Sunday, November 08, 2015

Wall Street Wants To Buy The Half Of Congress They Don't Already Own


When conservatives were earning their keep from their Wall Street financiers-- working first to water down Dodd-Frank and then to defeat it and, more recently, to repeal it-- they made several arguments they hoped would appeal to the voting public. I mean, you can't very well say, "the banks finance my campaigns so I want to get rid of this legislation that protects consumers from bankster greed." Instead they "repeatedly invoked the law’s 848-page girth-- and its rules on, among other things, trading derivatives and swaps-- as a symbol of government overreach that is killing jobs." The Republicans and their New Dem allies have worked assiduously to chip away at Dodd-Frank but mostly all that effort just amounts to spinning their wheels. And as far as killing jobs... well you probably saw that on Friday the Department of Labor announced that 268,000 new private sector jobs had been created last month, the 68th consecutive month-- longest streak in history-- of positive job creation. Remember when the Republicans vowed to bring the unemployment rate down to 6% with their same crackpot agenda that had devastated the economy under Bush? Last month unemployment ticked down to 5%, even in the face of the determined and persistent Republican sabotage.

Dodd-Frank aims to rein in abusive lending practices and high-risk bets on complex derivative securities that nearly drove the banking system off a cliff. It creates a bureau to protect consumers from financial fraud, cuts the fees banks charge for debit card use, and sets up a means for the government to better supervise the nation’s largest financial institutions to avoid expensive and catastrophic failures. And it calls for swap execution facilities, or exchanges on which derivatives and other complex financial instruments are traded.

Republicans say Dodd-Frank is the root of some of today’s economic problems. It has stopped banks from lending to “job creators,” they contend, and is a direct cause of high unemployment. “It created such uncertainty that the bankers, instead of making loans, pulled back,” said Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, speaking at a South Carolina rally over Labor Day weekend where he again called for the law’s repeal.

The candidates could find that there are some political dangers to their deregulation strategy, as Republicans in Congress learned last year during the debate over the legislation. Then, opponents of measures to address the causes of the financial crisis found themselves rather easily painted as defenders of Wall Street financiers and the banking industry, rather than being on the side of borrowers and consumers. Mr. Obama has signaled recently that in the 2012 campaign he plans to portray Republicans as defending corporations and the wealthy.

These political risks probably account for the Republicans’ current effort to portray Dodd-Frank as an enemy of jobs rather than as a burden to banks. Most of the regulations included in the law fall on the big banks that were at the center of the financial crisis-- Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase.
Obama's promise to "portray Republicans as defending corporations and the wealthy" worked in the 2012 election and he was reelected. No one has tried holding the 27 Democrats who voted with the GOP against the final version of Dodd-Frank accountable. 223 Democrats voted for the bill (December 11, 2009) and 27 joined all 175 Republicans opposing it. The final vote on passage was 223-202. Nearly all the right-wing, Wall Street-owned Democrats who voted against it were subsequently defeated at the polls or forced to avoid defeat by retiring. Garbage fake-Democrats like Dan Boren (Blue Dog-OK), Harry Teague (Blue Dog-NM), Parker Griffith (Blue Dog-AL), Baron Hill (Blue Dog-IN), Gene Taylor (Blue Dog-MS), Bobby Bright (Blue Dog-AL), Zach Space (Blue Dog-OH), Lincoln Davis (Blue Dog-TN), Mike McIntyre (Blue Dog-NC), Mike Ross (Blue Dog-AR) and Harry Mitchell (Blue Dog-AZ) are politically gone and dead. The only Democrats who voted against it still in Congress are Kurt Schrader (Blue Dog-OR), Pete Visclosky (IN), Ann Kirkpatrick (New Dem-AZ), and Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX)-- as well as Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) who, along with Dennis Kucinich, opposed the bill because it didn't go far enough in protecting consumers from the banksters.

Unfortunately, Wall Street has nurtured a whole new crop of crap-Democrats (no longer called Blue Dogs, but "New Dems") to do their bidding. And New Dems gravitate to the House Financial Services Committee, where they can command the biggest legalized bribes by doing the most ass-kissing for Wall Street. Of the 26 Democrats on the committee, 12, one shy of half, are corrupt New Dems:
Gregory Meeks (NY- $2,698,888)
David Scott (GA- $2,320,544)
Ed Perlmutter (CO- $3,012,946)
Jim Himes (CT- $4,840,227)
John Carney (DE- $1,602,978)
Terri Sewell (AL- $1,067,970)
Bill Foster (IL- $1,721,613)
Patrick Murphy (FL- $2,260,848)
John Delaney (MD- $1,586,602)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ- $905,071)
Denny Heck (WA- $709,179)
Juan Vargas (CA- $953,205)
And Patrick Murphy, a two-term former Republican from Florida is probably the worst of all. During his first term he showed the banksters how far he was willing to go for them and they rewarded him with $1,130,150, more than any other Democrat other than Michigan New Dem Gary Peters who was waging a campaign for a Senate seat, New York New Dem Joe Crowley, and Connecticut New Dem Jim Himes, all of whom had been Members of Congress far longer than Murphy. But this cycle, Wall Street has recognized Murphy as their bitch. So far he's taken in even more than the Financial Services Committee chairman, grotesquely corrupt Jeb Hensarling (TX-$521,715) and House Ways and Means Committee chair Paul Ryan (WI-$490,875). The top 3 most corrupt Wall Street stooges for 2016 so far:
John Boehner (OH- $1,133,340)
Kevin McCarthy (CA- $768,500)
Patrick Murphy (FL- $659,600)
The only other Democrat among Wall Street's Top 10 besides Murphy is Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen (MD- $340,807). Murphy tends to consistently vote with the Republicans on behalf of his Wall Street allies but what the Wall Street banksters pay off Murphy for is his votes inside the House Financial Services Committee, where he almost always votes against consumers and for the powerful banksters who give him almost all the campaign cash he spends that he doesn't get from his father and his father's corrupt friends and cronies. This is a typical-- hard-to-come-by-- vote count from the committee that another member, who told me he wants to puke whenever he sees Murphy plottting with his Republican pals, gave me. Notice that all the Republicans and five corrupt New Dems voted for another attempt to cripple Dodd-Frank while the actual Democrats voted against it. Same thing with this bill on May 7, 2013, which found Murphy and the other untrustworthy Democrats voting with the Republicans in the committee while actual Democrats tried to hold the line against the tide of Wall Street bribes.

When Wall Street, angry at the beating they were taking at the hands of Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown and Bernie Sanders in the Senate, publicly threatened to cut off the DSCC, Wall Street's #1 shill, Chuck Schumer, promised them he would help get they boy Murphy into the Senate to help balance the "bad influence" of the likes of Warren, Brown and Sanders. Schumer has been fighting ever since-- fighting dirty, of course-- to sabotage Alan Grayson in the Florida primary and push Murphy, whom the weak and sniveling Jon Tester-led DSCC was ordered to endorse. As Grayson said himself-- in a letter to supporters recently-- "four straight polls show, we’re leading, but it’s close-- and when you factor in the millions of dollars that Goldman Sachs and every other Wall Street bank is shoving into my opponent’s pockets, we have a real fight on our hands. Being one of the last true Democrats in this party has put a big, fat target on my back... We cannot afford yet another U.S. Senator who is owned by the Wall Street cabal. We cannot afford yet another U.S. Senator who has a lien on his voting card, and a mortgage on his soul. Nobody owns me. If I win this election, I will be the one U.S. Senator who-- you can be sure-- will fight for the common good, and owes nothing to anyone but the voters."

If you want a U.S. Senator who fights for justice, equality and peace, not for the top 1%, then chip in whatever you can afford to Alan's campaign. Want to help counterbalance Schumer and Wall Street? Here's the place.

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