Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Misleading-- Wall Street Makes Its Big Play


Monday morning, in a slap in the face to the Republican Party contention that uninsured people don't die because of being uninsured, Paul Krugman shared a letter he got from a physician that even a Romney or a Ryan is capable of understanding, not a Gohmert or a Bachmann, but in their cases understanding isn't what their chirping is ever about anyway.
It’s true that EMTALA [the 1986 law requiring that emergency rooms treat you regardless of insurance status] requires a medical screening exam and stabilization of any emergency medical conditions. It does not, however, mandate admission to the hospital for treatment of conditions that are not currently emergent (e.g. cancer, kidney disease, and other more chronic conditions except related to certain complications). For example, if someone were to present to one of our emergency departments with some mild bloating and be found to have an abdominal mass, they may very well be discharged home for outpatient follow-up and treatment. If that person doesn’t have insurance, they will likely have difficulty obtaining that care.
Monday polls also showed Obama back on top, leading Romney 49-46 among likely voters (50-43% among registered voters) going into tonight's debate. And in the swing states, where everyone is being bombarded with campaign communications, Obama is up 51-46%.)

I think Obama has been able to make the case to voters that the Republicans are, to put it politely, misleading the country. The orchestrated congressional obstructionism to drive up unemployment doesn't sit well with independent voters and the deceptions inherent in the Romney-Ryan campaign are too glaring to miss. Even Politico, which can normally be counted on for a high tolerance to the GOP's most blatant deceptions, dissected Paul Ryan over the weekend and exposed him for the Wall Street Frankenstein monster he's always been. This is nothing new to DWT readers over the last several years but Robin Braveder's perspective on Ryan is never said aloud Inside the Beltway.
Paul Ryan may be best known for Washington budget wonkery, but it was also his Wall Street ties that fueled his meteoric rise from Hill staffer 15 years ago to vice presidential nominee today.

The finance, insurance and real estate sector has been Ryan’s top backer over the course of his career — to the tune of $3 million, records show.

When he stepped into politics he quickly became an industry darling thanks to his hard-line free-market, anti-regulation, pro-business stance.

"I, like many others, saw a rising star and wanted to keep him in the Congress," said John Magill, a lobbyist at the Credit Union National Association who was a House GOP aide during Ryan's first few years in Congress.
Who knows... maybe in another couple years Politico will endeavor to explain how the DCCC has been complicit-- year after year after year, in keeping Ryan in Congress in a blue-leaning swing district, in return for a steady flow of Wall Street lucre. Steve Israel has done everything he could, short of taking out "Vote for Ryan" ads to undermine independent-minded progressive House candidate Rob Zerban in his bid against Ryan. Israel has authorized anti-Ryan TV barrages across the country... everywhere except southeast Wisconsin (WI-01), where not one DCCC ad has ever run. Israel owes his power inside the caucus to his ability to collect funds from Wall Street. That's why Pelosi named him DCCC chair instead of Wasserman Schultz, who also wanted the job. Wall Street's many (many) strings included a stipulation that the DCCC will never challenge Ryan (and Cantor). And like Rahm Emanuel and Chris Van Hollen before him, Israel is fine with that. The DCCC has aggressively discouraged credible opponents for years-- in a district that is filled with Democratic legislative leaders-- and when Zerban somehow managed to slip by unnoticed this cycle, Israel and Wasserman Schultz have personally telephoned big Democratic donors and told them to not give money to Zerban. It was a given that Wall Street would get just what it wanted when Obama put his economic team together but who would have guessed that liberal lioness Nancy Pelosi would give them their very own DCCC Chairman as well?

Meanwhile Wall Street banksters, without any worries that the DCCC would upset the apple-cart, set about to build power for Ryan inside the Republican House caucus. "Wall Street cash," points out Bravender, "not only shored up Ryan's own war chest, but let him donate money to colleagues' campaigns-- a classic Washington move that built up Ryan's influence in the Republican conference. Ryan is now one of the top contributors in Congress through his leadership PAC. So far in the 2012 cycle, he's donated about $840,000 to fellow lawmakers, according to the Center for Responsive Politics." That's how you buy influence and power inside Congress. That's how he became Budget Chairman, leaping over far more senior Republicans and it's how he wound up on the Romney ticket-- which isn't looked at as a winning proposition for Romney, but is a way to give Ryan a leg up on the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, which is exactly what Wall Street is aiming at.

Ryan led the fight to change the minds of Republicans who voted against Bush's bankster bailout and he is obsessed with killing the Dodd-Frank reforms that keep banksters from ripping off their customers. In 1999 he was outspoken in his support for the disastrous Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act that stripped away banking regulations and led directly to the financial catastrophe that nearly tanked the entire world economy. Ryan "even turned on hardline conservatives during the financial meltdown, voting to bail out the banking system. He later took a more populist tone, accusing the Treasury of mishandling the program. And in 2010, Ryan voted against the sweeping Dodd-Frank financial reform bill. He penned an op-ed for Real Clear Politics in 2010 berating Obama and Democrats for pushing through the overhaul.
During his career, Ryan has raked in more than $3 million from finance, insurance and real estate sector employees and political action committees, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, making it the top industry sector to shell out for his campaign.

The finance industry’s love for Ryan got off to an early start after his 1998 election.

In 2000, the first year the Wisconsin Republican was up for reelection, commercial banks were his top contributors; bank employees and PACs spent nearly $60,000 to help him keep his seat. Bank One Corp.-- the Chicago-based firm that has since merged with JPMorgan Chase & Co.-- was his No. 1 contributor that cycle, according to CRP. The American Bankers Association and Northwestern Mutual were also among the then-rookie lawmaker's top donors.

During his first term, Ryan served on the Banking and Financial Services, Budget and Government Reform committees. He secured a seat during his second term on the powerful Ways and Means Committee with sweeping jurisdiction over tax policy.

Ryan's seats on prime House committees didn't hurt when members of the financial services industry were looking to dole out campaign cash.

During the 2002 election cycle, employees and PACs from the insurance, securities and investment firms, and commercial banks were all among Ryan's top donors, according to CRP. The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors donated $10,000-- the maximum amount allowed-- from its PAC to Ryan's campaign that cycle. Northwestern Mutual shelled out $9,750 that year, and the Credit Union National Association donated $8,000.

Ryan also launched his leadership PAC, dubbed Prosperity PAC, in the 2002 cycle. Goldman Sachs and the Securities Investment Association each shelled out for the new committee from their PACs.

The Wisconsin Republican has since established himself as one of the top fundraisers in the House as he’s climbed the ranks and become the chairman of the powerful Budget Committee. So far this cycle, he is the No. 5 fundraiser among House candidates, raking in more than $4.8 million, according to CRP.

And the financial services industry cash has continued to flow his way.

The hedge fund management company Elliott Management-- run by billionaire Mitt Romney-backer Paul Singer-- is the top donor to Ryan’s leadership PAC this cycle. Individuals who work for the company have shelled out $40,000 for the committee. Other top financial donors to Ryan’s leadership PAC this cycle include Madison Dearborn Partners, TPG Capital, Citadel Investment Group, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Credit Suisse and Bank of America.

Rob Zerban, the Democrat challenging Ryan for his seat in Wisconsin's 1st congressional district, has hammered the vice presidential pick for putting his personal ambition before the needs of his district.

Goal Thermometer

“When you look at where Paul Ryan’s support comes from, it starts to explain why he consistently advocates for the wealthiest 1% while sticking it to the middle class and killing Medicare," Zerban campaign manager Al Benninghoff said in a statement.

"Whether it’s corporate tax loopholes, unfunded tax cuts for millionaires, or special deductions for CEOs, Paul Ryan has always been there for Wall Street-- and that’s why they bankroll his campaign year after year," Benninghoff added. "By contrast, 96% of our campaign is funded by individual grassroots donors, because Rob’s values reflect the priorities of working families here in Wisconsin and across the country.”
So... let's do the DCCC's job for them. Let's Stop Paul Ryan before he can do even more damage to America. This is the monster Wall Street has tasked with putting an end to Social Security and an end to democracy itself. Steve Israel may not care; we should. We've passed the halfway point. We should try to reach the goal and then double it and triple it. There is no greater domestic danger to our families than Paul Ryan.

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