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Tuesday: “We gave them free money to make themselves richer”

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren gave an interview on Fresh Air yesterday.  Warren is the Harvard professor specializing in bankruptcy and consumer debt who has been tapped by Congress to follow the bailout money and find out what happened to it.  It’s a pretty bleak interview although there are moments of humor when Terry Gross, our typical Obot, tries desperately to find a silver lining in the presidency of Barack Obama.

In short, Warren is terse and angry with the way the bailout was handled.  She finally gets to the nugget of the problem at the end of the interview: the American middle class has been callously exploited by the finance giants because there are no rules in place that forbid it.  There were no rules regarding the fine print in mortgage contracts, an “anything goes” attitude for credit card companies and no requirements as to how to spend the bailout money or even that a report should be written detailing how it was spent.  The finance giants held us hostage and robbed us blind and NO one in Congress stopped them from doing it, especially the Senator from Illinois who  is now our president. (Remember how Hillary did the morning show circuit trying to get our attention to the mortgage provisions, or lack thereof, in the Paulsen bailout bill?  Do you Obots out there ever wonder about why Obama didn’t do that?  There are at least two reasons I can think of, neither of them pretty.)

The bankers got everything they wanted with Paulsen.  Going forward, it is impossible to say whether they are getting everything they want from Geithner.  Not only that but taxpayers got a lousy 66% return on investment from the bailout per dollar while investors like Warren Buffet got 125% for every dollar.  I think that refers to the tunneling thing we were talking about the other day.  All of the good assets are being scooped up by insiders while the taxpayers are being left with the worthless stuff.  Geithner exaccerbated it when he traded $45 billion in preferred stock in Citibank for $4 billion of common shares but no controlling interest.  This is the kind of deal we have been making with the robbers.

Warren also says that many of the financial institutions are not lending the money they have been given because they are stashing it way against future anticipated losses.  And at the heart of it all are the home mortgages.  One in five of us own a house whose value is now less than the mortgage on it.   The hapless homeowner may never recoup the value of the home.  Obama’s mortgage assistance program does nothing to help these people and the bankruptcy laws, written for the average person, not a banker, does not allow for a primary residence to be written down.  Even if it were allowed, many people prefer to avoid bankrupcy because the law that was passed a few years ago is so draconian.

The bottom line seems to be that no one is accountable and responsible for anything except middle class Americans.  We are also the people with the fewest protections.  It’s almost as if the New Deal never happened.  The Bushies have been successful beyond their wildest dreams.  We are unprotected prey.  They had control of Congress for eight solid years and with the flick of their wrist, just one Republican can filibuster any damn thing they want in the Senate.  They even managed to help elect a Democrat who is the weakest possible president we could have ever imagined in a time of crisis.  Terry Gross got audibly annoyed that Warren wasn’t singing his praises but this is the situation we are in. The afterglow is wearing off.   Obama is completely at the mercy of the wolves.  He got plopped right into the middle of a maelstrom and has no political compass to get him and us out of it.  This is what we, the Clintonistas, were afraid would happen.  It is not a time for “on the job training” and waiting for him to do something.  A responsible and ready president would have come into office with an armload of policies, cabinet already in place and a plan.  He has none of those things.

It really is that serious.  There are few avenues open to us to make it better.  The only slightly bright spot is the possibility that we can help filibuster proof the Senate.  We still have one senator outstanding, Al Franken of Minnesota.  Norm Coleman is fighting tooth and nail to keep him out of the Senate.  Franken still needs our help to pay his legal bills.  The campaign hit me up last night although I don’t have the amount they were asking for.  But every little bit helps.  If you want to seat another liberal Democrat in the senate, consider making a donation to his recount campaign.

In other news:

The drugmakers ensure that no new drugs will be forthcoming from either Merck or Schering for the forseeable future.  They announced plans for a merger yesterday, joining Pfizer and Wyeth in the merger market.  There was plenty of heart racing in the halls where I work.  Many of my colleagues have spouses who work at one of the four companies currently merging.  In a soft economy, these scientists, who have spent most of their lives getting their degrees, have few options.  Now, with the northeast corridor in danger of getting the boot, panic is starting to feel very real.  Meanwhile, the bean counters carefully negotiate how much money the shareholders will get from buying each other out while the projects for oncology, cardiovascular and other diseases languish as, the hiring freezes go into effect,  the managers rearrange the desk chairs and clueless consultants apply the latest trendy bizspeak to the future of research and development.  And cutting research is suddenly the new trend.  One can almost hear the corporate guys saying, “Those guys never get anything done anymore.  It’s just so hard to find good help these days.”

Damn, I should have gone for an MBA.  I could have been sitting on a big old wad of taxpayer cash right about now.

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121 Responses

  1. Oh what we could’ve had…

  2. RD,

    Hang in there and keep believing in yourself. I was thinking of you all day yesterday. I’m just glad you still have your job. Somehow we will all survive this. How, I don’t know; but we will.

  3. I listened to the podcast of Fresh Air last night. I was really impressed with Elizabeth Warren. She was so angry with Paulson! It was refreshing to hear someone who actually cares about someone besides the bankers. And it was hilarious to hear her terse “no” answers to Terry Gross each time Terry tried to get her to say that Obama is doing something for the regular folks. Poor Terry! She just can’t lay off that koolaid. I hope she snaps out of it eventually.

    • Has anyone noticed that it’s the women who have been acting rationally and fact-based throughout (Terry Gross excepted)?

  4. RD,

    an MBA is only part of the equation. You have to have the right connection too. I went for an MBA but I can’t see a cent of that GD bailout money.

    I think the people who went to law school are the one making out like bandits, which they actually are.

    God I hate iPod-blogging

  5. Terry Gross was the main reason behind my cutting all ties (and my monthly donation) to NPR. I may have to listen to this podcast.

  6. angienc2, same here. Terry Gross was one of the main reasons I started listening to NPR everyday; and one of the main reasons I stopped. Also, I feel we’re between a rock and hard place. with this dem majority, I don’t want a fillibuster- proof majority. I don’t trust the repubs either, but….

    • I agree. I don’t see why a filibuster proof majority is something I should be wishing for, with this crew.

      As to NPR, I really miss Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, except that I would probably not be laughing if I did listen.

  7. angienc ~

    thanks again for your help yesterday.

    It really made me feel not so all alone!

  8. Geithner met with Democratic House members last night. Why isn’t this being done out in the open? We’ve already been robbed blind. We need to know what they are going to do to us next.


  9. Capitol One just gave my sister-in-law an option: close her account at her current interest rate and have no open credit card, or see her rate change to 22%. Remember usury laws? Can we have them back?

    • I also received a similar notice. My increase was from 6.99 to 15.64. I guess I should be glad it wasn’t 22% or 30 %. Luckily, I have some income tax refund to pay it off. They aren’t getting any more of my money.

      • me too ~ after 6 years at 7% mine is jumping to 18%…

        it’s my business cc so eff ’em ~ if they do not want the several thousand I pump thru there per month then I’ll just use my bank card from my checking account.

        they are flat out screwing people because no one is going to stop them.

        • yes

        • Yep, because no one is stopping them. I even called, which had worked in the past, but this time, no was the answer. I always pay more than the minimum and on time, so eff’ em. I’ll take my business elsewhere. Interestingly, BofA has lowered my interest rate from 10.something to 8.something. I use that card a lot.

  10. Thought of you RD with that news on Schering and Merck. Wish you were someplace like Sloan Kettering instead.

    I like Elizabeth Warren already. Someone smart who actually takes the Obama cult to task (besides Confluencers that is). How refreshing.

    Speaking of the cult, I see that Bob Herbert in the NYT this morning has taken his prodigious talent for r@ce baiting and transferred it to class baiting. His heart is in the right place, one is compelled to say, so he must to correct about everything else. Well it is thin, simple-minded analysis with an agenda. Beneath the bleeding heart posturing is pure Obama propaganda. All the ills of social inequity over the past 30 years are the fault of the raging wingnuts on the right. The poor Dems looked on in horror from the sidelines but were powerless to do anything but suck on their collective thumb. Please.

    But never fear, for Obama-man is now here. He’ll be the champion of working men and women, the champion in fact of pretty much anyone feeling pain today, of anyone not in that top 5% wealth percentile. If Herbert is any clue, Obama is going to be channeling Huey Long to the masses while preaching Reagan doctrines to his cabinet. That’s not a bad campaign strategy for 2012. Meanwhile the nation at large is in flames, but that’s not his fault so he’s not gonna lose any sleep over that whole mess – it’s so tiring. Bring on the next speech.

    How can Obama be so GD complacent. I would listen to him more if some dark circles began appearing under his eyes. Given what we’re in, those circles should be there. And when exactly did reporters like Herbert become so dim-witted, pliant, and superficial. I get angrier every day.

    • Sociopaths don’t feel empathy, fear, or other normal emotions like the rest of us. Obama simply doesn’t care about us. He won’t lose sleep unless the bankers turn on him. In fact they have his ba&lls in a vice right now and he’s paying them blackmail.

  11. Elizabeth Warren really impressed me when she testified about the credit card companies. She knows what she’s talking about. Unfortunately the relief being offered cc customers does not take effect for another year or so. Right now they have us where they want us.

    • Plus we have vice president mbna in charge of the middle class right now … that should make every one feel all snuggly inside

  12. As a Minnesota resident, I do not want Franken as my senator. We need balance. We have one democratic senator, Klobuchar. More democrats and less accountability or questioning of Pelosi, Reid and The One are not the answer. Keep your money in your pockets please….

    • You prefer Coleman??

      • Not normally, but under the circumstances, yes. Quite. Another rubber stamp for the dems is not the answer. Plus, Franken would be a great choice for starting of on state politics or school board, No time for on the job training right now. Roughly half the people of MN feel the same way I do. Don’t forget only 225 votes separate the two.

        • Franken has a brain and will use it. ‘Rubber stamp?’ Umm, no. Have you read any of his books? Have you noticed that the Democrats have several factions right now and don’t all vote as a bloc?

          It’s Coleman who would be a complete tool of the Republicans and vote in lockstep with whatever Boehner told him to. That’s the ‘balance’ you want? It’s Republicans who vote like the 3 Musketeers – all for one and one for all. You’re not thinking straight.

          • emjay is thinking plenty straight. why help create a one-party system?

          • And the new Senator from New York as not turned her coat and become a rubber stamper may be?

            This is not the time for any new comer in politics. Specially as a filisbuster buster.

            New comers have no allies yet to stand on their own so they HAVE to go with the flow.

            I am with you Liz.

          • Franken has lost his luster, in my opinion. I idolized him in the past, watching Air America, read his books, etc., but he was no help to Hillary, although she helped him as the good dem. she is. I am not happy with most of the dems right now, speaking as a long time left of center dem. Things have changed.

          • I agree lililam. I’ve read his books. I laughed. I watched Stuart Smalley – I laughed. I’d give him support had he stood up this past year. I’m doubting his fiber in a big way.

        • If Coleman wasn’t such an asshole I’d send HIM some money.
          I no longer support dems because they’re *dems*
          those days ore sooo over.

          • I’m with you there. I no longer consider myself a Democrat either. However, it’s still a pretty safe bet where a person stands if they are Republican. With Democrats, you have to do a bit of research to find out if they are someone you can support. Franken – yes.

          • I thought I could support Webb and Warner in Virginia, but they have disappointed me. Franken – no.

          • French Nail wrote: And the new Senator from New York as not turned her coat and become a rubber stamper may be?

            Gillibrand is not a “rubber stamper.” You are buying into the media hype that is trying to marginalize her. She has always been a progressive Dem, and voted more conservatively on certain issues in District 20, because it was the only way she would have beaten Sweeney and then won reelection. She is positioning herself to represent the entire state now, and has to alter her policy stances. I know her and people close to her and she’s always had an independent streak. Do not prejudge her.

    • Are Congressional Dems going to hold BO accountable. How many Dems are there in the current Senate that TC could get behind. I get the concern.

      On the other side, the establishment GOP is nothing more than a row of screeching strawmen, from my point of view.

      I may still be a registered Dem, but I am not swallowing the party line on anything anymore. Individuals and issues before parties.

  13. So Obonehead says we need to ‘buy buy buy’ because there are good bargains out there, and that we shouldn’t ‘stash our money in the mattress’.

    #1: who the hell is he talking to? who’s got the money to buy any stock? most of us are walking this tightrope without a net.

    #2: how is this appreciably different from W, after 9/11, telling us to “take a vacation — go to Disneyworld.”

    WTF? Are W and Obobo twins seperated at birth?

  14. I love Elizabeth Warren (I forgot to tell you this yesterday BB)

    I added Social Sharing links to the bottom of the post. Please share this post!

  15. Here’s a link to an MSNBC poll – give Obama a grade

    (60% are giving him an F right now)

    • yeah, pretty telling…60%. sounds like the koolaid might be wearing off.

      • Kool-aid is a relatively short-acting substance. As long as they don’t drink anymore, we may see a clearing of the sensorium.

    • that felt good.thanks.

    • I voted, it’s 61% already. I believe the astroturf polling protection team hasn’t been deployed yet. Expect a mirror result within an hour of that happening (the blog awards educated me about the methodology and patterns)

    • I gave him a well-deserved F. Hah!

  16. I want to know how “further education” is the answer. What jobs are there that need filling?

    Also why can’t I get my 401k $$$ out to pay for my (expensive-ass) Master’s I’m currently working on without giving another third away?

  17. Great post and I’m amazed someone got it right and put Elizabeth Warren on the case!! Wow!

    • Yeah, she seems great. My favorite line of hers from the Terry Gross interview was when Terry asked if Obama was doing anything to bring the mortgage loan servicers in line. Elizabeth Warren said, yes, he is “bribing” them. Terry was so stunned, I though she was going to bleep Warren’s response. Kookaid withdrawal is fascinating to watch.

      • Elizabeth Warren…she says what Krugger can’t .

        Terry has been one of the few in media whoes loss to the kool-aid pickle I morn . She was so good once

  18. It gets more and more clear why the crusade for Obama and against both Clinton and McCain (he wanted to reign in Wall Street somewhat too). The media – which the part of the system we had noticed – was merely doing the bidding of these guys who also directly financed Obama and his inauguration.
    And every day we get a new reason why Obama is Jr.jr
    with the media glossing over how this is a good thing.
    The merger of the pharma giants is probably bad for everyone – consumers included. Here’s hoping it won’t affect your job.

  19. ‘Warren is the Harvard professor specializing in bankruptcy and consumer debt who has been tapped by Congress to follow the bailout money and find out what happened to it. ‘

    Why did Congress appoint this particular person? Because the contents of the resulting report (that they didn’t do their jobs and taxpayers are being ripped off) was obvious. They have to look like they are doing something. Sooooo – find a Harvard professor – ok on the credentials. Make sure it’s a woman – so that they can completely ignore the report AND guarantee that the MSM will ignore it also. Nothing to see here, move along…

    • Huh? I disagree. Give her a chance at least. She was great on NPR. She clearly thinks for herself. Once the populist anger really builds, the msm will run to her.

      I just wish she would get together with Meredith Whitney and Sheila Bair. Those three together would wipe the floor with Geithner.

      • Liz was being sarcastic — I actually cynically thought the same think — the Obama WH made sure to get a woman so they could ignore her.

        • Oh, sorry Liz..

        • I not being sarcastic. I think Warren is probably terrific on economic issues (tho I admit to being clueless about the subject myself).

          However, I definitely believe that she was picked because she’s a woman and that will make her report likely to be ignored. I believe it was a deliberate calculation.

          Gender is not neutral in politics – not after the testosterone-hosing given to HClinton and Palin. Women appointed to political positions – are tokens or are there to reduce the power or the position they’ve been given.

          Here’s an odd coincidence – all the media national WH correspondents are now men (again). Wonder why they are thinking that the current WH may not take the questions of a woman seriously nor be as likely to call on her?

  20. And at the heart of it all are the home mortgages.

    Indeed. Which is what Hillary said nearly 2 years ago…which is one of the main reasons she was stopped. They couldn’t let someone in who meant to fix things . You don’t get endless bailouts when it’s fixed….which is why Barry keeps getting it “wrong”. and will …untill the last trillion is stolen .

    • Yes! I always thought that Gore was stopped because of his alternative energy ideas – by oilmen, and Hillary because of her homeowners protection programs (as well as healthcare) by Wall Street.

      • funny thing about Gore. Right after the office was stolen from him in 2000, a relative of mine saw Gore and Tipper having a cosy dinner with the Alan Greenspans….at a certain level, they are all friends. And it often seems only the Clintons want the average person to get anything from that table

    • Yeah, Hillary was ready on day minus 730.

  21. So often “mergers” are actully a collapse. If a drug company loses drug development, it loses its way .

    What we have seen for decades is the bean counting management class befouling everything they touch and then declaring it stinks . As a group, they don’t show up until there is something to mess up created by someone else. IMO

  22. Why would we want to filibuster proof the Senate? So we can have more omnibus bills with amazing earmarks? As for the pharmas, with the provisions built into the stimulus bill to cut back on medicare payments and prescription drugs, purchasing drugs from international markets—I am not at all surprised to see consolidation in big pharma and I will not be surprised to see less movement toward developing new medications. Reality is the whole system sucks everywhere.

  23. Jangles, on March 10th, 2009 at 9:30 am Said:
    Why would we want to filibuster proof the Senate?

    Indeed. Social Security is in awful peril if they do get a filibuster proof Senate. It is anyway….the GOPcetainly won’t stop it going to Wall St etc

    However , take heart! There is a filibuster proof Senate
    and then there is a filibuster proof Senate according to Vichy Dems….which would mean having the number 100 as well as the VP tie breaker (snark)

  24. A friend of mine told me she was going to a post oil conference and I got all excited! Wow! When she got back I asked her if she learned any tips? She told me
    they did cool stuff like pretend they were thier ancestors and thier descendants and started a “dialog” between them. She though this was great because she is after all an obot in early remission .
    I said but wasn’t there a class on food canning?? I think that would be more helpful than a theater workshop….but didn’t share that part with her lol!

  25. I want a free house. I am ready, willing and able to buy a 500,000 house and have the Bankruptcy court write it down to 200,000 which I can afford.

    Where do I sign up?

    • That’s not an accurate portrayal of the situation & repeating that meme isn’t helpful, imo.

    • NH-I just found the perfect reply to this kind of reasoning on Amazon-the publisher’s review of “The Two-Income Trap” by Elizabeth Warren:

      Warren, a law professor at Harvard (The Fragile Middle Class) and her daughter Tyagi, a former McKinsey consultant, have joined forces here to argue here that the two-parent middle-class working family is on the brink of financial disaster. The number of families declaring bankruptcy or receiving a foreclosure against their house has shot up dramatically. Presenting carefully researched economic data to support their arguments, the authors contend that, contrary to popular myth, families aren’t in trouble because they’re squandering their second income on luxuries. On the contrary, both incomes are almost entirely committed to necessities, such as home and car payments, health insurance and children’s education costs. When an unforeseen event such as serious illness, job loss or divorce occurs, families have no discretionary income to fall back on. The authors recommend a number of useful societal solutions to get families out of this trap, such as legally prohibiting credit card companies from charging grossly unfair interest rates and exposing banks that employ a loan-to-own strategy that steers minority customers to higher mortgage rates with an eye to future foreclosures. Warren and Tyagi point out that families buy homes they cannot afford in order to live in a neighborhood with better schools. Their proposed solution, however-to institute a public school voucher system with wider choice-is less carefully thought out. Overall, however, this is a needed examination of an emerging social problem.

      • It is more than that — when I got approved for a loan to buy my house the amount the bank approved for me was ridiculous — I ended up buying a very nice place that was $150,000 LESS than the amount for which I had been approved — that is because (1) I’m an attorney and (2) no way in heck was I going to pay more than what I had been paying in rent (my rent was about 25% of what I made per month, and that was comfortable for me). However, many, many people “trust” their brokers & when the broker tells them they can afford to pay 50% of their monthly income on their mortgage or that they can afford a mortgage in the amount for which the bank approved. This is what was happening & it was happening because brokers were greedy & pushed, pushed, pushed people into these loans so that they (the brokers) could get the commissions. When a client comes to me, they have the right to be able to trust the advice I give them. By the same token, clients SHOULD HAVE been able to trust their brokers. Unfortunately, unlike the regulations for attorneys, the government was NOT regulating the practices of these brokers.

  26. I remind you all that it was only moments ago that we had one party government and a “filibuster” proof Senate. It was called the Republican landslide. And how did that work out? One party government got us into this mess. Switching to the other party in power is not going to get us out; it is just going to make the mess a different flavor. It will still be a mess. I am for a revolution. Period. The more we get big business under government ownership and surveillance, the more we are going to see a huge business buyout of anything that is left of government “by the people”. The sweetheart deals between the regulators and the regulated are the stuff of history. I do not know what the answer is. I would like a revolution but if we could get rid of DC, what would we put in its place. I’m not sure that “democracy” and “capitalism” can work anymore than any other ism.

    • I couldn’t agree more. Neither party does anything but decry the mess lmade on the other’s watch. Whether one is for a revolution or not, people are being pushed to that direction. The top .9999 % ‘s greed has insisted on it . Hillary tied to save them and us. But they said no deal

      It’s a matter of human nature and why enforced regulations of some sort are so necessary…. left on it’s own, human nature will corrupt any ism

    • Targeting individuals is more effective than targeting institutions. There are plenty to blame on the govt side. On the private side, O’Neal, Mozilo, Greenberg, Weill, Fuld, Blankfein (or Mack), any three or all of them in hand cuffs. That would do more than a thousand regulators to turn the system on its head. The regulators are absolutely needed. But the perp walks would change everyone’s behavior virtually overnight.

      If BO refuses to call for an independent commission, then early summer demos/riots on Wall Street and K Street works for me. Will the kids, with no job prospects in sight, really spend their summers drinking warm koolaid. Or will they finally wake up to face the truth and storm the ramparts with us.

  27. Instead of worrying about fillibuster-proofing the Senate, I’m worried about the Dems. in Congress doing their jobs. Really — when did this b.s. meme about needing a “fillibuster-proof” Senate gain credibility? The GOP didn’t have a “fillibuster-proof” Senate for the 6 years (not 8) that they had the majority under Bush — is it only the Dems who have to have it handed to them without effort in order for them to do their jobs?

    • That was supposed to read: not 8 but I got a smiley with sunglasses instead. Oops!

    • they’re all owned by k street … they just throw a little social stuff in ever so often to appease the base. Obama throws us the possibility of stem cell research to keep our minds of what they’re doing with our money behind their backs. That’s the same approach Dubya took to take the right wing’s minds off all us huge spending and tax breaks for oil and defense companies. Same trick, just slightly different social issue approaches … and notice? they NEVER actually inact laws, it’s all POTUS signing orders so they can dangle it out there and then do it or pull it back later

      • exactly!

      • Obama throws us the possibility of stem cell research to keep our minds off what they’re doing with our money behind their backs.

        Exactly….Barry says there will be stem cell research! Hooray! At the same time we learn research generally is being shut down …huh?

        • did you read the fine print on that thing he did yesterday? He did actually fund the research, he just took off the block on funding …

          • I was coupling the stem cell announcement and RD’s point that research is being curtailed….but it’s good to know stem cell will get funding .

          • They had stem cell research on Italian tv today. The by-line was that Obama kept his promise…

            turned off the box.

      • obama uses green energy as a red herring.

  28. Nothing will change until a complete sweep of those congressional seats takes place and that is not likely to happen. I can keep singing the “term limit” blues to my heart’s content for all the good it will do.

    We cannot keep looking at either party for solutions. The ones who brought us this mess are now screaming “foul” while the party who aided and abetted are “in charge”. Same faces, same voices, same rhetoric, same bullsh*t.

    Inserting Republican talking points is a waste of time. The only difference is the “r” or “d” located at the end of the name of the latest moron who places him/herself in front of a microphone and disses the opposition.

    We have elected a president who is basically clueless and his appointments have, at one time or another, been in bed with the robber barons who bear the responsibility of bringing us to our knees.

    I am rereading “The Grapes of Wrath” which, although written 70 years ago, has some timely passages that apply to today. Some things never, ever change. The people are the dupes, the fat cats get richer, accountability is a disappearing act, and the suffering will be borne by those who have no real voice in the process.

    Osama bin Laden predicted that we would implode through our own economic woes. We are pretty close to that now.

    • excellent post Pat

    • Wow. Well said.

    • I agree completely. Real change can only take place when Congress sets itself term limits just like the Presidency has term limits, just like mayors have term limits, etc. Having the same people in Congress for decades is what’s keeping us all back and how money people are able to take control of the government. But they will never set themselves term limits. And the public will never be organized enough to vote them out of office after 2 terms.

  29. when did this b.s. meme about needing a “fillibuster-proof” Senate gain credibility?

    lol! Indeed. That excuse popped up when the Dems got the three branches of goverment ….they are all about ” We can’t do anything….because ….” and have been for years.

    It was ” wait till we get back the house” …then it was ” wait til we get back the Senate” …then it was” wait til we get back the White House” …the word “wait” being the most operational in anything they say….now they have the ” fillibuster-proof” bs excuse. If there was 100 Dems in the Senate, they would say wait till there are no sun spots…anything but doing the job

    • Exactly because, you know what I have concluded, they do not want to do the job they say they want to do. They want to do something else, indulge themselves, apparently.

  30. I don’t want a fillibuster proof anything. I want thinking people doing their jobs and working for the people. I don’t mind different points of view and people working together to do the work of the people. I do mind the same corporate mindset who all think the same but have a different policy affiliation.

  31. Scoop on Elizabeth Warren! One of the partners at my firm is a bk trustee & he has met her several times — he thinks she is “Awesome” — he doesn’t have enough superlatives for her (and this isn’t a guy who has a tendency to exaggerate — so coming from him she must real be something).

    • Someone telling it like it is? HOW was Warren allowed on the scene? I would love to know how this ” slip up” happened! lol!

    • She sure impressed me in that interview. She ripped Paulson a new one.

    • I saw her at a hearing of some kind in one of my CSPAN stupors a couple of months ago- she’s good. I am sure some of the professionals in the lower echelons are good as well, including a very sweet IRS administrator that I saw at a UBS hearing last week. For some reason, incompetence rises to the top. I’m sure many underlings could do a better job.

  32. The contradictions in their posturing would be amusing if it were not so drastic. Watching Barney Frank get into his full mode righteous indignation, or Chris Dodd do likewise when we know he had benefited from a sweetheart deal with Citiwide, is breathtaking. All you can do is mutter to yourself and turn away. Lies, lies, and more lies.

    These people, Repub and Dem alike, give a new meaning to the word “disingenuous”. Their entire existence is based on nothing more than to sit in congress, term after term, while the rest of us are forced to live out their manipulations for the sake of their own paymasters. Campaign coffers are open to any and all who can guarantee their ability to return to those vaunted seats and pass legislation (or not) on behalf of the highest bidder.

    What is pretty much clear is that they do not work for us.

    • yup, exactly, the fools on the congressional bank committee are the worst … I can’t believe they think that a lot of us don’t know what they did, but then I’m not sitting in their district or state so I can’t turn them out on their greedy , power hungry buns

    • I think the Hartford Courant may be going after Dodd. They’ve had a few stories about his friends of Angelo mortgage along with a more recent one regarding a former real estate partner that he arranged a pardon for.

    • http://realclearpolitics.blogs.time.com/2009/03/10/dodd-threatened/

      “Don’t look now, but there’s a new poll out today from Quinnipiac University that shows Rob Simmons leading Dodd, 43% to 42%. Inside those numbers, Simmons beats Dodd among Indpendent voters by a whopping 17-point margin, 49 to 32.

      In other hypothetical general election match ups Dodd has decent leads against potential Republican challengers but still does not get more than 50%. Dodd leads by thirteen points against Republican State Sen. Sam Caligiuriby, 47 to 34, and by twelve points against CNBC host Larry Kudlow, 46 to 34.

      Dodd’s job approval is 49% and his favorability rating is at just 46%, with 45% viewing him unfaovorably. These numbers represent a 13-point drop in favorability for Dodd since last May.”


      Not sure how Frank is doing, but Dodd seems to have hurt himself in Connecticut (for now at least).

  33. Sitting here watching today’s bear market rally, weird how I just talked about that yesterday in my post

    • Have you seen the NYT article on quants?

      • no, i’ll read it … you know a lot of folks that are getting phds in finance these days are kids coming out of physics and engineering programs? see this a lot, they can do the mathiest of the models easily so it’s a good degree for them

        • speaking of which, barney (the congressman not the dinosaur) said they’re going to try to get the SEC to bring back the uptick rule to slow down all these short sellers …

          • And the hedge funds take one seriously overdue punch to the stomach. Hope more is on the way.

  34. The Obots are going nuts over this slight improvement. Like Obama did it all. They are all as delusional as Rihanna. Things will get better. They just have to!

    • I think it’s mostly a technical bear rally, but for the sake of my 403(b) and the little bit of stock i bought earlier this week, it’d be nice of it was the first sign of bulls

  35. http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1543285/the_ploy_of_inaction.html?cat=75

    “Is President Obama Lazy or is Inaction a Calculated Political Move?

    Rahm Emanuel is famously quoted as stating “Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you couldn’t do before.” As the White House Chief of Staff, perhaps this is the reason why the Obama Administration’s revitalized TARP and long-awaited TALF programs have been so slow to roll out.

    Why tackle the Housing and Credit Crisis’s when the lack of emergency would give less urgency to the reshaping of American Political Economy?

    The Treasury Department is massively understaffed with upper-ranked deputy level appointees, and this may be a purposeful move to reduce the amount of people privy to the knowledge of the “feet of clay” plan, or perhaps a choking of the vetting process that has already failed the Obama Administration a few times too many. In either case little can be accomplished without the top-level appointees who manage specific departments and coordinate efforts by the lower-level beuracrats and outside players.”

  36. Your last few posts have been really powerful, RD. Thank you for saying it for me.

    I hope you get what you want from your job situation, but if not – or even if yes, I would hope you would think about running for office. Seriously. We need people like you, and I think you would be very good at it – I mean the getting elected part, and the public service part.

    Could it be a sign from the universe? I used to believe in stuff like that, now not so much any more – Bush destroyed any faith in purpose that I had.
    But still, who knows?

  37. And we want another “liberal Democrat” why? Franken is a fruitcake. He was for the war before he was against it, remember? He’s mean spirited and completely undignified.

    • Not to mention that many Minnesotans feel the same way. Out of something like 2.5-3MM votes, the current difference is only 225. Even though Minnesotans 55 -45 for Obama, they are virtually TIED between these two senatorial candidates. I believe many Minnesotans,like I, have had to decide based upon the *current situation* that one Dem, one Repub is what they want.

      If Franken were starting out in any other election cycle, I’d be supporting him. I cannot this year. He may have a brain, but he will rubber stamp. If Obama wants is post-partisan shtick, he should be able to do it without a fillbuster-proof majority.

      I’d love to see a re-vote. In fact I’d help *pay* for a revote. More arguing by lawyers is NOT helping me feel like this recount is being handled fairly.

      • I don’t think he’d rubber-stamp on everything. He’s a big supporter of Social Security because his wife Franni’s family was saved by survivor’s benefits when her father died.

        He almost worships Paul Wellstone.

  38. RD. No matter what, you will be okay. Even if the worst happens. Just remember that.

    The worst for me was what I saw come out in people during the sale — similar to a merger. That was the horrifying part. The strength of this part of the tail end Boom is all the different jobs we did. If you think about everything you have done in life, so far — and you start adding it up? You are going to see HUGE strengths about yourself. HUGE.

    I remember when the hot fad was an MBA — the next hot fad was law.
    You’re right on that one. But, what you have done is be like Madame Curie? I can relate — my own MA.

    I don’t know if the field is specialized you are in? But, your knowledge base combined with your ability to think, write and form theories is very apparent.

    If you wanted to? You could be very powerful in politics I bet. In fact, what do you want to bet you could manage a whole web campaign — ? For some NJ person?

    You could.

    Just know that we are thinking about you.

    I was just looking at a map in the G. Toronto is a hop away. Betcha Canada treats their scientists differently.

    Personally? Science is the hope of the world right now. In the green tech world. A scientist solves problems — it seems to me that is a skill pack you guys have. And it seems to me, that that can transfer — either teaching or to a different field of science itself.

    I know this. I put my all into the corporate world — and the corporate world used me. There are ways to live without them? And besides — you could never have been a bean counter type — too much heart and soul.


    The best part about somebody who is smart enough to be a scientist?

    GF. That is a BRAIN. You have a HUGE ONE.

    sending a hug from 3,000 miles away.

  39. at No Quarter there is a new post.
    Bernie Maddoff is about to get a deal.
    How much did he pay the Chicago bunch?



  40. Hillary could have known about it all…and still ran, taking her case to the people and you know what? It wasn’t enough . The greatest campaign of all time would not do the trick. So the point of faulting Hill’s campaign, is what? To remove the charge of cheating from Barry and Co ? No can do.

    What perhaps surprised Hillary in Iowa was breath and depth of the cheating for Obama …I mean even the GOP could only cook one state at a time . Every fiber of The Powers that Be, both Left , Right and in between, went into cooking the’ 08 election for Barry Obama. They threw in everything and everyone.

    Only Hillary could have come out of that as well as she did. Ask Richardson, Kerry , Kennedy….Barry’s out of the box endorsers who got zip.

    • opps….wrong blog!

      That’s what I get for using the excellent spell check perview window here at TC for somewhere else . Sorry , your regularly scheduled program will now return !

  41. You are right, I should have said ” the Andrea Mitchells”

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