the 5th Dist. even know this vote took place?

    There are people all over this state who have trouble naming the 2 US Senators and the 5 members of Congress from Oregon. Most folks don't follow Congress this closely---in December, they are more likely to have Christmas (shopping, Christmas programs, etc.) and holiday giving (not just presents for family, but food banks, book drives, etc. ) on their minds than anything in Congress. Not to mention the cold weather, their economic situation, what is going on with work and family.

    The bill PASSED!

    If Kurt had voted to your satisfaction, would that have meant someone working part time would would find a full time job? That school age children would all be well housed and well fed without need of food banks and other social services?

    There are maybe 5% of the population who follow Congress this closely.

    So far this month, I have contributed to 2 diff. food drives and a book drive so that children can have books of their own--there is considerable need in Marion County. I know of school classes which have "adopted" needy families and collected food for their holiday meal.

    Would the need for those drives have been less if Kurt had voted with the Democrats?

    This is what divides the activists from ordinary folk--more folks here in the 5th Dist. are likely to know about a local food drive than about a vote in Congress.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
    (Show?)

    There are obviously people who feel Kurt Schrader betrayed them. No surprise there when millions feel the leader of his party Betrayed Generation Hope.

    To be fair, Obama is not totally to blame in this regard. People who were naive enough to take his words at face value and interpret other words to believe what they wanted to believe must also accept their share of responsibility. There were obvious signals during Obama's campaign that there would still be much business as usual.

    Change? What change?

  • (Show?)

    more folks here in the 5th Dist. are likely to know about a local food drive than about a vote in Congress.

    LT - I really don't understand what you're saying. This is not an either/or situation, where you either support those in need through direct community services or work to reform financial industry regulations.

    Our communities are more stressed than they have been in our lifetimes precisely as a result of the economic collapse brought about by the uncontrolled dealings of the financial industry. The legislation now before Congress is the most sweeping reform since the Great Depression.

    It takes 218 votes to assure passage of a bill in the House; we got 223. Are you comfortable enough with that slim a margin that you're willing to give a pass to your member of Congress on one of the most important votes he's likely to pass in his tenure? Believe me - if that attitude were widely shared we would certainly have lost this vote. The banking lobby would just love to have us all volunteering for our schools and food drives and not paying attention to Congress so they wouldn't have to spend hundreds of millions of dollars trying to defeat these bills.

  • Lei (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Kurt's group called our home supposedly to allow us to participate in a Town Hall. I was asked what my question would be in advance of being allowed to speak. My question was in regard to the amount of tax dollars being given to illegals in the form of Medicaid - CAWEM program. About 10 times (and I am not exaggerating) I was asked to press a number on the phone in order to indicate my continuing desire to have a chance to ask my question. Why didn't they just assume I still wanted my question to be aired if I was still on the line? Each time I pressed the number, there was a temporary black out of anything said, so I had to miss out on hearing parts of the questions and answers. And then, all of a sudden, Schrader announced that there was no more time and that the Town Hall would have to end. A friend of mine went through the same thing. Now, isn't that clever? Or, can you say, "CONTRIVED"?

  • Lei (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I like the way the feds make laws affecting hospitals, schools, states - which require adding more employees to make sure they "meet guidelines".
    So, not only does the federal government grow, but states and other governmental and quasi-governmental entities grow, too. They have to - in order to "meed guidelines". Many of them are Democrats and so keep adding to their party. And it doesn't matter if these guidelines require educating 1/7th of Mexico's population or are illogical in any way - all that matters is that the Democratic Party grows.
    Nancy Pelosi owns a vineyard in Napa. Do a search for an article about who owns Napa Valley vineyards. It is an eye-opener.

  • (Show?)

    Do I have this right? You were GIVEN this question by Schrader's office, to ask?

    My question was in regard to the amount of tax dollars being given to illegals in the form of Medicaid - CAWEM program.

    Can you clarify what the deal was here? They chose your question--and they chose THAT? Did they screen you politically first?

  • (Show?)

    "LT - I really don't understand what you're saying. This is not an either/or situation, "

    If I had a dollar...

  • LT (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Dan, you miss my point.

    My point was this--if you were to encounter 20 residents of the 5th District in a nonpolitical setting (party, open house, out shopping, etc.) my guess is that maybe 2 of them would be aware of this vote, while many more than that would be aware of a community food drive.

    This is about the 5% vs. the 95% discussed elsewhere on BO. If you were to talk to any sized group of people who voted in 2008, how many of them follow Congress as closely as you do?

    All this stuff about "find a new candidate" implies everyone in the 5th Dist. is enraged at this vote. I'm just saying that the folks here at BO are a small fraction of the total voting population.

    Do you have non-political friends? If so, what are their top concerns? How many of them are even aware of votes in Congress like this?

    The bill passed by 5 votes. Some people here are angry that it didn't pass by at least 6 votes.

    How would those 2 sentences sound to the average non-political Oregonian?

    Or don't they matter because everyone should be as politically aware as you?

  • (Show?)
    This has nothing to do with "ideological uniformity," even less with a Congressman voting the interests of his constituency. That's a lazy argument, one that seems to be very much in vogue these days, especially in relation to the health care fight. It allows "pundits" to claim, for example, that supporters of the public option are stubbornly insisting on "ideological purity," while, say, Blue Dogs are "moderates" concerned with their constituents and serious things like "fiscal responsibility" - even though (a) the public option remains far more popular than the alternatives being debated, and (b) the "compromise" options being put forward by those "pragmatic moderates" actually cost significantly more. All sound bites and fury, signifying nothing.

    Amen. Joe Lieberman, exhibit A this morning, saying essentially that Democrats just haven't given away enough yet, and listed off three or four major components as needed steps to reach a "bipartisan" (read: Democrats plus Joe) agreement.

    How many times does this guy have to overplay his hand, before someone in leadership throws up THEIR hands and says, "That's it, reconciliation for the original cmte mashup" and puts all these outrageous prima donnas to bed?

  • (Show?)

    While it's easy for CD5 Democrats to say they don't trust Kurt Schrader, and sometimes they're even right.
    But I notice that so far none of my friends and colleagues in CD-5 have even bothered to contribute to this thread.

    I will say this: I also would like to know what Kurt was thinking when he joined Republicans in voting down finance industry reform. Did he have a better program in mind? What "better program" has he proposed or co-sponsored? What is he willing to vote for? What has his campaign staff put out on this vital subject?

  • (Show?)

    All this stuff about "find a new candidate" implies everyone in the 5th Dist. is enraged at this vote.

    You're picking at straw men; I've said nothing about finding new candidates.

    But: I'd be willing to wager that if you stopped 20 people on the street and explained what these votes meant and how Schrader voted they would not be happy campers.

    Do you not think that foreclosures are high on the list of your "non-political" friends' concerns? Do you think they don't care about making it easier to win mortgage modifications, or prevent banks from arbitrarily changing the rates and fees on their credit cards? Are they just fine with having lost half their life savings when the stock marker crashed?

    I don't think so. But it's as if you're saying that because they may be unaware of the ins and outs of how the legislation's moving through Congress they could care less about how Schrader did or didn't vote. To me that's condescending - and the groups who are organizing the grassroots on these issues around the country are not finding the same level of apathy you're suggesting.

  • Rethug Purity Troll (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Re: "a) the public option remains far more popular than the alternatives being debated, and (b) the "compromise" options being put forward by those "pragmatic moderates" actually cost significantly more."

    What you liberals fail to remember is that the great majority of the DP membership was for single payer Medicare For All until the Dear Leader and his minions transubstantiated the call to "public option". The "public option" is a partisan boondoggle and IT is a "compromise option" that costs far more than what the DP membership has preferred for decades.

    Re: "How many times does this guy have to overplay his hand, before someone in leadership throws up THEIR hands and says, "That's it, reconciliation for the original cmte mashup" and puts all these outrageous prima donnas to bed?"

    "This guy" (Lieberman) was the preferred candidate of the DP leadership in Connecticut (Remember Ned Lamont or too far back into the memory hole?), including Obama, not to mention the sanctified Al Gore's wonderful running mate (and BO liberals would be calling him a "progressive" if he had won).

  • (Show?)

    ""This guy" (Lieberman) was the preferred candidate of the DP leadership in Connecticut (Remember Ned Lamont or too far back into the memory hole?), including Obama, not to mention the sanctified Al Gore's wonderful running mate (and BO liberals would be calling him a "progressive" if he had won)."

    Oh, it's all too horrible a memory, that I remember well. It wasn't just the leadership; our own Democratic Senator fell in line with Joe and snubbed the Democratic candidate--despite being Vice-Chair of the DSCC at the time (or very recently the former).

    Lieberman is like a diorama that when you light him up, you can see the vast Democratic diaspora of cowardice in crudely painted stick figures and scrawled captions, perhaps titled "Our Democracy."

  • Rethug Purity Troll (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Re: "...you can see the vast Democratic diaspora of cowardice in crudely painted stick figures"

    While I love the way you said it, I don't believe that cowardice is the problem. Lieberman is the frontman for what DP elites really want, even if he was unable to convince the DP membership to nominate him in Connecticut. The membership is opposed to almost all elite "options" on almost all issues that progressives care about, but they continue to be blinded by those crudely painted stick figures.

    What Petagorsky has said more than once is true, even if DP worshipers don't get it: it doesn't take courage to go along with the majority; it takes courage to oppose the majority of your own constituency, as Obama et al have continuously done. They are very brave.

  • LT (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Dan, I will take your wager (although I don't plan talking to strangers in the cold or rain) and I invite you to visit several counties in the 5th District and stop several people on the street in each one. You talk of explaining the vote to them and getting their reaction. Would they stand still long enough to hear the explanation or be too busy?

    Would someone say "Oh, if only Kurt had voted yes on this my friend's house would not be foreclosed on, is that what you are saying? Exactly how would his yes vote have prevented foreclosures? "

    If only Kurt had voted yes instead of no, all the lending companies would answer all phone calls and not place anyone on hold for more than 5 minutes?

    Your sources are NY Times and house.gov. Exactly how many residents here in the 5th Dist. take the time out of their busy schedules to read NY Times or look up house.gov?

    I am glad the bill passed, but even if Kurt had voted yes, why would a 6 vote margin have been that much better than a 5 vote margin?

    IMHO, the old friend at the Christmas open house and carol sing this afternoon put it well--that this is a poor time of year to be discussing votes in Congress. I know he has strong views on some political issues but that he also "has a life" incl. good works for his church and involvement in other organizations.

    One of Steven Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is "putting first things first".
    I know it startles those who work in politics or some form of activism, but many of us don't live and breathe politics. Esp. those with small children, those whose volunteer work includes people who put on (or helped provide refreshments for ) events like this afternoon's open house, people more concerned about local events than Congressional politics, etc.

    Lee is right about this:

    "I will say this: I also would like to know what Kurt was thinking when he joined Republicans in voting down finance industry reform. Did he have a better program in mind? What "better program" has he proposed or co-sponsored? What is he willing to vote for? What has his campaign staff put out on this vital subject?"

    At some time, Kurt will have to explain this vote. But to say that people in the 5th District demand he explain any vote (esp. one which was not a deciding vote) in mid-December because we all need to know the answer before Christmas is stretching it for some ordinary folks.

    I believe you would have an education about the kind of folks who actually live in the 5th Dist. if you stopped some people on the street in Oregon City, some in Salem, some in smaller towns around the district. I look forward to hearing the results of that idea.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
    (Show?)

    "Amen. Joe Lieberman, exhibit A this morning, saying essentially that Democrats just haven't given away enough yet, and listed off three or four major components as needed steps to reach a "bipartisan" (read: Democrats plus Joe) agreement.

    How many times does this guy have to overplay his hand, before someone in leadership throws up THEIR hands and says, "That's it, reconciliation for the original cmte mashup" and puts all these outrageous prima donnas to bed?"

    It's a crowded bed. They are all in incahoots with one another. When we consider Obama gave the finger to anti-war candidate Ned Lamong and supported pro-war Lieberman, no one should be surprised he has accepted the mantle of a war president.

  • Bartender (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Posted by: LT | Dec 13, 2009 11:03:35 AM

    Would the need for those [food and book] drives have been less if Kurt had voted with the Democrats?

    Not immediately, no. But a lot of the financial institutions' practices certainly hurt low and middle income folks, and definitely contribute to their ability to make ends meet. Maybe if we didn't allow banks and credit card companies their shenanigans, people would have less need for charity.

    I also find your argument that just because most constituents don't know about this, and it did indeed pass, it's ok for Schrader to vote against it, quite condescending. What they don't know won't hurt 'em, huh? Or maybe they just shouldn't worry their pretty little heads about all these messy and complicated details, and let the big boys play their game.

    Yet when shit gets kicked back to the voters to decide, like the new tax measures, you're all about educating the great unwashed masses. Maybe you should be using your time at the food banks to teach people how to become involved ALL the time, not just when you need their votes.

  • Bradley (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I am going to withhold judgment until Mr. Schrader explains himself, but this is worrisome. To this point, I had been pleasantly surprised by his votes.

    Who will call him for an explanation?

  • LT (unverified)
    (Show?)

    You miss my point---that among the general population, I don't believe this is a major topic of discussion.

    I know there are many people who don't understand the difference between federal, state and local government. Yet they should care about a vote bloggers care about? That is like saying people shouldn't set their own priorities (work and family above news about Congress, for instance) because bloggers believe this is an important issue.

    In a comment, Dan made a statement of fact and a statement of opinion.

    Statement of fact "It takes 218 votes to assure passage of a bill in the House; we got 223.

    Statement of opinion "....willing to give a pass to your member of Congress on one of the most important votes he's likely to pass in his tenure?"

    It is possible to check the accuracy of the statement about 218 votes.

    This bill while important is one of the most important votes he is likely to cast? That is opinion. We don't know what votes lay ahead between even now and fall of 2010.

    I understand the outrage of activists. But I think it is condescending to think ordinary folks in the 5th district should not rank anything in their lives (work, family, volunteer projects not realted to federal politics, activities of the holiday season) as more important than that Kurt Schrader voted against a major bill.

    One reason people who are activists burn out on politics and find other things to do with their spare time is that they get tired of being told they have no control on their own priorities or their own spare time because political activists dictate those decisions for them.

    Dan and everyone else who doesn't like my attitude (but doesn't live in the 5th Dist. should take the idea seriously about stopping people on the street, explaining Kurt's vote, and then tallying the response. I believe the data from that exercise would be fascinating.

    I also believe there might be a share (esp. in Clackamas County) of "Oh, that's right, Kurt is in Congress now" or "next time I see him, I'll asking why he did that" but not the outrage of folks here.

  • Lei (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I have many credit cards and never get charged ANY interest because I always pay them off each month. I don't buy things I can't afford and then get mad because the credit card company didn't phone me and explain how interest works. What is wrong with people? Are we taking all personal responsibility away from the growing up experience? Even if people lose their homes it is part of life and a very good lesson. People I know are covering their children's mortgage payments. Why is it the fault of banks or the fault of Republicans whenever anything hurts someone? Are people not explaining ANYTHING to their children about credit? Frankly, my children make their own mistakes and gradually they have learned - with no bailouts - OR requests for bailouts. Actually, our children have not had serious problems. In some states, people are giving up their homes intentionally.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
    (Show?)

    "I have many credit cards and never get charged ANY interest because I always pay them off each month. I don't buy things I can't afford and then get mad because the credit card company didn't phone me and explain how interest works."

    Smart, and a good example.

    "What is wrong with people? Are we taking all personal responsibility away from the growing up experience? Even if people lose their homes it is part of life and a very good lesson. People I know are covering their children's mortgage payments. Why is it the fault of banks or the fault of Republicans whenever anything hurts someone?"

    Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Many people who are in trouble just now have themselves to blame, but in many other cases the fault lies with banks and other entities that take advantage of the poorly educated. For example, the lottery and mortgage companies that knowingly set people up with mortgages that were above their means - just to name a couple.

    As for the banks, they had their accomplices in Congress repeal the Glass-Steagall Act that has led to the current financial crisis.

  • (Show?)

    Dan, I think this will only be an issue if Scott Bruun disagrees with the overwhelming majority in the GOP caucus who opposed these bills and makes it a campaign issue.

    I hope that Schrader is made to answer questions about these votes. Voters deserve an honest and vigorous debate about how to properly regulate these markets and protect American consumers in light of the fact that We the People are on the hook for $12 TRILLION in bailouts to the financial, automotive, and housing industries.

    LT - Regardless of whether or not voters in Schrader's district were aware of how he voted on these bills, you are badly misreading the national psyche if you believe that these issues are not front-and-center on the minds of voters.

  • Bartender (unverified)
    (Show?)

    No LT, I didn't miss that point---"that among the general population, [you] don't believe this is a major topic of discussion." 

    And I'm sure it's not. But, again, just because some or even most of his constituents don't know what happened, doesn't mean Schrader's vote doesn't mean anything. If a tree falls in the woods and no one's there to hear it, does it not still make a sound? 

    And yes, they should (and do!) care about this vote - whether bloggers care about it or not. It's certainly not just bloggers or political junkies who believe this is an important issue. Are you kidding? Reigning in abusive credit lending practices and instituting other regulation that protects consumers is vital, especially for lower and middle income families. You're being very disingenuous here.  

    Such hyperbole! Who, exactly, said anything remotely like "people shouldn't set their own priorities... above news about Congress" or that ordinary folks in the 5th district should not rank work, family, holidays or anything else as more important than that Kurt Schrader voted against a major bill? No one, that's who. 

    At any rate, it's a nonsensical argument. I certainly HOPE most everyone (including the Schraeders themselves) put their families, their jobs, their lives before what any one politician does. And somehow, even then, a lot of us commoners care how these people vote. We care if they're doing what we elected them to do.

    Countless (digital) column inches have been devoted to disecting and publicizing the voting records of too many pols to count here. Are we now to believe that cuz it's "your" guy, his vote doesn't matter? Geez, what hypocrisy. 

    This bill while important is one of the most important votes he is likely to cast? That is opinion.

    So it's opinion, what's your point? What is judged to be the "most important vote" he casts, is also a matter of opinion and likely to be different to different people. Are you really going to quibble over the word "most"? You admit the bill is important, but because we don't know now that it will be THE MOST important vote of his career, we can just gloss it over?  

    Listen, LT, I'm no activist. Just a bartender/single mom. But I'm outraged about these pols who vote against the policies and ideologies we elected them to further. I was outraged throughout the entire Bush administration, but at least the GOP stuck to their guns and did pretty much what they said they would if elected. Guys like Schrader sold us a bill of goods.   

    So, I'm really curious. You've made a point several times about explaining the tax measures coming up for vote to those who don't know about or understand them. Presumably to convince them of the importance of these measures passing, and how it will or will not affect these people. Are M66 & 67 not important because most people don't really understand them? I'm sorry, but it seems as if you only care about educating the electorate when you need them to vote your way. Otherwise, you're happy keeping them blissfully (or not!) in the dark while the big boys do their dirty work.     

    Finally, are we hicks here in Clackamas County less informed, intellectually curious, or politically savvy than everyone else?  Maybe we're too busy milking the cows to read a newspaper? And, golly, we don't have those newfangled internet tubes up here on the mountain. What's a blog?   

    I can guarantee you one thing though, virtually none of 'em would say: "next time I see him, I'll asking why he did that." Unless you are involved in politics, either as an activist, a concerned citizen or curious bystander, it's highly unlikely you'd ever see Schrader, let alone get the opportunity to have a 'lil sit down with him so he can explain himself.

  • Bartender (unverified)
    (Show?)

    GIve me a break, Lei. I don't want credit card issuers to call me up and explain interest to me. I'd just like 'em to stick to the terms we agreed upon when they gave me credit and I incurred debt based on those terms.

    From PR Newswire:

    Credit card companies are busy crafting new tricks and traps to bypass both Federal Reserve Board rules and new federal law set to take full effect in late February 2010, a new research report from the Center for Responsible Lending finds. Entitled "Dodging Reform: As Some Credit Card Abuses Are Outlawed, New Ones Proliferate," the report explains why the nation's 80 million families with one or more credit cards continue to be hit with arbitrary, unfair interest rate hikes and fees.

    The study examined the practices of issuers that hold over 400 million credit card accounts and found at least eight specific industry practices that flourish despite federal efforts to rein issuers in. These practices make it all but impossible for the average person to determine the real cost of credit card debt.

    The eight practices highlighted in the report include the manipulation of interest rates, the padding of miscellaneous fees and a deceptive policy on late-payment fees. Use of these abusive tactics is widespread and growing, the report finds.

  • (Show?)

    Even if people lose their homes it is part of life and a very good lesson...

    Yeah, don't get sick:

    In contrast, we find that half of all foreclosures have medical causes, and we estimate that medical crises put 1.5 million Americans in jeopardy of losing their homes last year. Half of all respondents (49%) indicated that their foreclosure was caused in part by a medical problem, including illness or injuries (32%), unmanageable medical bills (23%), lost work due to a medical problem (27%), or caring for sick family members (14%). We also examined objective indicia of medical disruptions in the previous two years, including those respondents paying more than $2,000 of medical bills out of pocket (37%), those losing two or more weeks of work because of injury or illness (30%), those currently disabled and unable to work (8%), and those who used their home equity to pay medical bills (13%). Altogether, seven in ten respondents (69%) reported at least one of these factors.

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1416947

  • (Show?)

    Carla, did you actually campaign for Schrader? Have you ever seen him in a town hall meeting?

    LT: Yes, I did work for Schrader. But even if I hadn't..I'd still be disagreeing with him on this and pushing him to do better.

    His constituents (and the rest of Oregon) deserve it.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Lei: Judging by the responses above, it looks like it might be time for you to quit contemplating your own navel and do a better job of observing the world as it happens to be with all its diversity.

    Take a look at some of the charlatans operating corporations who hire other corporations who hire psychologists to manipulate people into buying products they don't need and can't afford and bad for their health. 60 Minutes had a segment a year or two ago about a psychologist who was hired and paid millions by an American automobile manufacturer for his advice that encouraged them to promote vehicles that gave their owners a sense (really and illusion) of power. Consequence: Many people went out wasted money on high-powered gas guzzlers that some could ill-afford. But it is not only grown-ups with drivers licenses these people go after. They work on kids from the time they can understand the spoken word for the rest of their lives to make them into compliant consumers instead of thoughtful, responsible citizens.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Paul Krugman has an interesting article on the vote to rein in the financial industry

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
    (Show?)

    "If you read Matt Taibbi's latest, you will see that the Obama administration sold us out the day after the election. Why do I bother voting anymore?"

    Voting is a way for the people to express their opinions. Unfortunately, most voters cast their votes in favor of the greater and lesser evils with both groups believing their candidate is the lesser. Next time consider voting for someone you can have some respect for and who isn't owned by or an accomplice of Corporate Amerika. He or she may not be elected, but you can let people know you appreciate that candidate and not the options from the DemRep duopoly.

    This is the link to Matt Taibbi's article referred to above: Obama's Big Sellout

    Change? What change? Don't blame me. I voted for Ralph Nader.

  • LT (unverified)
    (Show?)

    So, Kurt was one of 27 Democrats to vote that way.Who were the other 26?

  • (Show?)

    Who were the other 26?

    Here's one place to see the list:

    Which Democrats Sided With The Banks By Voting Against Regulatory Reform And Consumer Protection?

    As you'll see, he was alone among Democrats across the Northwest delegations in his opposition to the final bill, and in the company primarily of members from the South: AR,KY, GA, LA, MS, OK, & TX, etc.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Dennis Kucinich voted against this bill. It is worthwhile checking his reasons: http://kucinich.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=161397

    Marcy Kaptur also voted against this bill. Her explanation is here: http://www.kaptur.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=517&Itemid=1

    Kucinich and Kaptur have been among the strongest opponents of Wall Street.

    Both feel this bill was inadequate for what is needed. If you read Matt Taibbi's article in Rolling Stone (link above) this will come as no surprise.

  • LT (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Thanks for the link, Dan. Interesting comment there,

    "Did all the Democrats who voted against the legislation do it because they “sided with the financial services industry and Wall Street banks against consumers and regular investors?” I’ve got a feeling that some of them, at least, like Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, voted against the bill because they felt it wasn’t strong enough."

    Dan said " Are you comfortable enough with that slim a margin that you're willing to give a pass to your member of Congress on one of the most important votes he's likely to pass in his tenure? Believe me - if that attitude were widely shared we would certainly have lost this vote. "

    Dan, are you just as angry at Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich for their votes? Or is that different because they aren't freshmen, aren't from Oregon?

  • (Show?)

    Dan, are you just as angry at Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich for their votes? Or is that different because they aren't freshmen, aren't from Oregon?

    Yes, I think Kaptur's and Kucinich's votes were lousy. The bill overall does far more good than harm, though there are some major loopholes to close and additional measures needed. That said, of course it makes a difference that they're not from Oregon. This blog addresses Oregon voters, to whom Schrader is accountable.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
    (Show?)

    "Yes, I think Kaptur's and Kucinich's votes were lousy. The bill overall does far more good than harm, though there are some major loopholes to close and additional measures needed. That said, of course it makes a difference that they're not from Oregon. This blog addresses Oregon voters, to whom Schrader is accountable."

    Dan: I can understand your point made here and that others have made elsewhere on health care reform. I won't condemn you for it because it is something of a judgment call, but I believe it is part of the political climate that causes too many people to settle too quickly for something that falls short. The environment would improve, at least from a progressive point of view, if we had more people raise hell and say what they are being offered just isn't good enough and demand something better before they compromise.

    Given the role Barney Frank has played in this, we can safely presume that those loopholes are enough to fly a 747 through.

  • (Show?)

    I can understand your point made here and that others have made elsewhere on health care reform.

    Bill - I know what you're getting at, but I don't think the situations are precisely comparable. IMHO, the financial reforms are almost all at least steps forward (though with key omissions) - some of them very major, like the Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

    The danger now on the health care front is that we may actually see damaging steps backwards (e.g., Stupak)- or enormous benefits to industry (the individual mandate) that aren't properly offset by consumer protections and cost controls. By contrast, I'm not sure I actually see elements of the financial reform legislation that move us backwards, though they could be hidden in those devilish details (except perhaps the exemption of smaller companies from Sarbanes-Oxley provisions).

  • LT (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Dan, glad to see you admit "key ommissions".

    The House bill is not perfect, and Sen. Merkley, on KPOJ morning show this morning, said the bill lacked action to end proprietary trading.

    He said the Senate bill appears to be a better bill.

    This sounds as good a description of the differences as anything I could find.

    http://www.sidley.com/sidleyupdates/Detail.aspx?news=4230

    Members of either house of Congress are responsible to their constituents. Although I like much of what Peter DeFazio does, he is primarily responsible to the 4th district residents.

    I will wait to see Kurt's vote explanation---I don't think he has a duty to explain the vote before Christmas. I believe that if you were in a store or parking lot in the 5th Dist. you wouldn't find many people with your sense of immediacy and outrage. It may well be that any vote in Congress is far down on their priority list.

    Not only that, but there are other problems in the district which would not have been solved even if all Democrats had voted for this bill. For instance, Marion County has a huge meth problem including children affected because their parents used/sold meth: children in foster care, children adopted by relatives, etc.

    Dan said, "But: I'd be willing to wager that if you stopped 20 people on the street and explained what these votes meant and how Schrader voted they would not be happy campers. "

    My point is this: If he were to go anywhere in Marion County (Salem, Keizer, the Woodburn Outlet Mall, etc.) and explain the vote and how Schrader voted (assuming people would grant you the time to make the explanation), I am not sure they wouldn't be those foster or adoptive parents. In which case they might say "my kids come first, and if I have any spare time left sometimes I watch/read news".

    Believe it or not, peer pressure does not always work, and some people are offended by a stranger saying "your priorities don't really matter---you are supposed to care about this more than what you find important".

    But if you want to believe that you know how 5th Dist. residents regard the importance of various issues without asking them, go right ahead.

  • (Show?)

    "your priorities don't really matter---you are supposed to care about this more than what you find important".

    Nowhere in this thread did I, or anyone else from what I can tell, criticize Schrader's constituents for what issues they found or did not find important. I'm done trying to respond to arguments that you appear to be having with someone else.

connect with blueoregon