Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) came to Berkeley Springs, West Virginia yesterday to meet with citizens.
One citizen asked Senator Manchin about Glass-Steagall.
Glass-Steagall was the depression era law that prevented banks from gambling with your savings account.
It was repealed by President Clinton in 1999.
And many economists believe that the repeal of Glass-Steagall had a lot to do with the most recent economic collapse.
There’s a move to bring it back.
In the Senate and the House.
But Senator Manchin said he never heard of Glass-Steagall.
Not that the law was passed post depression.
Not the fact that Clinton repealed it.
Not the fact that it may have had something to do with the recent Wall Street collapse.
One man in the crowd tried to explain to Manchin what it was.
Manchin thought the man was referring to Dodd-Frank.
No, not Dodd-Frank, the man said.
I suggested to Senator Manchin that the reason the American people hold Congress in such low regard is because the American people think that Senator Manchin and his colleagues are corrupt.
I started to read to him from a list of his major corporate contributors.
FirstEnergy Corp. $88,000.
Mylan Inc. $59,900.
American Electric Power $45,950.
Jackson Kelly $45,398.
I told Manchin about the story of Rose Baker, the Wetzel County woman whose life was destroyed by fracking.
As a result of fracking by Chesapeake Energy and others, her quality of life went from a 10 to a 3 in a couple of years.
She can’t drink her well water now because it’s polluted.
There’s night light pollution, noise pollution, water pollution.
Manchin supports fracking.
He’s opposed to a moratorium on fracking.
How do we know that it’s not because of the money he takes from Chesapeake Energy ($21,900)?
Manchin is opposed to single payer national health care.
How do we know it’s not because of the $139,100 he takes from the pharmaceutical and other related industries?
Could it be that Manchin cares more about Chesapeake Energy than he does about Rose Baker?
Could it be that Manchin cares more about health insurance and pharmaceutical companies that give him money than he does about the 120 people who die every day in America just because they don’t have health insurance?
Manchin says he cares about Rose Baker.
He says he cares about a 63-year friend of mine who has been diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm, but can’t get it fixed because he has no health insurance and the operation will cost $120,000.
Manchin says every member of Congress has to raise money from corporations just to get re-elected.
True enough, said one woman in the audience.
So, what are we going to do to get money out of politics, she asked.
Manchin said we need transparency.
But we already have transparency.
Here’s the list of money you take from corporations.
We need to get the money out.
But Manchin is marinated in corporate cash.
He’s in no position to support a moratorium on fracking.
Or single payer.
Or legislation to clean up the system.
He’s corporatized to the core.
He doesn’t know Glass-Steagall.
He doesn’t know Rose Baker.
He doesn’t know about my friend with the aortic aneurysm.
Why should he know?