Friday, October 02, 2015

Money And Guns... And The Politics Of Wall Street And The NRA


We've talked a lot here about how Wall Street banksters are spitting angrily about the relatively weak and avoidable rules and regulations that have come down in recent years to prevent their companies from ripping off consumers with alacrity. They really hate Elizabeth Warren, and they have powerful allies in Congress-- dependable bought-and-paid-for allies-- to keep her and the handful of like-minded Democratic reformers in check. 

Warren, though, is a force of nature, and so the Wall Streeters want ever more shills to counterbalance her. They weren't shy in telling the DSCC they would cut off all funding to Democratic candidates if they don't get what they're looking for-- and Chuck Schumer, the Senator from Wall Street, is making sure they do.

First let's look at Wall Street's most loyal servants in Congress, the dozen current members from each house who take the biggest payoffs and act the most consistently in Wall Street's interests:
The Senate

John McCain (R-AZ)- $37,945,978
Chuck Schumer (D-NY)- $22,994,437
Mitch McConnell (R-KY)- $11,418,151
John Cornyn (R-TX)- $8,018,716
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)- $7,535,820
Richard Shelby (R-AL)- $7,259,962
Robert Menendez (D-NJ)- $7,218,545
Mark Kirk (R-IL)- $7,194,292
Mark Warner (D-VA)- $7,169,169
Rob Portman (R-OH)- $7,118,113
Bob Corker (R-TN)- $6,886,661
Lamar Alexander (R-TN)- $6,366,345

The House of Representatives

John Boehner (R-OH)- $12,242,498
Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)- $6,554,094
Ed Royce (R-CA)- $5,839,948
Charlie Rangel (D-NY)- $5,546,821
Paul Ryan (R-WI)- $5,412,528
Pat Tiberi (R-OH)- $5,369,713
Joe Crowley (D-NY)- $5,355,602
Steny Hoyer (D-MD)- $5,328,298
Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)- $5,019,124
Pete Sessions (R-TX)- $4,886,727
Jim Himes (D-CT)- $4,795,227
Scott Garrett (R-NJ)- $4,546,786
There's not a person on that list who doesn't belong in prison for taking bribes to sell out their constituents. But they write the laws and have left in the exact loopholes they need to avoid being charged and prosecuted-- although some let their avarice get control of them and wind up in a pickle, the way Robert Menendez is right now.

Ready for a leap? Democratic Party bosses-- and many of these folks above are Democratic Party bosses, like Schumer, Crowley and Hoyer-- insist, insist, insist that only conservatives, like themselves, can win elections. Corruption and conservatism go hand in hand. They can never be separated. Party bosses, and the media shills who hang on their every word, claim America is a "center-right nation" and that therefore they have no choice but to recruit center-right candidates like Patrick Murphy (FL), Donald Norcross (NJ), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ), Baron Hill (IN), Ted Strickland (OH), Tammy Duckworth (IL), Connor Eldridge (AR), Isadore Hall (CA), Monica Vernon (IA), Susie Lee (NV), Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL) and Glenn Ivey (MD).

But America is not a "center-right nation," and elections are not more likely to be won by center-right Democrats than by progressives. To begin with, take a look at this chart, which shows the issues that in some combination tend to divide conservatives from normal people.

These days economic issues, particularly, is where both the corruption and the conservatism come in when you're looking at Democrats. Elizabeth Warren's latest attempt to put the banksters in check is an excellent example of how this works in the real world. Tierney Sneed reporting:
The Obama administration is moving forward with a plan that could bring a sea change to how retirement advisors must treat their clients, while financial industry-allies in Congress engage in another round of push back.

The new rules for retirement advisors that the President and consumer advocates are pushing address a conflict of interest the White House estimates costs retirement savers $17 billion annually. The problem? Contrary to what many investors believe, the advisors who direct them to retirement funds are not always required to act in their clients' best interests.

"People have incentives to push people in products that might not be the best for them, and when we're talking about longterm retirement savings even a small difference can make a big impact in the longterm retirement savings," Anne Tucker, a professor at Georgia State University College of Law, told TPM.

Due to decades-old loopholes in the current law, retirement advisors can direct their clients towards investments that compensate the advisors but are not the best option for the investor. This higher standard of responsibility is known as a "fiduciary duty."

“The way broker-dealers are often compensated is they get a percentage of retirement investments in vehicles in which their clients select, so they have incentives to place their clients or their customers in certain products that they get compensated for," Tucker said. "The idea is this conflicted advice costs individuals because they may be being encouraged to invest in vehicles that are higher fees, or may not produce the same longterm returns on their retirement investment.”

To use one example from a White House-cited report: "A retiree who receives conflicted advice when rolling over a 401(k) balance to an IRA at retirement will lose an estimated 12 percent of the value of his or her savings if drawn down over 30 years." That amounts to five fewer years a retiree can afford to live off of his or her investments, the report said.

The proposal from the Department of Labor would essentially require that financial advisors behave in their clients’ best interests when offering retirement investment advice, something that three-quarters of investment advice consumers assumed already was the case.

...The proposed regulations would close many of those loopholes, while still allowing for some exemptions. The rule change would allow advisors to continue to be compensated by funds they direct investors to, but they would have to more clearly disclose the fact of that compensation to their clients. They would also be required to enter into a contract declaring they nonetheless will act in their clients’ best interest.

“The rule’s biggest strength is that it fundamentally changes the way that retirement advisers will view their relationships with clients,” Arthur Laby, a professor at Rutgers School of Law, told the New York Times. “It sends a strong message that any behavior short of a fiduciary standard of conduct is unacceptable.”
Wall Street is treating defeating the proposed legislation as an existential battle; they're calling in all their chits and favors. House Republicans are already at war on their behalf. And what about Democrats like Schumer in the Senate and, in the House, Joe Crowley, Jim Himes and Patrick Murphy (who serves the banisters on the Financial Services Committee, and whom Schumer and the banksters are trying to help barge into the Senate)? Crowley, Himes and Murphy are all New Dems, a right-of-center grouping within the Democratic Party funded and owned by Wall Street. The New Dems are working full-time to undermine, sabotage and water down the legislation. Sneed: "The heavy pushback the Obama administration has received on the Hill reflects the kind of impact the regulations will have on the industry."

One more little leap: According to a recent Quinnipiac poll, 98% of Democrats, 92% of independents and even 90% of Republicanos favor background checks for all gun purchases. The NRA, like Wall Street, controls enough members of Congress-- one entire party and enough corrupt conservatives in the other-- to prevent that from happening. President Obama spoke passionately after yesterday's mass gun slaughter in Oregon. Watch:

"This, the president told the nation, "is a political choice that we make, to allow this to happen every few months in America." He went on to advocate connecting desired policy outcomes-- in this case, immensely popular gun safety legislation-- with voting for one candidate or another.
The American people, individually, whether you are a Democrat or a Republican or an independent, when you decide to vote for somebody, are making a determination this cause of continuing death for innocent people should be a relevant factor in your decision. If you think this is a problem then you should expect your elected officials to reflect your views.
About a month ago, we took a look at some of the Democrats the NRA controls-- like Ted Strickland (an NRA A+ endorsee), who is running for the Ohio Senate seat against another NRA shill and gun lunatic, Republican incumbent Ron Portman. No choice? That's what primaries are for, and in this particular primary progressive P.G. Sittenfeld is running against both of the guns worshippers. P.G., who has been enthusiasticly endorsed by Blue America, has been using the promise of gun safety legislation as a way of differentiating himself from Portman and Strickland as a key plank in his campaign:
In the Senate, I will fight for common sense gun safety measures, starting with universal background checks with no gun show loopholes. Senseless killings by people who never should have had a gun in the first place must stop, and it's going to take more senators willing to stand up and do what's right  to make that happen.
Chuck Schumer is doing everything in his power to undermine P.G. Had President Obama endorsed him last night, he would have been headed for the Democratic nomination today. But did Obama really and truly believe what he said about "making a determination this cause of continuing death for innocent people should be a relevant factor" in elections? If he did, he can still endorse P.G. Sittenfeld today.

Schumer has an agenda and it isn't anything like ours

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At 3:33 AM, Blogger Gunner Jacky said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 3:36 AM, Blogger Gunner Jacky said...

I don't get that after being the most powerful country of the world why US is not able to fight with his own country's problem?? Laws regarding guns are amended again and again but the killings and damage due to gun never ends. This is because of the problem in the attitude of general public. They need to be more concerned about the laws and the harms that these gun do to others. Guns are supposed to be used for safety not for killing others, even if you find someone is culprit police and government agencies are there to punish them. There is no need of using gun to kill other.
Mass License To Carry Class


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