Democrats & Liberals Archives

Wall Street Reform Passes.

Bill passes over almost every Republican’s objection.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at July 15, 2010 3:33 PM
Comments
Comment #303639

I’m not going to comment on this subject, except to offer my congratulations on your party’s success. Only time will tell whether your victory is fruitful.

If Obama’s birth certificate shows up in an original form it may be moot.

We’ll see.

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 15, 2010 4:39 PM
Comment #303641

I could go to Coney Island and get a newspaper saying I was the new Prince of Wales! Does that mean I was the Prince of Wales? I’m sure someone would be looking for proof of my claim.

All I would have to do is say they were crackpots and our msm would believe it.

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 15, 2010 4:57 PM
Comment #303642

What about you Stephen Daugherty? You appear to be very short on words in this post.

Very not like you.

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 15, 2010 5:04 PM
Comment #303649

Weary Willie-
Anybody without an axe to grind has acknowledged that the state of Hawaii has provided legally binding proof that the President was born American.

As for the brevity of the post? Well, I think it speaks for itself. It’s certainly one of the shorter entries, but for all the Republicans have precounted their chickens, I’d like to see them try and campaign on undoing the new regulations.

Well, Ask, and you shall recieve!

That’s the trouble with Republicans nowadays.

What I really love is that Mark Williams, head of the Tea Party Express, responds to charges that his group has been tolerating racist elements by posting this little masterpiece of taste, tact, and tolerance, a mock letter to Abe Lincoln from the current NAACP president:

Dear Mr. Lincoln

We Coloreds have taken a vote and decided that we don’t cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!

In fact we held a big meeting and took a vote in Kansas City this week. We voted to condemn a political revival of that old abolitionist spirit called the ‘tea party movement’.

The tea party position to “end the bailouts” for example is just silly. Bailouts are just big money welfare and isn’t that what we want all Coloreds to strive for? What kind of racist would want to end big money welfare? What they need to do is start handing the bail outs directly to us coloreds! Of course, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the only responsible party that should be granted the right to disperse the funds.

And the ridiculous idea of “reduce[ing] the size and intrusiveness of government.” What kind of massa would ever not want to control my life? As Coloreds we must have somebody care for us otherwise we would be on our own, have to think for ourselves and make decisions!

The racist tea parties also demand that the government “stop the out of control spending.” Again, they directly target coloreds. That means we Coloreds would have to compete for jobs like everybody else and that is just not right.

Perhaps the most racist point of all in the tea parties is their demand that government “stop raising our taxes.” That is outrageous! How will we coloreds ever get a wide screen TV in every room if non-coloreds get to keep what they earn? Totally racist! The tea party expects coloreds to be productive members of society?

Mr. Lincoln, you were the greatest racist ever. We had a great gig. Three squares, room and board, all our decisions made by the massa in the house. Please repeal the 13th and 14th Amendments and let us get back to where we belong.

Sincerely

Precious Ben Jealous, Tom’s Nephew NAACP Head Colored Person

Later, he would literally go on to claim that it was only in people’s heads that “colored persons” means black.

The damage I think these people do isn’t so much what they say, but that they encourage people to say these kinds of things without any shame. But what they say is pretty jaw-dropping to start with.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 15, 2010 6:48 PM
Comment #303657
Weary Willie- Anybody without an axe to grind has acknowledged that the state of Hawaii has provided legally binding proof that the President was born American.
Posted by Stephen Daugherty at July 15, 2010 06:48 PM

I heard the state of Hawaii only produced a digital copy and 2 newspaper quotes. Hardly proof. Neither would allow the anointed one to work in Hawaii.

Unless Hawaii has become a sancturary state.

Way to go, Stephen. Blame it on us, even if I’m not a republican!

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 15, 2010 7:56 PM
Comment #303658
Sincerely Precious Ben Jealous, Tom’s Nephew NAACP Head Colored Person Later, he would literally go on to claim that it was only in people’s heads that “colored persons” means black. Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 15, 2010 06:48 PM

Why would you post something like this when you could not provide comment on the Wall Street Reform act?

Your post not only blows chunks, it is blowing chunks all over everyone around you.

It’s sorry your state of mind allows you to do that.

Would anyone like to talk about the federal government and it’s perpencity to intrude on our personal lives?

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 15, 2010 8:24 PM
Comment #303666


Weary Willie:

Why did you bring up your birther dung on a post about financial reform?

“I heard that the state of Hawaii…” you heard wrong and I bet you could find that out if you tried.

When you squawk the Republican squawk, and squeak the Republican squeak, does it matter if you are Republican or not.

Stephen, my opinion on financial reform is that it is a little better than nothing. Do you think it will prevent another financial ripoff? I don’t.

Posted by: jlw at July 15, 2010 10:42 PM
Comment #303667

From another point of view, I run one of those “small” institutions that do not benefit from this bill. It is a $250 million community credit union, with four branches, and 100 employees serving 40,000 members/customers.

We are not for profit, all the credit unions in the US serve 92 million Americans, we total combined assets of just over $900 billion (essentially TARP). Credit unions have had their share of problems in Florida, Arizona, California, etc. However, our failure rate is a fraction of that of banks.

This law, will be adding significantly to our regulatory burden. I already see an auditor, Federal Examiner, State Examiner 30-40 business days per year. While the new Consumer Financial Protecting Agency will not target credit unions, or banks, under $10 billion, how long before what they enforce and enact on these banks rolls down to us?

This law targets DEBIT Card interchange. We charge Target and Wal-Mart a fee when our member uses our card at their store. Why? Because we pay the store, then collect the money. If the card is stolen, or a string of cards numbers is stollen and used at Target and Wal-Mart, they get their money. We eat the fraud loss. And at this time our insurance agents will only insure each card for up to a $1,000 loss. Any loss above $1,000 is the expense of our credit union. http://www.wsbt.com/news/consumer/38127494.html.

Yet the bill President Obama will sign with the best intentions will screw our not-for-profit credit union. And reduce our annual revenue by an estimated 1/2 on the conservative side. FYI, as a not-for-profit, revenue a credit union earns goes directly to net worth. Credit union Boards are volunteer and there is not stock to go along with no taxes.

I applaud the effort. But 2300 pages is stupid. Worthless. The Consumer Financial Protection Agency is another regulator. They should have revamped the current regulatory system not added a new one. FNMA and Freddie should have been in the bill. Those that bear the risk should be able to get compensated for it.

So the thousands of credit unions, and honest community banks out there, are screwed by this bill. Because big banks played with fire, forgot their big boy pants, and then got bailed out. Congress steps in and screws institutions like mine, thinking they have punished Bank of America. What a joke.

The response I got from Senator Dick (Don’t call me Richard Cranium) Durbin. When I called on behalf of our credit union, its members, and their families says it best. “Just pass the expense on to your customers”. Holy crap!

Posted by: Edge at July 15, 2010 10:43 PM
Comment #303672

In decades neither a health care nor financial regulatory bill was passed and they say he’s done nothing. Not to mention the surplus that saved our economy.

He’s better than Bill Clinton.

Posted by: Max at July 15, 2010 11:15 PM
Comment #303678

Weary Willie-

Would anyone like to talk about the federal government and it’s perpencity to intrude on our personal lives?

Funny that you bring this up in dealing with regulations that mostly affect big banks. Funny the way Republicans (Sorry, conservatives. Everybody seems to have views just like the Republicans, but you call them a Republican, they get offended.) seem to talk about personal freedoms when they’re dealing regulations most people never personally have to deal with.

I don’t really need to comment too much, except to say that folks like you were never going to escape this. If Republicans had been intent on derailing the bill once and for all, they could have, but They knew that they couldn’t win the fight, so they let their liberal members, the two or three left, vote like they had to, and let the rest force the filibuster so the Democrats would have to make some concessions to the banks.

Edge-

This law, will be adding significantly to our regulatory burden. I already see an auditor, Federal Examiner, State Examiner 30-40 business days per year. While the new Consumer Financial Protecting Agency will not target credit unions, or banks, under $10 billion, how long before what they enforce and enact on these banks rolls down to us?

If folks like you had not been having to bear that burden, I wonder, would others be bearing a burden from you instead? I remember the S+L crisis from when I was a kid. I also know that so-called shadow-banks, lenders that gave out loans like banks, also engaged in similar behavior. When you hand people a whole lot of money, it’s unwise not to hand them responsibility proportionate to it, because history tells us that when that happens, customers and the economy suffer for it.

As for Debit (and Credit) Card interchange fees, I understand your sentiments, but they must be balanced against other interests. Here’s a guy who represents supermarkets with his point of view.

I would make the point here that we can’t all see our best interests served, or, to put it more accurately, what we think of as our best interests. Maybe that interchange fee is important to you, but so is the money that the retailer or the supermarket loses to you, as far as they are concerned. The interchange fees are the likely reason I see signs saying that a minimum purchase of something like a dollar or five dollars must be made. If your interchange fees, and that of the big banks are soaking retailers, then the policy that benefits you, hurts them.

This has always been the problem with being business friendly, rather than taking a more disinterested tact. Maybe it will hurt your business, and I am sorry, but who might it hurt if we take your side?

As for the Length of the bill? First, page counts are not a reliable measure in printed bills. Formatting funkiness is what makes a bill this size phonebook size, rather than the size of a small novel, if it were printed in such a fashion. The healthcare bill, formatted down, was about two hundred pages. This should fall in about the same range.

And it’s necessary. Part of the reason it’s necessary is because of the extent to which lawyers chew up the laws, and the extent to which folks fight, rather than comply with regulation. Another part is, we are simply dealing with a very complex economy, and small changes in law have great importance.

If you’re concerned about losses through fraud and all that, maybe you should invest in additional anti-fraud measures or other loss prevention methods.

Really, I don’t know what to tell you, except to say your industry is in a very important position, and when financial institutions break down, there have been, over history, terrible consequences. The Depression was serious as it was because so many banks played fast and loose with their deposits. Same with S&Ls. Same with the Shadow Lenders and Non-Bank mortgage lenders. We have paid the price for adventurism in finance far too many times not to regulate it. If you don’t like the negative attitudes and all the regulatory burden, then perhaps you should discuss with your colleagues how to regularize and normalize things so that people don’t feel it necessary to push Governments nose into things.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 16, 2010 12:09 AM
Comment #303682

“Funny the way Republicans (Sorry, conservatives. Everybody seems to have views just like the Republicans, but you call them a Republican, they get offended.)”

Can you blame them Stephen? Perhaps a new acronym is in order, RIWO, repub in whine only.
or ERROR “Embarrassed Repubs rejecting our republicanism.”

“As for Debit (and Credit) Card interchange fees, I understand your sentiments, but they must be balanced against other interests. Here’s a guy who represents supermarkets with his point of view.”

Perhaps both the credit unions and the business that pays the swipe fee should team up for a discount for the people who pay in cash. I ask many times and if told no discount I pay with a debit card. If the discount reflected the savings to the consumer for paying cash perhaps it would help to curb the bank excesses.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 16, 2010 8:52 AM
Comment #303683

Lordy be! I certainly can’t worry my pretty little head about all this finanical wizardry-I’ll just have to leave it to the big boys to figure out. Seriously though I do find math and finance extremely difficult to understand. As I try to read the bill my eyes glaze over (a donut would be good right now), my mind wonders (should I paint the bathroom a neutral blue or green) As is usual by the posts some like it hot, some like it cold, some think its stinks and others still live in LA-LA land-the president wasn’t born in the US- Oh for goodness sakes-where was John McCain born? and the dems didn’t try to make a big deal of this during the campaign. I guess my best thought is that something is better than nothing-you can’t please everyone- and for crying out loud we had to do something and since we had to sell the barn and the horses to get just a couple of republican votes-I guess we best pat ourselves on the back and move on to a topic that we can all agree on-IMMIGRATION!

I will say one thing in response to” bill passes over almost all republican’s objections”. Well-as that great orator Gomer Pyle would say, “Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!”

Posted by: Carolina at July 16, 2010 8:59 AM
Comment #303684

one clarification: It might appear in my post that I am agreeing that the president wasn’t born in the US but that I think it is a non-issue. Nothing could be further from the truth. I think it has been proven over and over and over again that he is a natural born citizen. I find it disgusting that no other president has had to jump through hoops for the repubs the way Obama has but hey it certainly couldn’t have anything to do with his color-could it?- NO that would be racist. I agree that it would be nice if posters would stick to the topic and not throw bait into the river-hoping that the fish swim to the top.

I felt a need to add this as there are many here that look for anything to jump on even things that weren’t said.

Posted by: Carolina at July 16, 2010 9:07 AM
Comment #303688

Carolina, had McCain won a similar fringe movement would be making noise about him. Well it probably wouldn’t be fringe in McCain’s case; it was already in the NY Times!
2008 Article in NY Times

As the article stated this stuff has happened before. All’s fair in love and politics.

Posted by: George at July 16, 2010 10:25 AM
Comment #303698

A greater misnomer has never been put forth than to call this legislation ‘Wall Street Reform’. The legislation does very much more, while at the same time, completely failing to break up the too big to fail banks, and worse, even provides for them to get even bigger.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 16, 2010 11:56 AM
Comment #303701

David,

While I agree that too big to fail needs to be implemented, is this the right time to do it?

There is an attempt here to shift risk back to the banks.

I just worry that overly radical changes could bring about a Jacksonian style panic. Perhaps this was a wiser choice.

Posted by: gergle at July 16, 2010 12:29 PM
Comment #303705

gergle, I have no doubt that your worry is the foundation of the rationale of the players passing this reform. However, that doesn’t change the fact, that this reform failed in some fundamental ways to address the cause of the bailouts and the risk of unlimited corporate growth and domination in their industry, when our entire nation’s economy and future is dependent on such small numbers of entities.

Capitalism requires diversity and competition within its industries to function for the nation and economy as expected. This bill leaves wide open the door for ever further consolidation and oligopoly amongst the big banks as well as their ability to engage in every type of financial activity our economy can devise. This is inherently dangerous, as FDR and the Congress of his day knew well in the passage of the Glass-Steagle Act.

The power of these banks to control the Congress is enormous. The opportunity to break them up and reinstate the separation of lines of business in the Glass Steagle Act is NOW while the public will support such measures in an animated fashion. Two years or more down the road, and the public will have lost interest in the issue, and then the Big Banks will have control of the Congress to prevent any such moves, absent the current public mandate.

This legislation for these reasons, constitutes little more than cosmetic changes, and again demonstrates that our government and future is controlled by handfuls of corporate executives pulling the strings of our representatives for their own purposes, not ours.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 16, 2010 2:19 PM
Comment #303710

Hell must have frozen over again as I find myself mostly in agreement with Mr. Remer. There are few, if any, economies of scale at the Mega Bank level and much damage that can be done if they induldge in future risky behavior. A bandaide on a sucking chest wound won’t help the patient much.

The bill, as I understand it, does little to promote the smaller financial institutions which the Mega Banks have mostly swallowed up over the past years. I would have preferred legislation that encouraged demerger among the Mega Banks. Too much money concentrated in too few hands presents needless risk much the same as too much power concentrated in congressional committees can produce poor lawmaking.

The Senate debate over this bill was not fought in the public interest but mostly was a showcase to provide fodder for November for some, and to feather the campaign chests for others.

Frankly, it was disgusting.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 16, 2010 3:55 PM
Comment #303712


With this bill we see how the status quo is maintained fairly unscathed and how the game is played.

The conservatives are basically playing it as the end of the world as we know it.

The liberals are basically playing it as the beginning of a new age.

As David Remer points out, and the winner is, the corpocracy and to big to fail.

In a world economy, to big to fail means that 0.01 percent of the population has the ability to use their own greed to screw the other 99.99 percent of us, all 7 billion.

IMO, David is also right about striking while the iron is hot. We let these banks slide now and the corpocracy is basically safe until they produce the next great economic disaster.

It is just another example of how our government has to do what it is paid to do even when it is trying to do what it was elected to do. This is why the Democrats are in trouble with the electorate. They are dependent on their progressives and the independents; people who aren’t fooled by headlines that say MOST SWEEPING FINANCIAL REFORM SINCE THE NEW DEAL.

Posted by: jlw at July 16, 2010 4:46 PM
Comment #303734

Royal Flush-
A truly independent thought there. Are you aware the extent to which a Republican would be punished, as a candidate, for even suggesting that something else than market forces should govern consolidation? I would bet you that nearly every Republican who is still hanging around from the time when Gramm-Leach-Bliley was passed and signed into law would still sign it today, just as most Republicans still around from 2003 are continuing to push the fiscally ruinous Bush Tax Cuts.

If there’s a reason Obama hasn’t gone as far as you want him to, then it’s your forty-one friends in the Senate. Without at least one of them, and all of his Democrats on board, sixty, not fifty votes are required to pass legislation, and that changes what is possible to pass in the Senate, and therefore Congress as a whole.

The Republicans have a neat racket going: frustrate the progress of legislation from the majority, then blame the majority for the fact that things haven’t gotten better.

That sort of resembles your position here. Sure, you’re disatisfied with the level of willingness to break up the big banks. But they’d be broken up a hell of a lot easier if Republicans weren’t digging their heels in every step of the way. Despite all their Rhetoric, Republicans are quite willing to stand in the way of what the people want. They hope people forget, that they merely blame whoever’s in charge, rather than trace the policies back to where they’re plugged in at the wall.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 17, 2010 8:55 AM
Comment #303735

David,

While you may be right that this is the best time to push for significant reform of “too big to fail”, it is always dangerous to presume what the future holds.

I believe Obama has demonstrated a political astuteness that no one else currently can claim. Given the narrow passage of this reform bill, my belief is that there is not now the political will, or economic stability to create the change that many believe is essential.

I don’t claim to understand whether this bill will be significant in shifting risk back to investment banks and away from other banking functions. It does appear to give some clout to oversight. As we all know from the Bush administration, oversight is an active process that can be easily derailed by a politician intent on doing so, and able to fool the public.

I suspect there may be a calculation here. If a Republican majority or president is elected in 2012, economic reform will be out the window regardless of what legislation is passed today. The Republican party has been completely captured by special interests that are destructive to the US economy. They have succeeded in duping their following into ignoring this obvious condition. To date, there are no rebel Republicans committed to reforming the party.

I would rather see Obama re-elected with a Democratic majority, where the extension of his term can allow further reforms to occur and we can have at least some hope of addressing real reform of US economic policy. We are still headed in the right direction. What is needed is changes in long term policy. Getting that right is essential.

A loss to the party of pandering, self-interested Republicans will be a loss of hope for America, in my opinion. Jackson pandered to American cries for reform and Americans paid a heavy price for his shallow self promotion as a “man of the people”.


Posted by: gergle at July 17, 2010 9:21 AM
Comment #303739

Gergle, it is even more dangerous for a nation not to anticipate the future and prepare and structure for it.

Gergle said: “I believe Obama has demonstrated a political astuteness that no one else currently can claim.”

If that were true, his poll numbers would not be dropping slowly and steadily. Politics, after all, is about public perception.

Gergle said: “What is needed is changes in long term policy. Getting that right is essential.”

And we have seen NONE OF THAT, so far. HC reform without anyway to drive down HC costs, is a complete failure in addressing long term national requirements and policy.

Financial reform that allows big banks to get even bigger is yet another failure of long term change and policy.

Leaving a 50,000 troop contingent with massive U.S. armaments in Iraq, indefinitely, is not change in long term policy.

Escalating the war and casualties in Afghanistan is not achieving long term objectives or changing long term policy there.

Sorry, I don’t see Obama achieving ANY of our nation’s long term policy change requirements. None, at all.

There’s a wise saying about procrastination, ‘Tomorrow Never Comes, There Is Only Today’.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 17, 2010 11:47 AM
Comment #303743

Obama would have fared much better if he had tackled unemployment first and health care reform later. Mr. Remer speaks of his dropping approval numbers and I believe that drop is directly related to his failure to successfully address jobs.

http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/careers/what-is-the-real-unemployment-rate/19556146/

“By taking his eye off one of the most fundamental issues affecting the country, President Obama has seen his popularity sink. John Williams, founder of “Shadow Government Statistics” says when accounting for the long-term unemployed, the jobless rate runs up to as much as 22% currently. Such a rate isn’t that far from the 25% it hit during the Great Depression.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 17, 2010 12:43 PM
Comment #303745

David,

If that were true, his poll numbers would not be dropping slowly and steadily. Politics, after all, is about public perception.

No, if that weren’t true, somebody else would have been president. Whom did you have in mind that is more astute? You make a false argument here that some hypothetical person was/is more astute.


And we have seen NONE OF THAT, so far. HC reform without anyway to drive down HC costs, is a complete failure in addressing long term national requirements and policy.

Which is exactly my point. Do you believe that a Republican or any other candidate would do or would have done better? This is the problem I have with pundits who don’t recognize political reality, but are focused on an agenda that they believe without popular support.

Roosevelt had the fortune of having the economy collapse entirely in Hoover’s term. There was no doubt which party had caused the collapse. Fortunately for the US, but unfortunately for Obama, the mess Bush created wasn’t as obvious or severe.

Many of Roosevelt’s policies were permanently established in his second term, after a rouge Supreme Court was threatened and replaced by retirement of several justices.

Many of the taxes that were raised were not raised until after WWII, to pay for the costs associated with his programs.

Perhaps a magical genius will arise by 2012. Most likely not. As of right now, I think smart people are betting on the guy that has moved us in the right direction.

Posted by: gergle at July 17, 2010 2:59 PM
Comment #303749

gergle wrote; “Many of Roosevelt’s policies were permanently established in his second term, after a rouge Supreme Court was threatened and replaced by retirement of several justices.”

I suggest you reread your history…”rouge Supreme Court”. Where did that come from?

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 17, 2010 4:57 PM
Comment #303753

“There’s a wise saying about procrastination, ‘Tomorrow Never Comes, There Is Only Today’”

In my simple opinion, the angst about Obama’s failure to make dramatic structural changes in health care, financial reform and foreign military involvment are misplaced. As Gergle points out, there has not been the political will and public support for sweeping changes in these areas. Republicans have fought every reform proposal tooth and nail. If there is support among conservatives for breaking up the banks, it certainly hasn’t been apparent. Disappointing as it is, that is the reality. Incremental reforms are the political reality.

Posted by: Rich at July 17, 2010 6:02 PM
Comment #303760

Royal Flush,

I suspect the same rouge court that you seem to think has been progressive at times. The court was standing in the way of helping Americans who weren’t rich and powerful. That is my definition of rouge. Some might use the term activist, much like Robert’s court has decided to be. Apparently, once faced with political reality several decided to resign rather than continue fighting with FDR. What’s your fanciful definition?

Posted by: gergle at July 17, 2010 7:32 PM
Comment #303808

Rich, and with each increment that fails to meet our nation’s biggest challenges, our nation moves closer to the brink of economic failure and protracted recessions, or worse.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 18, 2010 2:49 PM
Comment #303809

gergle, that was a ridiculous retort. What has his getting elected to do with his job performance in the eyes of the public a year and a half later. He was popular on the campaign trail. He is not nearly so popular now that his job performance has something to be measured.

Politics, I repeat, is about public perception. Obama ran on his willingness to stand by principles and make the difficult decisions needed to rescue our nation from the devastation left by Republicans. Yet, all we get from him are half measures which fail to meet the biggest challenges, driving down health care costs to save our economic future, ending the wars which are a hole in the hull of our deficit ship, and too big to fail corporations which are still growing and consolidating.

Through all this, the one shining light was TARP, which is now going to result in net gains for tax payers, and TARP was a Republican program set in place before Obama took office. This does not bode well for Democrats or Obama. He seems to think he can campaign rhetoric his way back to positive polling numbers, since that seems to be all he is doing to curry public favor. I am here to tell you, such hollow gestures are going to fail without governing substance to back it up.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 18, 2010 2:58 PM
Comment #303824

David,

No, it wasn’t ridiculus. He passed some bills which were unpopular to both sides. Why? Because it didn’t pander to their agenda. It was a compromise.

Johnson was so unpopular that he elected not to run for a second term further confirming people’s negative opinions. He failed to move on Vietnam, and knew the policy was a failure, yet his Great Society legislation was among the most progressive and positive legislation since FDR. The Master of the Senate was one of the most successful presidents in terms of legislation. He WAS a master politician who used his presidency to enact deeply needed legislation partly, at the cost of his political second term. He spent his political capital. He bungled Vietnam which he inherited. Kennedy was very popular because he was dead. Was he therefore more politically astute? That’s a bizarre result of same kind of logic here. Frankly, Kennedy bungled the Cuban missile crisis and mistakenly widened Vietnam. He was inept in his handling of those situations.

You are holding Obama to an unrealistic standard. What would Hilary’s record be today? What would McCain’s? I have no problem with you criticizing Obama or the shortcomings of his legislation, but to deem him as not politically astute is simply absurd. I think the court is still out on Afghanistan and Iraq, but he has moved us forward on healthcare and financial reform. I disagree that ANYONE could adequately address these issues in one term. Clinton was an utter failure at this. If Obama isn’t reelected, then likely these steps forward will be withdrawn. We’ll see how enactment of these bills takes place. Writing a law is only half the step. enacting it is the other. The right kinds of pressure will mold how these bills stand up and are mutated over time.

Posted by: gergle at July 18, 2010 5:50 PM
Comment #303830

gergle, when dealing with fire, does one compromise one’s approach to putting it out, or does one apply all available resources to getting that job done, without compromise?

Compromise in solving imminent challenges that threaten our nation and future, will be as effective as our compromised strategy in Viet Nam or the early years of the Iraq War.

It is not about pandering to electorate’s agendas, it is about solving problems the electorate is concerned about. In the end, the electorate doesn’t much care how problems were solved, only that they were.

I am not holding Obama to an unrealistic standard. He was elected to solve problems, not throw a few buckets of water on a house fire and say that is all that he could do as the house proceeds to burn down on the heads of the voters because of compromise.

He either does what he led the voters to believe he would, or, he doesn’t. There is no compromise on the electorate’s part in this regard, I assure you.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 18, 2010 6:12 PM
Comment #303855

David,

I think we’ll just have to agree to disagree. When you are borrowing that water from a nearly dry well in the middle of the desert, and with a group of people that will need that water to survive, one must consider more than the immediacy of the current fire. Make the wrong move and you will likely be thrown down the well before the fire is out, leaving not only a burning house, but a thirsty and murderous group of people. Leadership is more than solving just one problem.

Posted by: gergle at July 19, 2010 1:22 AM
Comment #303860

David,

Gergle makes an interesting and little appreciated point about taking a cautious but affirmative approach to solving the problems that Obama inherited since taking office. Radical reforms will by definition be disruptive to the existing systems already under significant stress. You don’t want, for example, to destroy the financial system to save it. Precipitious withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan will have foreseeable negative consequences. True health care cost reform immediately would threaten a major economic sector of the economy during a period of recession. A wrong move could have disasterous consequences.

Obama has chosen to take an incremental and centrist approach to reform. In my opinion, it is the only possible approach politically and it is the wisest approach from a practical standpoint. He has been presented with enormous and complex problems for which there are no obvious, simple and compelling solutions. Establishing the groundwork and mechanisms for ongoing reform is a significant achievement. It doesn’t get us there immediately, but at least gives us a flexible path to that goal. The danger is that the incremental process of reform will stall politically or be captured by corporate interests.

Your lauding of the TARP program illustrates the problems of financial reform. TARP failed to achieve its original objectives. TARP funds were used to re-capitalize the banks, not to remove troubled assets. It was the Fed who removed the toxic assets and provided banks with enormous injections of reserve funds and paid interest on those reserve funds allowing the banks to pay back the TARP funds. It was all a sleight of hand to save the TBTF banks. Now, you want to break up the banks. Having willingly gone down that path, you now want to reverse course. In my opinion, the time to break up the banks has passed. The financial reform package concentrating on regulatory control of their investments is the best that could be expected under the circumstances.

Posted by: Rich at July 19, 2010 10:07 AM
Comment #303866

Rich, there was nothing radical about driving down health care costs with the Public Option. Hell, even Republicans were hypocritically denouncing Obama for having failed his own base on that one.

There was nothing radical about forcing the too big to fail banks to break up into smaller dedicated lines of business. Not radical at all. That is what was reality for more than 60 years until Clinton’s signing of the Gramm Leach Bliley Act.

Your argument is baseless. These were not radical initiatives. They were, however, solutions to impending problems that ARE destroying our nation’s future, including that of every working American.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 19, 2010 1:24 PM
Comment #303867

gergle, if resources were that tight, we would NOT now be in Iraq and Afghanistan. We would not now be sending billions of dollars into space. We would not now be subsidizing major energy industries with tax dollars. If resources were that tight, Obama would have vetoed that last great larded up pork laden budget.

Your argument is without any real world parallel, and therefore, without merit.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 19, 2010 1:28 PM
Comment #303868


Rich&Gergle:

If the government health care plan is considered a failure by the people, how do Democrats convince the people that a better government health care plan is what we need especially in light of the fact that the Republicans will do everything in their power to use this terrible bill to attack any new proposal?

The time to address to big to fail has passed because Obama, Dodd and many other corpocracy owned politicians wanted it to pass. That is the political reality that many who would support Obama and the Democrats are seeing and they don’t like it one bit.

Many of those who supported Obama wanted a fighter. They got a man that has shown that he is willing to compromise principles for his name on legislation. Well, he is doing that.

Posted by: jlw at July 19, 2010 1:54 PM
Comment #303882
Why did you bring up your birther dung on a post about financial reform?
Posted by jlw at July 15, 2010 10:42 PM

Because if Obama isn’t legally elected everything he signs into law is nul and void.

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=152773

Robert Siciliano, president and CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com and a nationally recognized expert on identity theft, agrees the Social Security number should be questioned.

“I know Social Security numbers have been issued to people in states where they don’t live, but there’s usually a good reason the person applied for a Social Security number in a different state,” Siciliano told WND.

WND asked Siciliano whether he thought the question was one the White House should answer.

“Yes,” he replied. “In the case of President Obama, I really don’t know what the good reason would be that he has a Social Security number issued in Connecticut when we know he was a resident of Hawaii.”


When Robert Gibbs was asked about this…
Just answer the question, Mr. Gibbs!

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 19, 2010 4:58 PM
Comment #303886

Apparently, once faced with political reality several decided to resign rather than continue fighting with FDR. What’s your fanciful definition?

Posted by: gergle at July 17, 2010 07:32 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judiciary_Reorganization_Bill_of_1937


A political fight which began as a conflict between the President and the Supreme Court turned into a battle between Roosevelt and the recalcitrant members of his own party in the Congress.[9] The political consequences were wide-reaching, extending beyond the narrow question of judicial reform to implicate the political future of the New Deal itself. Not only was bipartisan support for Roosevelt’s agenda largely dissipated by the struggle, the overall loss of political capital in the arena of public opinion was also significant.[9]
As Michael Parrish has written, “the protracted legislative battle over the Court-packing bill blunted the momentum for additional reforms, divided the New Deal coalition, squandered the political advantage Roosevelt had gained in the 1936 elections, and gave fresh ammunition to those who accused him of dictatorship, tyranny, and fascism. When the dust settled, FDR had suffered a humiliating political defeat at the hands of Chief Justice Hughes and the administration’s Congressional opponents.”[129][130]
With the retirement of Justice Willis Van Devanter, the Court’s composition began to move solidly in support of Roosevelt’s legislative agenda. By the end of 1941, following the deaths of Justices Cardozo (1938) & Butler (1939), and the retirements of Van Devanter (1937), Sutherland (1938), Brandeis (1939), McReynolds (1941), & Hughes (1941), only two Justices (former Associate Justice, by then promoted to Chief Justice, Stone, and Associate Justice Roberts) remained from the Court Roosevelt inherited in 1933.
As former Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist observed:

President Roosevelt lost the Court-packing battle, but he won the war for control of the Supreme Court … not by any novel legislation, but by serving in office for more than twelve years, and appointing eight of the nine Justices of the Court. In this way the Constitution provides for ultimate responsibility of the Court to the political branches of government. [Yet] it was the United States Senate - a political body if there ever was one - who stepped in and saved the independence of the judiciary … in Franklin Roosevelt’s Court-packing plan in 1937.[131]


Posted by: Weary Willie at July 19, 2010 5:45 PM
Comment #303905

Weary,

Yes, he lost that battle, (rightfully so, I might add) but won the war.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_D._Roosevelt

The Court also drew back from confrontation with the administration by finding the Labor Relations and Social Security Acts to be constitutional. Deaths and retirements on the Supreme Court soon allowed Roosevelt to make his own appointments to the bench with little controversy. Between 1937 and 1941, he appointed eight justices to the court.[75]

David,

Your argument is without any real world parallel, and therefore, without merit.

I guess I must be an idiot. I didn’t see hardly any fight from Republicans and remember well a sweeping victory in both the House and Senate on these compromise bills. Using the term “real world” in your fanciful criticism of Obama using a hypothetically superior astute politician is almost laughable.

I respect your political insights, which are generally more astute than mine, but I think you are off the beam a bit here.

jlw,

Perhaps the time has passed, perhaps not. Another stumble in the financial world will likely scare enough people to finally kill the fantasy world of Republican politics. Using administrative rules to “rescue” this situation may well turn the political tide in passing more legislation. The real truth is we need creative financial markets. We are competing globally for financial business. It is also true that the taxpayer is the ultimate backer of the US economy, like it or not. As evidenced in the eighties, nineties and double oughts any legislation can be overturned or run around in the right political climate.

Blue Cross has already lost it’s attempt to push through a massive increase in California. We are only beginning to see the real world effects of this legislation. Give it a chance. Obama is more savvy than David gives him credit for.

Posted by: gergle at July 19, 2010 9:34 PM
Comment #303906

Sorry, screwed up the blockquote on my quote of David’s sentence.

Posted by: gergle at July 19, 2010 9:35 PM
Comment #303914
Perhaps the time has passed, perhaps not. Another stumble in the financial world will likely scare enough people to finally kill the fantasy world of Republican politics.
Posted by: gergle at July 19, 2010 09:34 PM

In your dreams, gergle! The only reason the people of this country would back the Democratic Party philosophy is because they depend on it. It’s a failing situation from the start. It’s too bad the people of this country who are benefiting from it are just now realizing they didn’t pay for it. They only think they paid for it. The people who benefit from it don’t think it’s failing. The people who realize it is failing are the one’s who will be paying for it. They’re the ones who are raising alarms.

My father continues to critisize me because I’m not doing enough! I disagree.


Posted by: Weary Willie at July 19, 2010 11:19 PM
Comment #303917

Weary,

I have better dreams than political financial platforms. Babes in Bikinis are my preference.

It’s a failing situation from the start.

When was that exactly? :)

Posted by: gergle at July 19, 2010 11:48 PM
Comment #303920
When was that exactly? :)
Posted by: gergle at July 19, 2010 11:48 PM

Alexander Hamilton.

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 20, 2010 12:25 AM
Comment #303925

gergle and jlw,

jlw said: “Many of those who supported Obama wanted a fighter. They got a man that has shown that he is willing to compromise principles for his name on legislation. Well, he is doing that.”

I have no rational choice but to agree with this statement. Much to my regret. I was a most ardent supporter of Obama and his potential to bring about the changes the nation needs to remedy its severest challenges. As I have said elsewhere, it is foolhardy to compromise on putting out a fire while one still can. There is no insurance policy to make us whole again if our nation’s economy crashes and burns.

There is only now to dramatically reform health care cost escalation and the Medicare/Medicaid programs to sustainable solvency going forward. There simply is no substitute for that kind of enormously difficult politics. We do it, or, we fail as a nation and an economy.

The Wall St. Reform is another example of failing through compromise to address the challenge and crisis looming in our future as a result of mega-banks, their oligopoly, and their lobbying influence upon our public servants.

I doubt there is a single CEO of a major mega-bank that has contemplated the consequences, or cares, when our government fails to raise the money it needs to borrow to float the Medicare/Medicaid payments due in 8 or 9 years from now. They are immune with their enormous wealth. Their mega-banks will fail as a direct result of all the private sector contraction due to an end to a large number of government contracts spending on everything from military contracts, to roads, to education and energy.

They are immune. They have no need to care if the economy and their mega-banks fail ultimately. They will continue to care only about shareholder support of their compensation packages for as long as possible. It is the role of the government and its people to check and balance these mega-banks with emphatic care and concern for such consequences. Compromise which left these mega-banks in control will prove to be a lethal mistake for our economy in less than a decade from now.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 20, 2010 5:21 AM
Comment #303933

David,

From what I gather, you supported saving the big banks with trillions of taxpayer dollars (TARP, FED toxic asset removal program, etc.). There were alternatives. They could have been allowed to fail (FDIC dissolution process, bankruptcy). If the shock of dissolution would be too great, they could have been nationalized like Sweden did in the early 90s, re-captitalized and returned to private status as conditions warrented and in whatever size was thought appropriate.

Having saved the beasts, you now lament their ability to exert political pressure against breaking them up and/or arbitrarily limiting their size. You reap what you sow.

Aside from the too big to fail issue, the financial reform package contains two very important victories for the taxpayer: strong provisions for an independent consumer financial products protection agency and vigorous measures to control credit derivatives. The credit derivative issue is particularly important as it was a key factor in bringing the financial markets down. Brooksley Born, the Cassandra of the credit derivative crisis, gives the reform measures high marks for its comprehensive approach to controlling excesses in the credit derivative area.

Posted by: Rich at July 20, 2010 7:50 AM
Comment #303937

Rich said: “From what I gather, you supported saving the big banks with trillions of taxpayer dollars (TARP, FED toxic asset removal program, etc.)

First, I supported saving the nation’s and world’s economies from a protracted depression by rescuing this nation’s banking system upon which the rest of the world’s banks held investment paper in. Yes, and with tax dollars in a program which has now repaid the tax payers most of what was lent out, and will result in a very short time, with Tax Payers actually having made money on the TARP deal.

If you are not aware of these facts, I suggest researching them. TARP was necessary, as well as having ample potential structure to recoup the tax payer’s money in the few years following. TARP is an example of something done right, for a change, by our government.

None of the options you propose could have worked out better than tax payers recovering all the tax dollars in TARP, and then some.

Are you saying by your comments that you opposed the TARP and now resent the tax payer’s money being returned to the government with interest, while saving our nation and world from another Great Depression?

Rich said, illogically: “Having saved the beasts, you now lament their ability to exert political pressure against breaking them up and/or arbitrarily limiting their size.”

Two separate issues having nothing to do with each other. TARP was about rescuing our economy and private capital essential to American businesses large and small.

Too big to fail is an entirely different issue addressing the future need to avoid a similar circumstance from reoccurring. I lament the idiots who fail to learn the lessons of the banking crisis started in 1929 and the Savings and Loan debacle which resulted from those institutions not being included in the Glass-Steagall Act.

Rich spoke of: “…strong provisions for an independent consumer financial products protection agency and vigorous measures to control credit derivatives.”

Yes, I applaud both of those measures. I never said the legislation was devoid of merit. My claim is that it fails to prevent the Too-Big-To-Fail scenario from reoccurring in the future.

You said: “The credit derivative issue is particularly important as it was a key factor in bringing the financial markets down.”

There are many ways to bring financial markets down, Rich. Derivatives did not bring down the Savings and Loan industry, nor the Banking sector in 1929. Taking care of derivatives does NOT prevent other ways in which mega-banks can fail. BUT, the absence of reinstating portions of the Glass-Steagall Act DOES insure the potential for tax payers being forced to rescue the economy again by doling out 100’s of billions or more to these mega-banks in the future.

Given the dramatic rise in our national debt, we are unlikely to have the kind of borrowing capacity in the future, we enjoyed this time to rescue the banking sector and our economy. In fact, failing to address rising health care cost and reforming Medicare/Medicaid insures that we will not have the kind of borrowing power we just exploited to save ourselves from the mega-bank’s troubles.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 20, 2010 8:27 AM
Comment #303960

David,

OK, I get your take now. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish when are talking about long term debt and current budget issues.

I guess this is where we disagree. I still think there is time and even greater political opportunity ahead to deal with long term budget issues. That is why I am still supporting Obama. I get a bit concerned when politico’s get too focused on long term debt at this point. From my reading of financial pages, there is a lot of concern regarding future borrowing of the US, just not next week. A bigger fear I have in the near term is a double dip…or something worse.

Once we have gotten GDP to grow again and some economic stability, I strongly suspect you’ll see Obama attack long term debt. Once the overwrought fear of HC reform and economic collapse has waned, Attacking both finacial risk and expanding cost due to aggressive insurance and medical services billing can be separated from the herd and devoured. I don’t know this to be his political strategy, but I suspect it is. This is a second term issue, for the most part.

The folly of some critics is to give ammunition to a party bent on an ideological destruction of the US because they are unable to wrest themselves from the past. That is a serious political mistake, in my opinion. The specifics of issues are not something I think the mass voting public grasps. They are motivated by fears and personal comfort. By demonstrating some benefit from HC reform and restoring some economic growth, the political winds will still be in Obama’s favor come 2012. Being overly radical and pushing an agenda without obvious short term benefit would be political suicide. Bush made this mistake in Iraq by ignoring the failure of Rumsfeld policies and ignoring warnings about economic bubbles based on ideological leanings. When he decided to react to both issues it was too late, he was seen as a failure by the popular voters.

Believing that there is no reason for a second term or any political will derived from that, is a mistaken reading of history, in my opinion. This is why I noted the terms “headed in the right direction”. I think this will be key to the election of 2012.

Posted by: gergle at July 20, 2010 2:08 PM
Comment #303978

Gergle said: “Once we have gotten GDP to grow again and some economic stability, I strongly suspect you’ll see Obama attack long term debt.”

Obama said precisely this, yesterday, as he spoke of our need to make today, the decisions that will effectively address our structural debt (unfunded mandates - i.e. S.S. and Medicare/Medicaid) which threatens our economic future. He finally gets it.

Of course, I expected him to get this on Day One of his term in office, and demonstrate it by vetoing that enormous pork ladened budget of 2009-2010. But, he obviously did not have the big picture then, as he appears to now by his speech yesterday. Hopefully, there is still time to appropriately apply that adage, ‘better late than never’.

I will be watching very closely Obama’s actions in the coming months for evidence that he is committed to that Sisyphus effort. If it is not forthcoming, he will have lost this independent voter’s support in 2012. I would rather vote at least the remote possibility of a challenger rising to unite the nation and save the future, than to reelect an incumbent who has demonstrated little other than ineffective compromise which fails to avert disaster ahead.

He needs to stick to his plans to draw down in Iraq, and Afghanistan. He needs to follow through with all the power of his presidency on the bi-partisan commission’s recommendations to address the structural deficits, and without delay. He needs bully pulpit the Republicans into submission at the hands of the independent voters for their absence of any solutions other than the their failed policies which brought on these current difficult economic times. He needs to streamline and make far more efficient and effective, our defense and intelligence communities as a means of insuring another attack does not derail the nation’s absolute need to address domestic economic concerns going forward.

Obama has an enormously difficult set of challenges. He said he was up to them. Time to prove it, and post haste.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 20, 2010 6:12 PM
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