Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.

- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Monday, September 29, 2008

The bailout plan and the roll call

Inquiring minds want to know:

The actual text of the Government Bail Out Plan -- by the way I just tried to open this file, as linked from The New York Times, and received the message "the file is damaged and cannot be repaired." Needless to say I burst out laughing. Apparently the file and the bill have a lot in common!

The congressional roll call (the tally of votes and how your representative voted.) I noticed that both Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul were listed in the 'Nays' column, along with my own representative. If Kucinich and Paul together are against it - and Bush actually liked it - I know all I need to know about it's ramifications for the taxpayer, our economy and for democracy.

Good coverage in the New York Times:

House leaders pushing for the package kept the voting period open for some 40 minutes past the allotted time, trying to convert “no” votes to “yes” votes by pointing to damage being done to the markets, but to no avail.

Supporters of the bill had argued that it was necessary to avoid a collapse of the economic system, a calamity that would drag down not just Wall Street investment houses but possibly the savings and portfolios of millions of Americans. Opponents said the bill was cobbled together in too much haste and might amount to throwing good money from taxpayers after bad investments from Wall Street gamblers.

I am starting to wonder if my interest in this drama is based solely on financial (and democratic) considerations, or because it is history-in-the-making. A peculiar side effect of being a history buff: the ongoing fascination, even when the ship is sinking (and you're on it.)

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