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Week in the News

The President pushes financial reform. Europe vs. the volcano. American cars make a comeback. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

President Barack Obama speaks about financial reform at the Great Hall at Cooper Union in New York Thursday, April 22, 2010. (AP)

This week, it’s been all about the politics of finance – financial reform, the banks, and the big theme of how to get Main Street back on track.

President Obama pushed reform in the heart of Wall Street. Republicans repositioned, but remain worried about more “bailouts.” And the fight over Goldman Sachs stayed red hot.

Meanwhile, a human and environmental tragedy unfolds in the Gulf of Mexico, as an oil rig goes down in flames.

There were new twists and turns in the high-profile Florida Senate race. And European flights resumed, despite that troublesome volcano.

This Hour, On Point: our weekly news roundtable.

Guests:

Edward Luce, Washington bureau chief for The Financial Times.

Diane Brady, senior editor for Bloomberg/Businessweek. She leads the magazine’s corporate management coverage.

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst and senior editor at The Atlantic.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    I hope/pray that they’re planning to appoint Elizabeth Warren as head of the new consumer protection piece of this reform. She’s the person who’s been pushing for it and at this point looks like one of the few honest and unbendable people involved.

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

    http://baselinescenario.com/2010/02/08/elizabeth-warren-calls-out-wall-street/

    I’d love to see her on the Supreme Court but I’ve not heard her name mentioned on any short or long lists. Too bad.

  • Ed

    Please discuss the criticism of Mohammed on South Park and the reaction. They have mocked the Catholic Church and other religions for years.

  • Gary

    Spill baby spill! When are we going to get oil spilling rigs on the East Coast?

  • Ellen Dibble

    I don’t know if the panel will address the effect of public debates for prime minister in England, how the minority liberal Democrats may end up as the power brokers in a coalition (sort of like Maine’s Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe here?), but I’m wondering in the USA about the effect of blogs (like baseline scenario Richard referred to) upon elections (isn’t it easier to determine the etyology — roots and energies — of a policy if a multitude of diverse voices can be seen interactively appraising it?) and upon publishing (isn’t the blogosphere more likely to inspire the research and writing most needed, most appealing, most accessible, rather than leaving it to — was it the academics? an predefined readership?).
    I think this is “on the table” when the American “oligarchy” seems to be controlling media and campaigns, and apparently globally too, or in England. There too manufacturing has been outsourced under those in office.
    Is there a “counter-party” to the corporate/banking interests? Is the blogging/voting public capable of mounting an opposition (not organized, but organic, evolving) — a chorus?

  • AL

    The oil rig explosion is of course a human & environmental tragedy, however my first thought was “how long is it going to take oil companies to use this as an excuse to raise gas prices by $.50″…or whatever they see fit, really?

    We have been held hostage by oil companies since Katrina, and they have continued to make billions in profits while the nation (and world) suffers under the current recession.

    Why is this not a major topic for reform consideration? Consumers are powerless in the face of gas prices, but surely Congress could enact some regulations if they had the will.

  • John

    Ed, blasphemy is a victimless crime.

  • Brian

    Please… talk about anything but the teabaggers.

    “On Point” seems to have at least one fawning segment about them every week.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I believe I heard on The Newshour last night say that the banks shouldn’t be asked to shrink or split — rather, he said they need to be as big as they are to have enough diversity, so that if one branch loses, the other branches is making money. That might have been Larry Summers. I get the feeling too big to fail is being encouraged. (I don’t buy that argument about we — Bank A — have to have everything in order to succeed.)

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    Ellen: It wasn’t Summers (although I’m sure he agrees), I think it was Kelly in this segment:

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/business/jan-june10/kelly_04-22.html

  • Ellen Dibble

    The chair and CEO of the New York bank, whatever its name was, 19th largest bank in US or something like that. He was great.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I think it’s unclear what the exchanges will include, with one of Summers/Kelly (or someone else) saying that the very big deals (proprietary, private trades) would still be arranged and concluded outside the exchange and/or clearinghouse. Wasn’t it just such a huge deal that is getting Goldman Sachs in trouble — a deal that involved Germany?

  • Ellen Dibble

    On target now, Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s for having mis-evaluated mortgage-backed securities. Teabaggers with time should maybe be marching around the blocks where those businesses are seated.

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    I think a German fund was on the other side of the Paulson credit default swap deal that Goldman brokered.

    Frankly, I don’t have much issue with too big to fail as long as it’s the law that there will never be another taxpayer bailout.

    If the Obama proposed bank bailout fund goes dry, too bad.

    At that point, consumer beware.

    Yet another reason to take the “move your money” (to smaller banks) seriously.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I hear “behemoths across the Atlantic” (competitors to our banks) are also under pressure to become smaller, and that globally we could take the lead, do some unwinding now. Although lawsuits (if that starts winding through) could force some unwinding, I think, and reduce size by splitting off “bad” “extremities” (portions of banks).

  • jeffe

    Ellen the Liberal Democrats would be considered left wing by our political standards. they are more akin to the Democrats in this country.

  • marilyn bentov

    As a senior, I’m worried about today’s report about cuts in medicare. That will skyrocket the supplemental insurance seniors have to buy, on top of the medicare premium, in order to get needed benefits such as treatment for vision problems, physical therapy for spinal disabilities, etc. I can barely afford the supplements now, and mine went up 27% in 2010.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Jeffe, that was my impression too.
    Jeffe, do you see me as a Republican leader? I got a mailing from Michael Steele saying I was appointed Republican representative from my area, congratulations. I tore it up. I may have voted for a Republican candidate here or there, but not much.

  • http://www.filipinoboston.blogspot.com akilez

    John,

    Blasphemy has only one victim – God.

    I wish the owner of Malden Mills (Inventor of Fleece)
    is still Alive.
    We need this kind of people in our world.
    His Factory caught fire and still paid his worker’s salaries and when he died he gave money again to his workers.

    Oil rig on fire – Blame the company for Negligence.

    Airlines vs Volcano – Airlines rather risk their passengers in order to have profit.

  • jim napier

    in regards to “too big to fail”, aren’t we really talking about stricter regulation of oligopolies and monopolies?

    jim napier

    vermont

  • Todd

    “Ed, blasphemy is a victimless crime.”
    Posted by John

    Not quite; blasphemers are victims of their own ignorance.

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    Ellen: I’m getting Republican mailings too and have never been a registered Republican in my (58 year) life. I think in my case it’s Dodd’s weakness here in Connecticut.

  • rich4321

    These so called “financial institutions” are nothing more then crooks in disguise. They made up all these bogus scams then call them “products”. They deliberately made these “products” so complicated and incomprehensible to investors. They pray on the greed of investors and obfuscate the investors. Using their own words, this is a free market, they don’t want any government regulation. But when they go under, why is the government bail them out using our money?

    When I go to Las Veges, gamble my money away, lost all my money, would be nice to have the government to bail me out, right.

    These Wall street crooks should be sent to China and face the fire squad!!!

  • Caleb

    Listening to the interview I was struck by the figure of 60%. As described, that is the percent of the GDP that the top 10 investment banks generate and/or manage. I have not been able to verify this figure. The 2009 US GDP was $14 trillion. That means the investment banks would be responsible for $8 trillion. Where does that figure come from? Any elucidation would be welcome. I do believe that it is not in the best interests of citizens and taxpayers to bail out Wall St. and Glass Steagall should be rebuilt.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Commenters on the baseline blog could do this better than I can, but all these billions of bailout money being repaid are somewhat smoke and mirrors. One DOES wonder how in a crashed economy people re-pile-up billions. Apparently (my take), the books are sort of cooked to create the impression — an impression helpful to Republicans. The economist-types will say the government still has the training wheels on those banks, in terms of zero interest windows at any time, something like that.
    I don’t know what to believe. But I don’t believe Mitch McConnell.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Republicans also have “fishing expedition” mailings where they determine any possible single-issue you might vote on, in order to run such a candidate if the statistics so indicate.
    Connecticut — I grew up there, then moved to Massachusetts. Our representative is pretty much glued down, a Democrat, and the nominating meetings for Republicans are past. So I think they are just trying to flatter people into their territory.

  • jeffe

    As far as monopolies go nothing beats Monsanto in this regard. They are engaging in all out war against the farmers in this country. This corporation has influence in all walks of the political spectrum, from the Supreme court (Clarence Thomas worked for them as a lawyer, but this was years before he became a justice on the Supreme court) to the FDA. They have way to much control over our food.

    How is this relevant? Well our entire food chain has been compromised by the industrialization of our food chain by corporations such as Monsanto. Processed corn syrup is now in everything, and I mean everything.
    I use to eat Cheerios and one day I was reading the ingredients and I noticed that it had corn syrup in it. I never noticed this before. I new it had a little sugar but not corn syrup. Ketchup, it now contains corn syrup, it never did until recently. I could on, watch food INC for a real eye opener on how food is produced. The recent E. coli outbreaks are not accidents but the results of contamination of the food chain due to how this country raises beef. It is an unsustainable model and it is contributing to the health problems this country has. Obesity is directly linked to processed corn products.

    http://www.experienceproject.com/stories/Believe-That-United-We-Stand/846544

    http://wideeyecinema.com/?p=105

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/12/monsantos-gmo-corn-linked_n_420365.html

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

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/1/10/823719/-Millions-Against-Monsanto

  • John

    Not quite; blasphemers are victims of their own ignorance. Posted by Todd, — While blasphemy is a victimless crime, unfortunately those considered blasphemers have been victims of real violent crimes carried out by gods’ defenders. I’d think admitting that we don’t know everything is far less ignorant than thinking that some god is an explanation for things science hasn’t yet answered.

  • RLR

    Todays WSJ (page A6) quotes Grassley as saying the so-called GM repayment is “nothing more than an elaborate TARP money shuffle.” He also says GM did not repay out of GM earnings, and that the source of the repayment was in fact “a Treasury escrow account.” He says the move is aimed at diverting attention from other uncomfortable issues. It would have been more useful to hear todays experts comment on this misleading tactic and the lack of full disclosure in GM’s ads, which is obviously working when on the same day you hear experts on NPR use this as evidence the economy is turning around and GM is strong. To the contrary, it seems like evidence they can still fool us and still do.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Rich4321, the president was setting forth yesterday the importance of “hedges” — that if you put a lot of money at risk, you might insure your risk with AIG, or you might hold capital reserves in case your investments don’t work out, in case mortgagees can’t keep up. Obama gave the example of a deal where an airline arranged to lock in a price of fuel. There are figures that tell that enterprises fail a lot more than they succeed, and I think investors want to be investing in growth (not in bets). But the credit industry has to protect itself, and the computer industry has made it possible to do statistical risk calculations enabling very complex derivatives, but they’re not all bad.
    Remember one of George W. Bush’s word creations, “mis-underestimated”? I think he was referring to “misunderestimating” the difficulties in Iraq, but simultaneously (which he may have known about?), there was a lot of “mis-overestimating” going on at the rating agencies, such that certain complex deals were given a pass, sort of, rated Triple A, without the scrutiny that the size and complexity of the deal should prompt.
    Why? Because rating agencies like Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s are paid by the very enterprises that are putting together the deals (derivatives etc.), and so there is a conflict of interest, in that one might say rating agencies are paid to give Triple A ratings for things these humongous banks want to do. And rather suddenly in September (I think) of 2008, people suddenly ceased to believe in the ratings of mortgage-based products.
    As I understand it, the bill under consideration in the Senate does NOT reconfigure this relationship between the deal-mongers and the rating agencies. However, it demands a lot more transparency.

  • Todd

    “I’d think admitting that we don’t know everything is far less ignorant than thinking that some god is an explanation for things science hasn’t yet answered.”
    Posted by John

    If, as you admit, you don’t know everything, then you can’t claim to know there is not a God until science can prove that there isn’t. But you do seem to have a god: science.

  • John

    Science is a tool not a god. Biology has proven that there was no designer, certainly not an intelligent one. This isn’t on topic to anything discussed on air, so I’m going to drop this.

  • jeffe

    Seems we can’t mention Monsanto on BUR.
    I made a comment about them and it’s being reviewed.

  • jeffe

    Hmmm… I rest my case, you can’t say bad things about the food industrial complex. My comment was denied.
    BUR can you address this?

  • Dee

    Zionist leaders in the US like David Shulman should note there is no more staying “quiet” about Israel’s lawlessness and build-up in the Palestinian territories and especially its leaders latest provative in East Jerusalem today to build some 1600
    housing units in the future (and past ) Palestinian capital.

    Fourteen justices at the Hague in 2004 ruled unanimously Israel’s settlements
    were in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and must be “dismantle and void” . Hence this continued build-up instead of dismantling is a shocking af-
    front to International law and the rule of law.

    People are beyond remaining quiet on Israel’s lawlessness and they will be in front of Israeli embassies, (and across the world )and outside US law makers officies both in Washington (and at home ) and of course outside the Pentagon and no doubt burning the Israeli flag if they fail to rein in the outlaws and land thieves in Israel today….

  • JacFlasche

    Dee:

    In case you haven’t noticed, Zionists rent US congress just like the banking industry does. Oh, wait, they are often one and the same.

    Just goes to show you that if you instil the proper type of neurosis in a child it can lead to financial success. And if you do this long enough, society will no longer make any distinction between financial success and being a human worthy of the name. Especially since it is hammered into eveyone by all forms of mass media so continously that it is largely unnoticed. Who own’s the media? Guess

    Proven: When a society becomes statified into the super rich and the rest of us, everyone begins to fixate on prestige possessions, not just the rich. So we became a nation of superficial minds.

    This would be a society were the phrase “Oh, he’s doing well.” as often means he has lots of money as he is in good health, or has had a “spiritual” experience. And the phrase, “I am.” is more often followed by one’s occupation than a synopsis of one’s philosophy of life.

    But really, everything but real campaign finance reform is a red herring. Real campaign finance reform is where NO private money whether from individuals or corporations is allowed. The gov gives a set fee to anyone who is able to get enough names on a petition to run for office, and no fund are allowed to be donated to any petition drives. This will never happen in America so you may as well just hope that there is a masked avenger out there somewhere who will destroy all that is Magnetar and their ilk.

  • http://www.filipinoboston.blogspot.com akilez

    Banks – A friend’s son wants to apply for a $1,500 student loan so he can go to school for a summer class AND of course the bank denied his Little Student Loan for blah blah reason. He signed a 10 page contract just to be denied for no good reason.

    Banks can’t even help my friend’s son to go to school this summer and We Bail them out.

    Small Businesses cannot even get a loan to pay their employees,supplies, etc etc.

    Everytime I see a TV Ad about banks my body boils in hunger.

    If Banks have Bad Credit scores and put our economy into Recession.

    Why do we lend them money if their Credit score is below 500. If the Average consumer has a 500 credit score the Banks will not lend that money.

    Why don’t we do the same to them?

  • Todd

    “Hmmm… I rest my case, you can’t say bad things about the food industrial complex. My comment was denied.”
    Posted by jeffe

    @ jeffe:
    Sad but true.

  • Todd

    “Science is a tool not a god. Biology has proven that there was no designer, certainly not an intelligent one. This isn’t on topic to anything discussed on air, so I’m going to drop this.”
    Posted by John

    @ John:
    A tool worshipped becomes a god—albeit a false one. Not everything is science. Biology hasn’t proven or disproven anything about there being a designer. However, mathematics may very well have:

    http://www.grahamhancock.com/forum/KnightButler1.php?p=1

  • luigi

    WHERE’S TOM! No more religious cranks and greedy thieves on the panels.

  • Steve V

    There’s a bottom line to anything Congress passes regarding financial regulation. First, it will be watered down. Second, whatever remains will be worthless because there will not be the resources to enforce it. Governments, State and Federal, are famous for this. Pass a law, then fail to provide any meaningful enforcement. What will it take for people to demand meaningful change? That’s the $ 64 dollar question.

  • jeffe

    Well well my comment is now back on line. How interesting.

    BUR should do a program on food production as it does tie into the health care issue.

  • zack

    On Point has become just as bad as Fox News. I hope your listeners realize that they are being sold a bill of goods with the echo-chamber being created with your guests. For god’s sake, bring back Tom Woods who will bring some sanity to this bad joke.

    Let me refute a few of the outright travesties left unchallenged by this woefully inadequate panel.

    1. Financial Reform – The GOP is right that the bailouts will continue. A $50 billion bailout fund, even though it’s supposedly funded by the banks, changes nothing. The AIG bailout alone was $180 billion, and Lehman Bros had losses in the hundreds of billions using fake assets. After the $50 billion is burned through, the crooked politicians will soak the taxpayers with picking up the rest of the tab. The Federal Reserve is still free to buy the “illiquid” (worthless) assets of their banking buddies, and Congress could pass TARP 2.0. The next bailout is coming, and it’s coming soon.

    2. Your fawning discussion over GM’s payback of it’s $8 billion govt loan made me feel nauseous. You ignore that our Treasury, blatantly unconstitutionally gave GM another $45 billion for stock in 2009. The repayment of the $8 billion is merely shifting government (taxpayers’) money around from one part of the balance sheet to another. GM is STILL losing money on an operational basis, and probably will continue to do so until it is put out of its misery with a real bankruptcy – not the sham it went through last year.

    Onpoint is starting to come across like Pravda – just carrying water for the state.

  • wavre

    The GOP is right that the bailouts will continue!

    Zack I agree with you, but let’s not forget the negative role of the GOP in all this Mess.They started that deregulation mess( Reagan’s voodoo economics, the government is the problem…)

    Let’s not let them get away with their disingenuous new postering( fake populism)

    @ Jeffe

    Now you know what it means in today’s press to” moderate” the comments

    To the Teabaggers,

    It’s so hard to rationalize the irrational isn’it? Where were the outrage when Bush/Cheney were spending out of control and trampling on our liberties and the Constitution? Libertarians are not stupid. they know they’re being hijacked. they know they were not that many.

  • zack

    @wavre
    I have no love for the GOP establishment – they are just as bad as the Dems. Traitorous hypocrites nearly all of them. I’d like to see 99% of them out of office, replaced with true Constitutionalists like Ron Paul.

    Regarding the Tea Partiers (which I have some respect for) and the Libertarians (which I identify with philosophically), many of us were out protesting Bush. The same grassroots support that propelled Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign, largely despised Bush and the GOP.

  • JacFlasche

    Can anyone direct me to an accurate list of the people who danced and fiddled while the American economy burned? People like those who played the Magnatar game of setting up loosing bets then betting against their customers. We are their herd, everyone of us. They have fleeced us again. These people are the meanest most selfish least humane bastards that ever roamed the planet. Now if we could only direct the rage against those responsible for the situation, instead of the teabaggers taking up a cause in direct opposition to their own best interests, because a new strata of the economy is being eaten by the top predators instead of just the poorest and lower middle class. Where is your part Tom? It seems that the only one with the will to speak out is Bill Moyer and he is retiring. Do we have to wait until you are retiring too, before people’s anger is directed against the real villains? We need to expose these people: every one of them. They need to be treated like the traitors they are and the electronic digits that comprise their plunder needs to be deleted or confiscated. They should be sent to the FIMA reeducation camps that exist in the minds of the teabaggers and the other dupes of these masters of the universe. They need extraordinary punishment to set an example. They are every bit as much an enemy of our republic as is a physical terrorist, maybe more. They have harmed us more than the terrorists. Is all integrity now gone even from our public broadcasters? These scumbags should be identified: their photos and addresses published, the businesses they own and have an interest in boycotted. They should be imprisoned in a real prison with no chance of parole until they repay every dollar lost because of them by anyone: entirely out of the money they earn from their fifty cent an hour prison job.

    What is so hard to understand? Until this corruption stops the scum will rise to the top. We seek justice but they have written the laws. As long as they continue to legally corrupt our system with money, NOTHING can ever really change. Here is the first thing an individual can do legally and make a difference.

    VOTE OUT ALL INCUMBENTS.

    REPEAT until clean.

    It doesn’t matter what your political or moral or economic opinions are; either you realize that our system is now run by people who have allowed or actively caused this corruption, you are profiting personally from America’s ruin, or you have the IQ that is on a par with a dead grape.

    Vote for anyone who is not an incumbent. We can throw out the entire House every two years until they remember what their job is and who they work for.

    Once we get their attention then we can start real change, or return to the real promise of the American dream, whichever way you prefer to word it.

    So it doesn’t matter if you are a conservative survivalist whose only love is shooting targets that are photos of the president’s head photo-shopped onto barnyard animals copulating, and you are married to a member of the opposite sex who has just confessed that they hate you since they are really your long lost twin who has undergone a sex change operation in order to become a homosexual prostitute. And you refuse to have your own operation so that the two of you can have homosexual sex together. And either you only put the toilet seat down after you pee half the time, or they do. You’re pretty sure it’s either they or you. Despite all this, one thing that the two of you can agree on is that the government could do better but needs motivation.

    Since you do not have any billions of dollars laying around, and since outside of an immediate intrusion by mass or energy of a magnitude sufficient to bring their personal entropy to their all time personal best, and the silent treatment has never worked in the past, at least you can agree on this one thing. The only way to motivate them to do their job properly is to fire them over and over until someone wants to keep their job, and proves this by doing it. This is something that you and your twin from the other side of the looking glass can agree on: they all need to go.*

    This is what’s known as the lynch pin. True, you can paint the chain on either side of the lynch pin. You can rename it, clean it, tie incomprehensible knots in it, all kinds of stuff can be done, but if you want to put an end to it, there is only one way to actually do it. You have to get rid of the corrupt politicians (no matter if they think they are working for the good of the world, or God, or no matter how they have rationalized their malignant behavior). In order to get rid of the corrupt politicians you have to get rid of them. The only possibility of doing this is to fire them over and over, until someone wants to keep their job enough to do their job. Presently the banking industry is spending over a million dollars a day lobbying to make sure nothing meaningful happens to regulate them. What can you do.

    The lynch pins: in descending order (yep gotta do them in order or it’s just more scarlet herring.

    1 Vote out all incumbents. I like some of them too, (probably because I don’t know enough about them) if they are actually “stand-up” guys they will be happy to lose their job to put an end to this quagmire once and for all.

    2 Real campaign finance reform (no donations of any kind by anybody. The people own the airwaves. Get enough names on you petition to be a candidate and you will get some free time on radio and television.

    3 Stop allowing oversight committees and regulatory agenciesof the government to be membered by interested parties who are, were, or shall be in any business, including consultation that can win or losepositionn, power, or profit due to their oversight.

    4 Stop our endless unwinable wars, such as the war on drugs, whose real unstated intent is to continue the war at all costs because the amount of money involved corrupts everyone within smelling distance of the mounds of cash changing hands.

    5 Start to govern our country out of love of humanity and the earth, not out of the possibility of arranging things so that you can steal from everyone, grab the money and run, while having one’s back covered by the laws that you had passed to grant your license to steal.

    6 Begin to test our leaders in such a way that charismatic sociopaths will be filtered out, and to make sure that candidates are at least minimally qualified for the job.

    7 Put an end to passing laws and not enforcing them, or selectively enforcing them. End plea bargains. End guilty because you are not rich enough to afford justice and on and on and on.

    The beauty of the lynchpin is that if we do number 1 in the list above the rest will follow almost automatically, despite the hatred and distrust the power elite have for the people they live off of. Like vampire bats we are numbed by their saliva (the continual barrage of propaganda they have woven into every facet of our lives with mass media and the like) Despite the fact that the one percent of humanity that are the power elite, have the rest of us surrounded, we can still put them in their place, by the dreadfully courageous act of voting in every election and never voting for an incumbent, ever (in both the primaries or the elections), until America comes back.

    I guarantee this will work, and I know lots of sh*t that even Einstein didn’t know – so their, Mr. Magnatar smarty pants.

    Even I can remember the formula.

    Vote out all incumbents.

    Repeat until clean.

    *baby with the bath water. The Republicats need to go. The people responsible for the destruction of the economy must pay with their lives – live imprisonment. Anyone complicit in defending them by means of the laws that they and their buddies passed, against the people to the advantage of themselves, needs to go with them.

  • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

    From the intro to the show… President Obama pushed reform in the heart of Wall Street. Republicans repositioned, but remain worried about more bailouts.“

    Really????

    So should the intro to a Week In Review show from last summer have in its intro “Republicans are worried about Death Panels”?

    I guess it never occurred to whoever wrote the show’s intro that just because the GOP CLAIMS something… that it may not be true!

    Which raises the larger question… what defines news that respectable new organizations should report?

    In this case the REAL news is not what the GOP claims, but that the GOP again feel the need to be dishonest and in doing so are showing more contempt for those they seek to mislead.

  • jeffe

    Oh boy…

  • david

    Obamacare is passing gas again!! Associated Press finally reports after its to late.
    Economic experts at the Health and Human Services Department concluded in a report issued Thursday.
    *The report projected that Medicare cuts could drive about 15 percent of hospitals and other institutional providers into the red, “possibly jeopardizing access” to care for seniors.
    *The report found that the president’s law missed the mark. (As sold to us) The overhaul will increase national health care spending by $311 billion from 2010-2019, or nine-tenths of 1 percent. (In Reality) To put that in perspective, total health care spending during the decade is estimated to surpass $35 TRILLION DOLLARS.
    *The report projected that reductions in payments to private Medicare Advantage plans would trigger an exodus from the popular alternative. Enrollment would plummet by about 50 percent. Seniors leaving the private plans would still have health insurance under traditional Medicare, but many might face higher out-of-pocket costs.
    *The report warned that a new voluntary long-term care insurance program created under the law faces “a very serious risk” of insolvency.
    In other words, it is going to bankrupt us. It is already being declared a money-pit!!

  • ulTRAX

    Richard wrote Frankly, I don’t have much issue with too big to fail as long as it’s the law that there will never be another taxpayer bailout.

    Obviously Richard you don’t fully understand what “too big to fail means”. It’s when the failure of a bank, company, whatever spreads beyond that company and threatens to bring down the entire economy. It’s BECAUSE of this looming threat that there was a bailout in the first place.

    The only way to prevent this from happening again is to shrink these companies to the size their the price of their failure is born by the company and its stockholders… and regulate to them to prevent excessive and reckless risk taking.

  • ulTRAX

    David wrote *The report projected that reductions in payments to private Medicare Advantage plans would trigger an exodus from the popular alternative. Enrollment would plummet by about 50 percent. Seniors leaving the private plans would still have health insurance under traditional Medicare, but many might face higher out-of-pocket costs.

    Gee… too bad. Medicare was paying about 14% MORE for these enrolees than for traditional Medicare enrollees. It was time to get rid of this corporate welfare.

  • ulTRAX

    JacFlasche wrote: “Vote out all incumbents. Repeat until clean.”

    What a silly, self-defeating proposal. Do you REALLY think that this will clean up Washington? Why won’t it allow in the new crop of cynical opportunists?

    The problem isn’t with ALL incumbents. Some have NOT sold out their souls to corporate interests.

    The problem is with those of ALL parties who have sold their souls… mainly most of the GOP and all corporate/DLC Dems.

  • jeffe

    ulTRAX sometimes I think our experiment with democracy is failing. The special interest are in control and lobbyist buy favors and influence and in some cases write laws.

    It is interesting to note that in the 70′s during Nixon’s last term that the Dairy Industry gave secret contributions to the Nixon campaign to the tune of $2 million for favors. Some of that money ended up being used to fund the illegal activity of the Nixon administration.

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1243&dat=19731022&id=nzIVAAAAIBAJ&sjid=s_cDAAAAIBAJ&pg=2254,4698507

    Nothing changes, except now this kind of contribution seems to be legal.

  • Alex

    “The report projected that Medicare cuts could drive about 15 percent of hospitals and other institutional providers into the red, “possibly jeopardizing access” to care for seniors.”

    Great! About time this socialist program is cut. Why should my tax dollars pay for some senior’s health care? You should consider voting for Obama now.

  • joshua

    the president IS NOT THE commander AND chief! shame ON THIS BOOB.

    he IS CHIEF OF THE MILITARY–NOT America, NOT THE CITIZENS.

    I’m SO SICK OF THIS FASCIST LANGUAGE!

  • Alex

    He is a chief executive of the country. What are you talking about?

  • Michael

    “WHERE’S TOM! No more religious cranks and greedy thieves on the panels.”

    Yea Jane really is a bad host, her often rudeness to guest, weak if any follow up question, and her in or should we say ability to like guest spin information on the show, Having her on the show only dampens the quality even worst.

    Notice at the end of the show the dig at Obama or spin our talking head had about Chuck S. and the Conservatives Jew’s telling Obama pretty much to drop the settlement freeze 42.22. Chuck goes on the save if this type of rhetoric(i.e. illegal settlement freeze) or Chuck S.is going to blast the admin to take it to the next step, Jack goes on to back this. I’m sure lobbying wouldn’t be involved in Chucks statement’s.

    Now whose in charge the tail or the dog?

    Or our guest on today telling Obama to be nice to wall street or else,the regulation bill will of course be water-down, and champions as historic and vilified as government take-over when it will be nothing close to either. And as for dev’s it’s only really going to be effecting Vanilla ones, and still leaves room for the OTC ones(which btw the the far dangerous ones). . Since there is also Euro and Bermuda I bet most players will get around it or hedging call’s and put’s nor as we all know what’s in it now will have a boatload of exceptions and loop holes a skilled lawyer will help the banks get around it.

  • Michael

    “ability to let guest spin information on this show”

    “Chuck than goes on to say if this type of rhetoric”

  • Michael
  • JacFlasche

    UlTRAX This is the same ambient fear of change that kept Ralph Nader out of office. The people cannot win through the system as it is, if you try you are defeated before you begin. It’s aim is not it’s stated intention. I think change is good. The incumbents are responsible for the hell they continue to allow in the halls of of government. It is really the silly thing to do the same thing over and over and expect change. That’s the silly thing. They divide us over peripheral issues then conquer us with their wealth. The congress is now owned or at least rented continually. We need to end this plutocracy, and it needs to be done in the most efficient way, because there is so little chance of it occurring just because of out of hand dismissal like you portray. Dealing with peripheral issues will certainly keep someone in a hobby for a lifetime.
    I would think that some smart person like yourself would see the political opportunity in an issue that can unite almost everyone in a real movement, if they don’t just dismiss it out of hand. It does seem simplistic, but it’s the move that has a chance to work. Most people are in some kind of denial about just how crooked things are. Which is hard to believe because our masters of the universe have become so blatant in their arrogance. Why shouldn’t they believe we are helpless and incapable of cleaning them up?

  • amp

    When Bush was president, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the deficit, and unemployment were constantly in the news. Now that Obama is president, all those issues are rarely mentioned by the media and they certainly haven’t gotten any better.

  • Gary

    I have to agree with ED, that the South Park issue is revealing us as a corporate nation…Timid, Afraid, and loaded with moral hypocrisy…every decision made on the basis of corporate profit or loss.

    http://www.popeater.com/2010/04/22/south-park-201-muslim-censored/?icid=main|classic|dl2|link3|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.popeater.com%2F2010%2F04%2F22%2Fsouth-park-201-muslim-censored%2F

    Once we gave in to terrorism, beginning on Sept. 11th, and Osama Bin Lade used Bush, Halliburton, Black Water, etc destroy the US economy. He must laugh at how he used two hijacked planes and his knowledge that America’s internal greed would destroy itself. The most lopsided victory in world history.

    Bin Laden even controls the people who control our media.

    The only thing we have to fear, are jingoistic opportunists who rise to power on the pledge of perfect security, but only if we give up our freedoms and democracy.

  • Michael

    The south Park episode 200 for freaking great, it sucks they edited the 201 cause some Muslims were offended. They should play the show 5 times in a row unedited to give the finger to such folks. What pissed me off is that they even beeped the end with kyle gives his little speech. I hope the creators fight back on this on.

  • Michael

    cont. the next few episodes maybe something like cartman saying if Muslims are mad they can suck his ball or something.

  • Mark S.

    Here’s a little math for all those terribly offended Muslims. There are approximately 1 billion Muslims in the world. The global population is about 6 billion. If you think that your violent intimidation and victimization mentality is going to get the rest of us to dhimmi ourselves to the whims of your “religion of peace,” you might want to run those numbers again. Sooner or later, the rest of the world will have had enough of your crap.

  • Alex

    “Once we gave in to terrorism, beginning on Sept. 11th, and Osama Bin Lade used Bush, Halliburton, Black Water, etc destroy the US economy. He must laugh at how he used two hijacked planes and his knowledge that America’s internal greed would destroy itself. The most lopsided victory in world history.”

    Very smart on his part I agree. No arms race, no iron curtain. Just put out a VHS tape every now and again and America obliges by going nuts and throwing billions of dollars away. Like that giant statue of Abe Lincoln in one of the South Park episodes. That show is brilliant.

  • Theodore

    These bankers should be killed!!! The damage they have done to our US economy is tantamount to terrorism.
    Then the next generation of “bankers” will know they will be held accountable.

  • david

    Alex states: “Great! About time this socialist program is cut. Why should my tax dollars pay for some senior’s health care? You should consider voting for Obama now.”

    This is a hypocritical statement to make. It is a socialist program to pay for seniors, yet, it is not a socialist program to pay for others.
    If I compare what seniors have contributed to this nation over the last many decades and consider your statement, I fear for the outcome of our nation if the coming generation holds this disrespectful attitude.

    2010-2019, total health care spending during the decade is estimated to surpass $35 trillion.
    We will see, Govt. does one thing right, it sells an idea on budget, but in reality it cost tons more.

  • http://www.beccar.wordpress.com Eugenia Renskoff

    Hello, Jane, Banks need to be watched. That is more than obvious. We, the people who lost our money, have to be given our money back as well. This is only fair. It is the only thing that will make things right. We all have a right to live as well as posible. Eugenia Renskoff

  • david

    “The Obama administration crowed about the “turnaround” at GM and fellow bailout recipient Chrysler LLC, saying the government’s unpopular rescue of Detroit’s automakers is paying off.”
    The U.S. government still owns 61 percent of GM. The automaker still owes U.S. government $45.3 billion. The Canadian government $8.1 billion, which equals a 12 percent ownership interest.
    Taxpayers are still expected to lose about $36 billion on the bailouts of automakers, and $34 billion on that of insurer AIG, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Propping up mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has cost taxpayers another $126 billion so far.”
    Obama is pushing reform of the financial system with the timing of the suing of Sachs inorder to push the bill through. Good timing, one thing strange about this reform bill, the number one and two big problems were left out of the equation, Freddie and Fannie, I can only quess why???

  • Alex

    “If I compare what seniors have contributed to this nation over the last many decades and consider your statement, I fear for the outcome of our nation if the coming generation holds this disrespectful attitude.”

    Who wants respects gives respect. Go reread your own posts for examples of “disrespectful attitude.” On the one hand you b**ch about health care spending and on the other moan about Medicare being cut. I guess as long as you have your own Medicare card everybody else can go **** themselves.

  • Brett

    “It is a socialist program to pay for seniors, yet, it is not a socialist program to pay for others. If I compare what seniors have contributed to this nation over the last many decades and consider your statement, I fear for the outcome of our nation if the coming generation holds this disrespectful attitude.” -david

    Never miss an opportunity to display a little feigned self-righteousnous and moral indignation, huh, david? I believe you missed Alex’s point! He was saying something about your own inconsistencies in socialistic propositions–need I dare say, an ostensible hypocrisy! When it suits extolling the virtues of your vision of American exceptionalism, programs like Social Security represent security for a generation who have already enjoyed opportunities and securities that no longer exist (through consistently strong housing markets, consistent employment based on abundance and corporations providing great pay for mediocre skills and education, and great retirement plans–not to mention middle-class living standards from factory-level jobs), by and large, then it is simply some kind of reactionary sense of bygone greatness.

    When a younger generation looks toward some way to counter limited and shrinking opportunities by developing some newer social programs, you bemoan the evils of such programs, as well as regularly characterize this generation as being lazy beggars looking to permanently hang on the government’s teat. Beside the hypocrisy of your own disrespectful tones, you have to at least admit your contradictions?!

    You regularly trot out criticism of social programs as going broke and being ill-managed (of course without mentioning how Social Security, for example, has been pilfered to fund other “projects,” otherwise it would not be in financial trouble), and you beat a constant drum about how socialistic approaches are misguided, and are undoing our country.

    Yet, I have not heard Alex use the phrase “social program” in both a virtuous and derogatory way to suit some kind of agenda. From what I’ve read of his comments, they seem pretty consistent. Yours, on the other hand (and not unlike most conservatives), have been very inconsistent. If it furthers an image of Rockwellian apple pie, then its okay, but if it has an aroma of liberalism, then it is wrong headed. I think this was Alex’s point, if I read him correctly.

  • Brett

    david,
    I am glad that the generation above me got theirs. My parents are in their eighties, and my father had a 9th-grade education (he quit school to support his poor family in the late stages of the Depression); after which, he joined the Marines, fought and was wounded in Korea. He then worked for the Army Corp of Engineers for forty-some odd years. He and my mom moved about every 8 years and pocketed a good 15-20 grand each time they sold their houses, not to mention they could save a considerable amount of money off of a modest income. Their housing was paid off by the time he was in his late 50′s. They now enjoy TRICARE for life (which pays all of their medical needs); they bring in about $3,800 a month from my dad’s retirement and investment dividends (this, by being a “peon” in the Army Corp of Engineers), have a couple hundred grand in the bank, and everything is paid off and paid for. Their story is not atypical of people their age.

    I have a graduate degree, worked as a county case manager for almost thirty years (was RIFFED, rolled over my retirement–which has had the meat chewed out of it), got lucky and sold off some of my real estate property during the bubble, and can make it. Thankfully, I neither have to worry about my parents, beside their health, nor my own circumstance too much, beyond my health. However, I’ll probably never be able to afford to retire (I am a self-employed landscaper/designer, music teacher and musician, and I work part-time as a mental health counselor). I can’t afford health insurance (aside from a crappy catastrophic policy that covers none of my regular expenses that cost me dearly as I have had life-long Type-1 diabetes and asthma).

    I do well, take good care of myself, stay healthy and have few living expenses. I am also just one hospital stay away from ruin! And I don’t think my circumstance is unusual.

    When I was a county employee, those who started prior to 1983, got super sweet retirement deals (you’ll find that this is also the case similarly in private industry for those workers in the private sector in the ’60′s, ’70′s and early ’80′s).
    I occasionally look at job opportunities out there to see what is around, and most employers in my field are not hiring many full-time positions, and they are either not offering benefits or are not offering much in the way of benefits. I make more money on my own. When I look around, I find I am doing better than most people my age (55) who lost their jobs because of downsizing or age discrimination, etc. I’d also hate to be twenty years younger! Many are paying a third (or more) of their net incomes toward housing.

    The health-care problems happening to people my age and younger are not going to be fixed by “more jobs” as you’ve stated on more than a few occasions; the only comprehensive solution is going to be a single-payer system (you know, that “government takeover,” that “European-style, socialized medicine” your ilk loves to hate so much).

    We won’t be seeing corporations bringing jobs back to the US. Both private and public organizations are not going to be offering great retirement plans or any other great benefits any time soon (in my lifetime, anyway). Nor will Social Security or Basic Medicare keep newer generations as they age from abject poverty like they once did. You are 60; you might remember (either through familial stories or first-hand observations) how such programs really saved many elderly folks from dire straights through the ’50′s, ’60′s, ’70′s and ’80′s. Was this because those people were “exceptional” or more deserving?

    Corporations, both manufacturing and service-oriented ones, see the benefit of lowering labor costs by going overseas, and this won’t suddenly change if taxes are cut for industry, nor will this change if free markets are allowed to go on pursuits unencumbered to “increase competition.”

    There won’t be a job recovery anytime soon, and it won’t be because taxes aren’t cut; it won’t be because there’s too much regulation for industry, either. I also believe that health care should be taken out of the hands of employers, as well as private insurers. For the common good, single payer is the only long-term solution, as socialistic as that sounds.

    Medicare Advantage needs to be cut, too! I know too many people my parent’s age who have private insurance, military insurance, basic Medicare and Medicare Advantage, in addition to no debt, great retirement plans and who live in very comfortable single-family homes (that are paid for). I don’t want to pay for their Medicare Advantage. The Medicare Prescription Drug Plan pushed through by Bush (through reconciliation, and also not paid for, just tacked on to national debt, I might add) was a huge mistake. Do you want to pay for those programs?

    I’ve also never heard you say anything questioning the debt we’ve incurred because of the “wars” we have been engaged in for the last decade. Of course that would sully the patriotic image Rockwell was so fond of. Conservatives like touting a brand of reactionary thinking, the “this country was once a great nation before social programs and regulation turned it sour” without acknowledging how much old paradigms that “made this country strong” have contributed to its souring.

    You’ve got yours; in many respects, I’ve got mine, but it would be delusional to think that a little luck and good timing was not involved. Others who come after us need theirs, too! If some of the fat is trimmed from Medicaid, and we have to pay a little more in taxes, to make some attempt to help future generations (personal responsibility notwithstanding), then you and I, and those our age, should not be griping.

  • thumper

    I wonder if the Obama regime is going to give back the $900,000 dollars it took in campaign contributions from Goldman Sachs?

  • ulTRAX

    JacFlasche wrote: I would think that some smart person like yourself would see the political opportunity in an issue that can unite almost everyone in a real movement, if they don’t just dismiss it out of hand. It does seem simplistic, but it’s the move that has a chance to work. Most people are in some kind of denial about just how crooked things are. Which is hard to believe because our masters of the universe have become so blatant in their arrogance. Why shouldn’t they believe we are helpless and incapable of cleaning them up?

    I’ve long wondered why our system seems so dysfunctional. The easy answers are money and incumbency. And they certainly do play a role.

    But under our system we can have 100% voter participation, 100% vote count accuracy, 100% public financing, and someone rejected by the People can be imposed on this nation as President… free to change the direction of the nation WITHOUT the consent of the governed. And what about a body where a mere 17% of the population gets a majority of seats? Our system is antidemocratic and this gives some individuals enormous powers to thwart reform. Is there any wonder Wall Street has never been put on a choke chain?

    I believe the answers are deeper than you suggest… and to be found in a place few want to look. It’s in our electoral and political systems. It’s where our dysfunctional, if not braindead, two party system originates.

    But to look there means ripping off the rose colored glasses and no longer being afraid to critique the Constitution itself. I’ve begun my own critique in some other early articles here: http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/

  • Maggie

    What’s with the Democrats bait-n-switch on healthcare? Two weeks or so after passage and now we hear 1) it’s going to cost considerably more than was just forecast and 2) the plan needs price controls to work. Price controls, makes me think I should have paid more attention to the socialist name-calling.

  • samuel crain

    OBAMA PLAYS RACE CARD: RALLIES BLACKS, LATINOS FOR ’10 UPSET

    Obama is now engaging in anti-governemnt rhetoric with his criticism of the new Arizona law.

    Obama is a disgrace. He is a racist.

    Notice that he never reaches out to white women or white men?

    Obama the divider.

  • Mr. Jones

    One week before the health care reform vote was taken, a CBO report was sent to HHS that indicated that costs were going to sky rocket regarding premiums and health care, yet HHS refused to review the report.
    It is called deliberate ignorance. Thanks you libs. Thank you dems. You own the law. Obamacare is coming after your wallet. Unrealistic claims were made concerning the effect of the health care reform law on controlling costs of health care and insurance premiums.

    Dems are trying now to pass a law for price controls on health insurance premiums. The dems lied to everyone. Obama lied to the country. Be proud. Be happy. The lies and corruption continue.

  • Richard Klein

    VIDEO: Obama’s National Security Advisor Tells Joke Depicting Jews as Greedy Merchants…

    JUST THE LEFT BEING THE LEFT. ANTI-SEMITISM IS ALIVE AND WELL ON THE LEFT.

  • a democrat

    Tom, You should keep this week’s focus on the financial reform bill. It is disgraceful the Republicans are showing once again their concerns are
    aligned with the crowd on Wall Street instead of those on Main Streeet.

    Daily the GOP looks like it is a party of the past and should be retired..

  • Martin Field

    Creation of a permanent bank bailout fund would seem to institutionalize too big to fail.

  • Maggie

    I forgot to mention that the President’s consideration of a VAT is scary confirmation that he has socialist tendencies.

  • Mary Thomas

    VIDEO: Obama’s National Security Advisor Tells Joke Depicting Jews as Greedy Merchants…

    Apologizes…

    AND OF COURSE, THE APOLOGY. THAT INNOCULATES THE ANTI-SEMETIC JOKE TELLER. PRICELESS. THE INTOLERANCE AND THE PREJUDICE OF THE LEFT IS ON FULL DISPLAY.

  • http://www.arisemichigan.com/ Dave

    “If I compare what seniors have contributed to this nation over the last many decades and consider your statement, I fear for the outcome of our nation if the coming generation holds this disrespectful attitude.”

    Who wants respects gives respect. Go reread your own posts for examples of “disrespectful attitude.” On the one hand you b**ch about health care spending and on the other moan about Medicare being cut. I guess as long as you have your own Medicare card everybody else can go **** themselves.

  • david

    No dear friends,I did not miss the point made by Alex.
    Alex states: “Great! About time this socialist program is cut. Why should my tax dollars pay for some senior’s health care?”
    My point was, if senior’s program is socialist,then what is the difference of taking my tax dollars to pay for other’s healthcare, is that not a socialist program also?
    By the way, I think America should stop it’s efforts to save nations that have no desire to save themselves.
    I was against the two wars. We could have bombed their important interest as vengence for 911 and dared them to cry foul-play.
    My plight in life was hard work, steady plotting, getting out of dying jobs by seeing the future and listening to a Christian economist that the world laughed at. He foresaw this crap coming in 1991. I followed his advice.

  • Arizona Jones

    Mr. Eric Holder may investigate the new Arizona law for violations of the civil rights of illegals. The Obama regime taking the side of human smugglers, drug smugglers, “coyotes,” illegals, murderers, home invaders, law breakers, etc. Don’t you just love this? November 2010 is coming. Ever wonder whether the dems and libs consider the civil rights of the U.S. citizens of Arizona? The Federal government has the primary job of protecting the citizens of this country and of insuring their safety. The southern border of Arizona is unprotected. The Federal government has failed in its job of protecting the citizens of Arizona. The dems and libs hate the values of the middle class in America. They are hell bent on destroying the American middle class. You will not prevail.

  • ulTRAX

    Zach wrote: I’d like to see 99% of them out of office, replaced with true Constitutionalists like Ron Paul.

    I wonder if there’s any such thing as a “true Constitutionist”.

    Sure the Constitution was written with specific provisions and reviewed to check for internal consistency. Libertarians might focus on the Bill Of Rights, especially the Ninth Amendment…

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    Libertarians might better favor the language in the French Rights of Man, but I suspect they find those same guarantees in the Ninth Amendment. It clearly protects rights both major parties want to ignore.

    But the Constitution also allows some mandates and flexibility beyond the amendment process. Just read the Preamble. It provides a Rosetta Stone to decode the intent of this document and it clearly calls for some COLLECTIVE actions.

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. ”

    Does Ron Paul truly appreciate that a prime mandate of the federal government is to promote the “general welfare”? I suspect not. And if he does not… is he a “true Constitutionalist”?

  • ulTRAX

    David wrote: “By the way, I think America should stop it’s efforts to save nations that have no desire to save themselves.”

    I think it’s hard to make the case that a America can save itself. A good percentage of Americans have bought into the Right’s agenda to:

    *Sabotage the industrial base of America with irresponsible free trade acts.

    *Sabotage the fiscal health of the government with irresponsible tax cuts for which we had to BORROW.

    *Fight an unnecessary if not illegal war that against a nation that posed no threat to us… a war we refused to pay for.

    *Sabotage the reform of Wall Street even through their criminal acts brought down the economy.

    *And even sabotage the economic recovery… as long as they think they’ll benefit from it come the next elections.

  • Mel Simonson

    Please stop using the word “teabag” or “teabaggers.” These are pejorative words intended to be derogatory rather than descriptive and informative.

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