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Financial reform: Déjà vu all over again

It seems at times that Americans have the collective memory of a gnat. We can remember how to work our iPods and how to start our cars, but not much else. Just a few months ago, health-care reform was dead. The Democrats went out of their way to try and appease Senator Susan Collins (Republican — Maine). The Democrats danced and tried to sing in tune in order to woo Susan Collins. (Was she the football of bipartisanship or was she Lucy?) I know the Democrats are Charlie Brown in this analogy. Every time the Dems got close to some sort of agreement on health care reform, Susan Collins would say she was not satisfied (and pull the football away so that the Dems would land flat on our backs) . This went on for weeks. The Dems finally wised up and passed Healthcare Reform without Senator Collins.

Now we have financial reform. Wall Street is showing very nice and healthy profits with the money that we’ve infused into these huge corporations. As far as I can tell, nothing has changed. The conditions that caused the meltdown have not been fixed. There are still subprime mortgages. There are still mortgage derivatives. There are still mortgage-based credit default swaps and credit debt obligations (CDOs). All the ingredients are still there to make wildly insane profits based on unsustainable formulas. So to remedy the problem on Wall Street, Senator Chris Dodd has introduced a bill which has been passed by the Senate Finance Committee. The vote, of course, was extremely partisan. The Republicans are saying exactly the same thing about this bill that they said about health-care reform. They’re stating that reform is needed. They’re stating that they support reform but oppose this bill. A letter from the Senate Republicans has been drafted to the Democratic Senate leadership. 40 Republican senators have signed the letter… but not Susan Collins. She is the lone holdout. She stated that she wants reform and is still open to negotiation. Does this sound familiar?

The Republicans are not pleased that they lost the last battle. I suspect that they will dig in and stand up against anything that the Dems propose for financial reform. They will attack Democrats on multiple different levels. They will claim that the bill supports the big banks. They will claim that there is too much regulation in the bill which will stifle innovation, profits and job growth. We’ve heard all this before. We do need better and smarter regulation. We do need appropriate regulation in order to prevent another meltdown. I think when we look back from 1945 through 1980, we have to ask ourselves why weren’t there meltdowns during this time period? The answer is simple. Regulations separated banks from other types of financial institutions. Regulations dictated that financial institutions had to have a certain amount of capital to balance out their debt obligations. Finally, during this time period, we never had banks that were “too big to fail.”

Democrats need to look to the past in order to give Americans a better future. We need not change anything to please Susan Collins. She has proven before that the cost of her vote is too high. The Dems need to let the dream of kicking that football go. Democrats need to do what’s right for the American people. That is all that I ask.

By |2010-04-16T00:26:02-04:00April 16th, 2010|Economy|Comments Off on Financial reform: Déjà vu all over again

Oh, for Pete's sake!

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From DK:

Yesterday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Snyder of Michigan expressed disgust at the tactics of one Peter Hoekstra, the blowhard congressman with aspirations of becoming the next Governor of Michigan. Hoekstra, as is now well known, responded to the near-miss terrorist attack last week in Detroit by making the incident the central theme in…of all things…a fundraising e-mail.

What will Rick Snyder say now that the political party to which he belongs has elected to follow Hoekstra’s lead?

The NRSC is the latest GOP group to use the failed bombing attempt on a Detroit-bound plane to rake in money.

In an email to supporters Wednesday, NRSC exec. dir. Rob Jesmer cites the attempted terrorism, along with health care legislation, in an effort to earn last-minute contributions.

The NRSC is the campaign wing for Senate Republicans, and the letter is aimed at gathering last-second contributions ahead of the December 31st year-end filing deadline.

One of the NRSC’s prime targets, Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut, also got hit with a Detroit-themed fundraising message, as leading GOP opponent Rob Simmons alluded to the attack as well in a fundraising missive.

What is more disappointing–that the GOP is trying to exploit fear for campaign cash, or that absolutely no one is surprised to see them do it?

By |2009-12-30T20:53:58-04:00December 30th, 2009|Elections, National Intelligence, Terrorism|Comments Off on Oh, for Pete's sake!

What's Going On: Evening News Roundup

Here’s the Thursday evening news roundup:

  • If you’ve been following the $700 billion White House proposal to bail out Wall Street, you have seen the world’s best E-ticket ride. Around noon (Eastern Standard Time), some of the networks were reporting that an agreement was imminent. An hour or two later, the networks were talking with congressional Republicans who weren’t at all happy with a $700 billion bailout. Late this afternoon, congressional leaders met with President Bush and the two presidential candidates — Barack Obama and John McCain. This huge presidential pow wow was supposed to yield a deal. Nothing.

    Senator Richard Shelby, a Republican from Alabama, opposed the bailout and mentioned a letter written by leading economists stating that we may be jumping the gun. I find it interesting that Republicans are starting to listen to academics. When the academics said that tax cuts weren’t necessary and would probably hurt the economy, the Republicans didn’t listen at all.

  • One of the most intriguing developments within the last hour or so is that Senator Chris Dodd, a Democrat from Connecticut and Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, told reporters that John McCain floated a previously unheard-of proposal. It appears that some Republicans have signed on to this possible legislation. As far as I know, the contents of this proposal have not been printed anywhere.
  • Representative Eric Cantor, a Republican from Virginia, has led a group of conservative Republicans in a proposition for governmental insurance of securities purchased by private companies. This proposal does nothing to change the culture of greed on Wall Street. Plus, it causes the U.S. government to enter the insurance business. I’m not exactly sure how this would work. I’m going to have to read some more details on this one.
  • On previous blog entries, I’ve mentioned that Pakistan shot at American forces. Well, this trend seems to be continuing. American forces are crossing the Afghan-Pakistan border in search of members of Al Qaeda or the Taliban. Pakistan has stated in no uncertain terms that this is a violation of their sovereignty. This is starting to get uglier.
  • So is Friday night’s debate between John McCain and Barack Obama— on or off?
  • Louisiana State Representative John LaBruzzo floated a proposal to pay poor women to get sterilized and pay rich women to have more kids. This lawmaker, not surprisingly, is from the same district as the White Supremacist David Duke.
  • I wonder if George Steinbrenner is kicking himself right now. The Yankees owner fired longtime Yankee manager Joe Torre who was immediately hired by the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers haven’t participated in the post-season over the last five or six years. For the first time, an extremely long time, the Yankees have not made the playoffs. The Los Angeles Dodgers have made the playoffs and won the West. Joe Torre knows how to manage.
By |2008-09-25T19:35:53-04:00September 25th, 2008|Economy, Election 2008, Pakistan, Sports|Comments Off on What's Going On: Evening News Roundup
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