No blank check for Wall Street: now what?

no blank check for Wall Street logo“Now is the time for Congress to come together again and vote on a real, comprehensive plan that will solve the crisis while still protecting the taxpayers and restarting our economic growth.  I am prepared to stay here and in session as long as it takes, and I know many of my colleagues in Congress feel the same.”

— Washington Congressman Jay Inslee

Sunday night’s Treasury phone call provides a stark backdrop for the House’s shocking defeat of the modified Paulson bill.  We — the weird multipartisan coalition involving skeptics, conservatives, progressives, and nervous congresspeople in-close elections — won the battle.  With the Congress out of session Tuesday for Rosh Hashanah, there’s a brief hiatus.  Now what?

I’m not sure that No blank check for Wall Street’s 15 comments and counting on Nancy Pelosi’s profile had a lot to do with this vote … but they — and the handful of comments that are starting to pop up on other politicians’ Facebook pages — certainly lay the base for continued progress.  We continue to get more fans on Facebook, now up to 670.  And hopefully are now getting into a rhythm of checking their updates, too: 15 comments out of 670 people is a little over 2%, which is decent — not great — response rate.

No significant links yet as far as I know.  Oh well.  If changing the world was easy, everybody would do it.

The way I see it, the best approach at this point is to continue our Facebook activism and look for other new outreach paths.  For example, we have close to enough people involved that we might be able to get a digg campaign going … if and when we get a good post about us, we’ll give it a try.  And hopefully people are continuing to send out email and ping their Facebook friends.

At the same time, I think there’s also a strong feeling that something needs to be done.  We’re in a mess here, and while it was very encouraging to hear that the Treasury wasn’t planning on acting for a couple of weeks, that’s still not a lot of time.  Let’s assume that Congress listens to the Jay Inslees, and decides to stay and do the right thing.  What do we want them to do?

I don’t think we as a group know yet, so now’s a really good time to start talking about it.  I set up a page on the wiki where we can start to discuss it.  If we can get to some agreement, we can turn it into an open letter, maybe a blog post …

Will anybody listen?  There’s no way to know.  It’s not impossible: Get FISA Right wrote an open letter to Obama, and he not only listened but wrote back … people working together can get their voice heard.  At least if there are enough of them, working together effectively.  The strategy and planning page on the wiki describes what we’re doing to try to make it happen — assistance and suggestions welcome!

For now … here’s how you can help.

If you’re on Facebook:

  1. Sign up as a fan and watch your “updates” for what’s next
  2. reply to the No blank check for Wall Street thread on Nancy Pelosi’s profile
  3. post this link, share it with your Facebook friends, and ask them to send a message to Nancy as well — and to forward it to THEIR friends
  4. when you get a chance, give feedback to other politicians on Facebook

If you’re not on Facebook:

  1. sign up for our annoucement email list and check your email for what’s next!
  2. email this information to your friends, and ask them to help
  3. phone or email your legislators and tell them how you feel