Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

That clause is buried in Section 8 (how appropriate for a bail out bill) of the Monstrocity that is the Banking Bail Out Bill that President Bush is attempting through his economic hit men, Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke, to bail out his buddies on Wall Street and leave the mess for the next Administration to deal with.  It will be either a mess left for President Obama to clean up, or a windfall for President McCain/Palin to continue.

However, this proposed legislation is not the only piece of legislation that has such clauses in them.  Nearly every thing passed during the Bush Administration; the entire eight years, starting with the Patriot Act and going on through Iraq Funding Bills; the “No Child Left Behind” act, which leaves childrean in public education farther behind than where they were before the Bush Administration.

No wonder the Armed Forces can lose Billions of Dollars in Iraq and the Joint Chiefs can’t say where the money is when they come before Congress and get asked about it.

Twice a year, my colleagues and I at CBC Monitor publish a Report Card that focuses on the legislative performance of the members of the Congressional Black Caucus.  We have done this since September 2005, and it has borne results, such as the eviction of a thoroughly corrupt member (Al Wynn) from his seat and replacing him with a progressive member who already got the cold shoulder from Wynn’s cohorts (Donna Edwards). Having said that, I think it’s a no-brainer that this Banking Bail Out bill will be high on the list of legislative votes we’ll be evaluating members on this year.

The CBC is a funny bunch.  They don’t want to be analyzed on their performance, except anything Civil Rights and whatnot.  That’s too easy; if you look at the “Report Card” that’s done on them by the NAACP (when the NAACP is not taking donations and putting them in suitcases to be burned up), there isn’t a member that gets a grade below a B+.

However, when the CBC Monitor came along, and they were being graded on bills with economic basis, more than societal issues (racial profiling and racial inequity in sentencing) defense funding bills taking money away from domestic programs and sending them to hell – the members were essentially caught with their slips and drawers showing, as well as being caught inbetween the sheets with all sorts of corporate crooks, taking chump change to prostitute themselves and the office they hold in OUR NAME.

I was cussed out (thanks Mel Watt), malinged (thanks, Bobby Rush), and virtually ignored – but then, a strange thing happened.  Jack and Jill Politics published the Report Card.  Then it got picked up by a few in the AfroSphere.  Soon after, readers like you started reading the Report Card and if any of you were represented by a CBC Member, I got an email from you saying “W-T-F? Tell me how to get this SOB out of office.”

Candidates like Donna Edwards, Kevin Powell and Dan Seals had the Report Cards placed in their hands.  John Lewis, Edolphus Towns, David Scott, in addition to Al Wynn, received worthy challengers who managed to garner 30% of the vote in races where the incumbent always won re-election by 60% margins or higher.  Our Report Card kept worthy incumbents like Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tennessee) in office when a very ignorant sista decided the city of Memphis were too dumb and was too polarized to look beyond race in that election and Memphians proved her wrong by re-electing Cohen by a near 80% majority.

It is because of these efforts that when we see words like the words in the clause going into the Banking Bail Out bill, that should scare us all into eternal vigilance and the need to make sure that we not only expect accountability from those we elect, WE DEMAND IT, and if we don’t get it, the INCUMBENT WILL BE REPLACED.

Okay, I’ll get off my rant now, but stay tuned for this sessions’ Report Card to see who passed and who might be getting a challenger in 2010 because they flunked….

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