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Posted April 23, 2010 | comments 12 Comments

Cracks in GOP ranks

Cracks have appeared in Senate Republicans' solid opposition to efforts to curb Wall Street's reckless behavior.

Strong regulation of derivatives advocated by Sen. Blanche Lincoln gained the support of GOP Sen. Charles Grassley in the Agriculture Committee on Wednesday. Other Republicans talk of being close to a deal with Democrats on a comprehensive bill. Even Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who had lined up the GOP caucus behind a filibuster of the bill last week, began making conciliatory noises although he blocked efforts Thursday to start floor debate.

McConnell claimed that his tough tactics had pushed Democrats to reach out to Republicans to try to salvage the bill, but that assertion is dubious. He's been arguing that the Democrats' bill virtually guarantees future bank bailouts, a toxic notion to most Americans, but President Obama forcefully rebutted that contention over the weekend.

More credible to the GOP's shift in tone are two words: Goldman Sachs. Wall Street's rapacious policies were highlighted by the Securities and Exchange Commission's civil suit accusing Goldman of deceiving investors in a fund larded with subpar mortgages chosen by a hedge fund manager betting that the housing bubble would burst. Although Goldman stoutly denied the charges, this week it and Citicorp reported robust quarterly earnings, which merely emphasized the chasm between the continuing boom on Wall Street and the bust on Main Street. That juxtaposition was certainly not lost on Republicans, concerned in an election year about being seen as doing the bidding of big banks.

Further belying McConnell's claims that his brinkmanship influenced Democrats is the likelihood that the Senate bill will be strengthened, with the addition of Lincoln's plan to trade derivatives openly and restrict big banks' ability to deal in them.

The shifting political winds in the Senate brighten the prospects of significant financial reform to curb Wall Street excesses that have so burdened average Americans.

12 Comments |

    I'd like to see Congress enforce the laws on the books. If we would simply prosecute and jail the people responsible for fraud in the business (and political) communities we wouldn't need new regulation.

    New regulations will simply give this or the next or the next government the ability to take control over private enterprise. If regulations and laws were applied fairly and for everyone equally we wouldn't have the mess we have now. New laws will not stop the problems, just add new ones into the mix.

    This issue will never be properly addressed because it begins and ends with Congress. The cause of the financial collapse was the Community Reinvestment Act (1977, revised 1999), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Because there are so many Democrats on record and video saying that everything was alright as the ceiling was falling in AND they received sweetheart mortgage deals AND their lovers worked for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac during the collapse and received millions in bonuses, nothing will be truly "reformed" because the truth must be told. Until this group and bandits, thieves, and mobsters are removed from the offices they hold, the taxpayer will continue to be the victim of their pillaging.

    If the current laws were properly enforced, 50% of Congress would be on trial which wouldn't be a bad idea.

    In my opinion, Strasburg is weird. A small group of 5 or 6 evangelical fundamentalists calling themselves a Tea Party are proving to be the militant, hard libertarian arm of the Republican Party, making perennial Presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche very proud his ideas have captured the weak and vulnerable to become loud and threatening.

    The positional comments above from Strasburg residents and Tin Foil Hats Bishop and Fire Eater are not new-found wisdom. They are the same LaRouche big government rhetoric we have come to know and expect to be endlessly repeated over and over and over again.

    The Tea Party tin foil hats take this rhetoric to a new level. If we don't understand it the first time, they will speak louder the next time. They might even strap on a gun for emphasis and to question our patriotism.

    This represents serious derangement. It causes alarm and citizens to become fearful of Tea Party tin foil hat intentions.

    You say you want to get the government out of your lives and cut both taxes and the deficit? (Now doesn't that sound exactly like Jerry Falwell speaking from his grave?)

    So, where were you guys and your outrage and your tin foil hats during the Bush years when Goldman Sachs owned the Presidential office?

    Tells us in your own tin foil draped words what discredited demagogue Lyndon LaRouche would say.

    CaCa, you need only look to the Obama White House to see where Goldman Sachs resides. He's in bed with big business as much as Bush...and I did complain about Bush, I just didn't have to speak as loudly because the News Media actually did their job.

    And if you hated all that Bush did so much why do you love Obama who's doing even more of the bad stuff?

    LOL!!! That this has become a partisan issue is really what baffles me. We ALL got hosed here by what Wall Street did. Blaming the Dems? That's rich! I didn't see anyone blaming them when W. was standing tall and thumping his chest over the economy that he "presided over" while the nation spent like drunken sailors...

    Oh, but now we have the 20/20 hindsight and it was all the Dems fault... When it was GOOD it was, "Look at Bush!!! What a FABULOUS job he's doing with the economy!!!". Now it's a big tsk tsk on the Dems?

    Hey, Bush could have reigned this in and chose not to... Let's spread the blame out to ALL parties where it belongs. WASHINGTON is in the pocket of these firms, NOT one party or the other.... We can continue to play into their hands and lob grenades back and forth while they play slight-of-hand tricks, or we can demand accountability from BOTH parties.

    That said. I agree with Kim that we have regulations that need to be enforced, but we ALSO need a bill that specifically addresses derivatives... Those most certainly need specific regulations....

    Self-professed ultra-patriotic Tin foil Hats ask us to ignore the fact Goldman Sachs and others on Wall Street bet against their clients and bet against their country, all for the sake of big profits. Not very patriotic, huh?

    There is a reason the Republicans are filibustering the financial reform legislation. While they stonewall they are soliciting campaign donations from the Wall Street bankers, saying see, Republicans are your friends and Republicans are your only hope of avoiding reform legislation and we need your financial help to fight the battle. It would be nice if you bankers gave us a billion dollars worth of "campaign contributions" to protect your interests and allow the goose to continue laying the golden eggs. We need your money and you need our political clout.

    Local Tin Foil Hat know nothings continue to muddy the water with misinformation, trying desperately to save face and support their money grubbing political bosses.

    Conservatives can not compete with legislative ideas, so they try to change the course of the political debate. Tin foil Hats take the fact Goldman Sachs was in Bush's back pocket, change it around, create a new scenario not based on anything of substance, and say the President is in bed with big business and conveniently ignore this same President is leading the effort for financial reform.

    I wonder if he has a valid birth certificate, too?

    Democrats got just as much if not more for Goldman Sachs, and Obama himself got $1,000,000. Blame Bush...what a surprise. I didn't hear any of you complaining when the GOP and Bush were trying to reign in Fanny and Freddy, and the Democrats wouldn't allow it. Why don't you think they should be regulated more? Why aren't they in the Bill? Why do Democrats get away with embezzlement, tax dodging and breaking the law? Why aren't you angry with them too? Have you even read the GOP's bill for regulating Wall Street? They do have one.

    I blame them all! I didn't like most of the spending done under Bush...although I did/do support the war and funding it completely until our troops come home. I, however, have conviction in what I believe and while you lemmings will simply vote democrat for your nanny state, I WILL split the GOP ticket if they put liberal/progressives on the ballot. So, who is the mindless follower, you or me?

    This country will fail if we continue wasteful social spending and yes out of control military spending. But we are in an agreement with the UN, and until we get out of it we are obligated to be the worlds police, so our military budget will continue to grow.

    I'm sick of being made out to be some stupid, Glenn/Rush follower, some tin foil hat wearer (although that is a fun title to have), mean, racists and every other name you hate mongers throw out. All I've ever said is that the government should be smaller and people should take care of themselves and their neighbors. I think for myself, I come to my own conclusions, and I've actually lived under socialism (have any of you?), and don't want it here. If you want to be slaves to the government and have them take care of every aspect of your life...great...but until that day comes I will continue to wear my tin foil hat (whatever that means) and speak out.

    Let the hate speech from the leftists begin!

    As usual, Irishman 71 makes many excellent points and observations in his post! He is so right when he says that it baffles those of us looking at this objectively and wondering why even THIS issue that has hurt us ALL has to be made into a hyper-partisan issue. Is it possible, any more in this country, that we as a people could MAYBE work together for a change for the good of all of us without becoming so partisan? And yes, both sides do it, before one of you on the Right roundly inform me that "---the Democrats do it too".

    And Kim Bishop, you too at times come out with some good points, but then you blow it when you make statements like saying only YOU follow your convictions by splitting the GOP ticket if there is a liberal on it, and the "rest of us lemmings will simply vote Democratic for our nanny state". Uhh----so does that mean anyone with (gasp!!!) liberal leanings or votes for Democrats does not follow their convictions and is in your words, a "mindless follower"?? To make a broad statement like that about everyone who votes Democrat is beyond foolish. There are those on the left that, even though you may not agree with them, follow their convictions just as much as some on the right do. And yes, there are some people that are lemmings on BOTH sides. To put it any other way is not only foolish, but grossly incorrect.

    Maybe if people were less concerned about the differences in our political leanings and the name calling and accusing the "other side" of everything that has gone wrong in this country, maybe then we could get things done for the good of all of us and it would be a better country for all. I just don't see it happening any time soon, unfortunately, with all the partisan rhetoric there is out there.

    Song98, while I appreciate your constructive criticism and agree with you about Irishman (although we sometimes disagree) you misunderstood my "lemmings" remark. I was specifically talking about the people on this site who continuously call me and others who agree with my ideals names and make up lies about us. I usually find it funny, but was in a mood that was tired of hearing people insulted who simply speak their minds (ie. TEA party people and conservatives.)

    I do however believe that people who vote democrat just because they're a democrat or republican just because they're a republican, even when they disagree with the position of the candidate, are lemmings, and quite honestly I am tired of everyone who doesn't bow to the whims of this Administration's Socialist, bordering on Fascist, policies being called racist, tea bagger (which is disgusting), uniformed, you pick any of the other insults and lies.

    Anytime I have brought up the IDEA of being non-partisan (not bi-partisan) I am accused of being a republican plant, racist, etc. There is no way to be non partisan in this political climate, because the very foundation of our country is being undermined by a progressive, European ideal. If everyone on this site and around the country followed the Constitution we wouldn't have to worry about partisanship, because the Constitution is not partisan. The partisanship has come from the Socialist agenda put forward all the way back to FDR's New Deal, which was the beginning of the end of our founding fathers wonderful experiment in freedom. The government was never intended to control so much of our lives or monies. People have to take a side, either to the right, which takes us back to the original intent of our Constitutional Republic or further to the left into European Socialism. As we've seen sitting in the middle, being moderate has just led us into a giant mess. It would be nice to debate right and left issues in an open way. However using words like socialist, communist, capitalist, etc., are not the same as tea bagger, tin foil hat, racist, etc. If people want socialism why won't they just admit it and debate it if it's so great, instead of calling names to anyone who points out the truth in the democrat party agenda...at least the one in power now?

    Who are these placard carrying "throw the first punch" hard core lily white persons living in glass houses throwing stones, uttering, hateful, racist, inflammatory and derogatory words? Do they believe they can don a Tin Foil Hat and simply say these things with impunity? If they think they can tell an easily disprovable lie without any repercussions, they have another think coming.

    I'm not scared of you and your mob of half-baked 'patriots' because you are wearing a gun and fanatically counterattack any person who disagrees with your inane, long-winded, self-righteous blather. You can not ride two horses at once, claiming personal political neutrality while loudly championing far right rhetoric.

    Do not demand civility from me while the pot is calling the kettle black. I for one intend to fight back. Expect more of the same when you throw the first punch. I too enjoy freedom of speech and I will exercise it. You'll not intimidate me, you'll not put words in my mouth, and you will not control the conversation.

    There are some people in this world whose obtrusive insensibilities are so outrageous they deserve to be insulted, especially tea baggers and their self-elected 'spokespersons'. You shall reap what you sow.

    So Song98, how should I respond to Jacques Strappe's comments?

    Thank you for making my point Jacques Strappe.

    PS. when have I ever been violent or tried to take away your free speech rights?


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