Tag Archives: enemies

The Banks Want More

stack of money

I know it is hard to fathom, but for some reason the big banks don’t believe they have enough power or influence in Washington. They’ve even taken out a SuperPAC so they can throw more money around. The whole thing is depressing. The fact that we went into the biggest recession since the Great Depression because the big banks were playing roulette with our money doesn’t seem to phase them. They have no pity. They have no shame. The fact that they treat us like small piles of money instead of as individuals doesn’t phase them either.

From Alter-Net:

Friends Of Traditional Banking is a new super-PAC formed by “traditional” banks that can raise unlimited amounts, and can direct unlimited money to races without restrictions.

One banker calls this “a big stick” with which to punish lawmakers who vote with the public interest instead of the banking industry’s interest. Another banker says the purpose is to make lawmakers “afraid of bankers” instead of having them respond to the public. Another says, “… if you say the bankers are going to put in $100,000 or $500,000 or $1 million into your opponent’s campaign, that starts to draw some attention.” Another makes it all clear, it is about raising “a lot of money” to “hammer” lawmakers who are in the way of bank profits.

The story from American Banker, Bankers Form SuperPac for ‘Surgical’ Strike at Industry’s Enemies, explains,

Frustrated by a lack of political power and fed up with blindly donating to politicians who consistently vote against the industry’s interests, a handful of leaders are determined to shake things up.

They have formed the industry’s first SuperPAC — dubbed Friends of Traditional Banking —  that is designed to target the industry’s enemies and support its friends in Congress.

“It comes back to the old philosophy of walking softly and carrying a big stick,” says Howard Headlee, the president and chief executive officer of the Utah Bankers Association. “But we’ve got no big stick. And we should. We have the capacity to have one, we just aren’t organized.”

… “Congress isn’t afraid of bankers,” adds Roger Beverage, the president and CEO of the Oklahoma Bankers Association. “They don’t think we’ll do anything to kick them out of office. We are trying to change that perception.”

The arrogance of these guys is killing me. The power the United States lies with the people. It is that simple. It doesn’t lie with the politicians. It doesn’t lie with the political friends of the politicians. The power does not lie in the rich or the well-to-do. The power in the United States lies in the people. It is time for us to rise up and take back the power that is rightfully ours. Politicians should be listening to us and not to special interests like gun lobbies or bank lobbies or anyone else.

Thursday Evening News Round Up

Been travelling today.

College grads are losing ground on wages. This isn’t good. We need higher wages, living wages for everyone.

Prolonged unemployment is causing and will continue to cause long lasting damage to our society. Everyone is affected. Everyone!

I don’t get it. If children are our future and we, all, believe that children are the foundation of tomorrow then why are we short changing the most important gift that we can give to our children – their education?

BTW, I don’t care if the president backed down on when he would schedule his speech to Congress. I really don’t. We need jobs now. Not tomorrow or next week. Why couldn’t the Republican candidates debate an hour later or two hours earlier? Why couldn’t the president give his speech today and not next week? I don’t care about these macho contests. I care about jobs. Tomorrow we will have another jobs report. I suspect that this is going to be mediocre – with 60,000 – 75,000 jobs added. We need 10 times that much every month for more than two years in order to put 25 million workers (unemployed and underemployed) back to work in jobs that they want at wages that can truly support them. Shame on the media for pushing this non-story and why isn’t the media showing us a daily segment entitled – JOBS???!?!?

 

Vermont and Connecticut are still struggling with recovery.

For some reason auto sales went up last month. Who would have thunk? I’ll take any economic good news.

From PA:

Libya: “The transitional government of Libya’s triumphant rebels decided Thursday to extend by up to a week the deadline given to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi and his remaining fighters to surrender, but the fugitive leader rejected the ultimatum and raged at his enemies in a new broadcast that called for the country to be ‘engulfed in flames.’”

Better, but still too high: “Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 409,000, the Labor Department said, still pointing to a jobs market struggling to find strength, but well short of a recession signal.”

Iraq: “Under increased pressure from the United States, an Iraqi crackdown on Iranian-backed Shiite militias has helped produce a previously elusive goal: For the first time since the American invasion of Iraq, an entire month has passed without a single United States service member dying.”

Maybe someone should do something: “The Obama administration downgraded its forecast for economic growth Thursday, predicting turmoil in the economy will likely keep unemployment above 9 percent through next year’s election.”

* On the other hand, the federal budget deficit will run “20% lower than expected this year.” Tea Partiers will be celebrating the Obama administration’s progress on deficit reduction, right?

Counter-terrorism: “On a steady slide. On the ropes. Taking shots to the body and head. That’s how White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan described al-Qaida on Wednesday as he offered the first on-record confirmation that al-Qaida’s latest second-in-command was killed last week in Pakistan.”

* The White House’s new “We The People” online petition initiative looks pretty good.

Harry Reid – what have you done for me lately?

A friend of mine has written the letter to Senator Harry Reid. It is about the filibuster. I must admit that I’m sitting on the fence about the filibuster. On one hand, I can see how it is a tool to give power to minority and I know that Democrats won’t always be in the majority. On the other hand, qualified applicants to many positions are being blocked by the GOP simply because they can. Here are my friend’s thoughts:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
522 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Reid,
Last January many senators from your own party urged you to establish new rules for the Senate that would prohibit a single senator or a minority of senators from filibustering the nominees of the administration. Despite two full years of inability to overcome the Republicans’ egregious abuse of the filibuster when you had a majority of 60 senators, you agreed instead to allow the filibuster and senatorial holds to continue after your majority fell to 53-47.

I hate to say I told you so, sir, but “I told you so.” I wrote and emailed you then that it was foolish and dangerous to trust the Republicans when they promised not to abuse the continued use of the filibuster. Yet you insisted publicly (and I’m sure in private) that you had the word of Minority Leader McConnell that nominees would get an up-or-down vote in this session of Congress.

Now the entire nation is choking on the fruits of your naiveté, sir. We have no judges, no department heads, no cabinet officers, no financial reform commission leader who will be confirmed by America’s enemies on the other side of the aisle.

Yes, I say “enemies,” because these Republican men (and a few women) are enemies of the United States: they do not want government of the people to be able to function; they will not allow the fulfillment of its laws overseeing private industry and Wall Street speculation, and they are doing their best to destroy the effectiveness of our courts. I remember Mr. McConnell stating that his only priority during this Congress was to ensure that Mr. Obama would be a one-term president; he has decided instead to end Mr. Obama’s presidency in 2011, despite the Constitutional guarantee of a four-year term. And as much as they hate Mr. Obama, they hate our democracy that allowed him to be elected. You, sir, should be ashamed of having trusted them.

I ask you to revisit, immediately, the Senate rules on filibusters and to declare an emergency in the appointment process to the courts and the administration’s unfilled positions. Your unexpected reelection to lead a Senate with a diminished majority was not a license to hand power over to Senator McConnell. It’s time to take power back and USE IT!

Sincerely,