Tuesday Open Thread

I've got court this afternoon. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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  • Charlie Pierce (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 12:43:35 PM EST
    The Big Sellout

    If the Democrats sign on to a "Grand Bargain" like this one, there simply is no argument any more for their continued existence as a political party.

    Can't think of much else to say beyond that statement.

    From the NYT (editorial, Nov l) (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by KeysDan on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 01:09:43 PM EST
    "Last week, Democrats offered a $3.2 trillion compromise--proposing cuts to domestic spending and social insurance programs that were so large as to be imprudent. Their proposal was instantly rejected by Republicans....because the Democrats included $1.3 trillion in new tax revenues, which is exactly $1.3 trillion more than Republicans are willing to accept."    "The plan would cut $475 billion from Medicare and Medicaid over 10 years, including $200 billion in cuts to beneficiaries....It would also cut $400 billion from regular discretionary spending, which, combined with earlier cuts this year, would be bigger than those proposed by the Gang of Six or Bowles-Simpson.   Democratic officials say these cuts would be considered only alongside tax increases.  The danger is that Republicans will try to scoop up those proposed cuts while rejecting the increases."    

    Obamacare (none / 0) (#124)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 04:51:28 PM EST
    is already chopping $500 billion from Medicare.

    Is this additional?


    Yes. The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) (5.00 / 2) (#148)
    by KeysDan on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 06:33:08 PM EST
    wrings about $500 billion out of Medicare to help finance the program (about one-half of the total).  It has not always been clear how all these cuts will be achieved, but they are being called "savings."   Medicare Advantage will be among areas for such savings and other areas for "savings" have been nebulous such as "we can achieve better care for less", e.g. less testing.  

    However, much along the later's lines have been in the works and have slowed the costs, as will be noted in the lower than expected increases in Medicare premiums next year.   Even if the Democrats are bailed out by the Republicans refusal to go along with the revenue increases, much damage has been done just by their imprudent offer.  Note: all the cuts proposed are also in addition the cuts negotiated earlier this year.


    So this is Death Panels II (none / 0) (#198)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Nov 03, 2011 at 10:16:44 AM EST
    Heh. (none / 0) (#18)
    by Edger on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 12:59:29 PM EST
    Now that's movin' forward! ;-)

    I've eaten the first perfect (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by observed on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 12:51:53 PM EST
    potato croquettes of my life here in Kazakhstan.
    This was at the cafe in my complex, just now.
    How do I know they were perfect? There is a Belgian engineer I've been talking to the last few days. He explained that potato croquettes Belgian, originally, and that the cafe makes them perfectly.
    Ta da. Pretty good!

    Have you sampled to tiny Georgian (none / 0) (#43)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:20:33 PM EST
    meatballs yet?  Scrumptious.

    No Georgian food yet (none / 0) (#170)
    by observed on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 12:43:29 AM EST
    However, there is a highly recommended Uzbek restaurant which I plan to dine at soon.
    By the way, my comments about low salt were just wrong. I had a few dishes which were noticeably very low in salt in my first few days here; however,the average is probably at least to US standards.
    People with blood pressure issues have to be careful eating out.

    Sunday AM a bunch of firetrucks, police and ambulances showed up at my neighbor's house, followed by the Coroner.

    18 y/o HS Sr., son of ex-Bears QB Erik Kramer, didn't wake up after a night of partying.

    Then yesterday one of his HS friends took his own life by droving his car off a cliff in the canyons.

    Truly, a parent's worst nightmare; (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:22:50 PM EST
    it makes my stomach flip over when I read things like that.  And then to have the child's friend take his own life, too?   Just devastating.

    The first death is one of, possibly, bad choices and physiology; is the second one from overwhelming guilt?  It matters, and yet it doesn't, because, either way, there will probably never be answers to the questions that will haunt the people who loved these two boys.  The what-ifs, and the maybe-I-should-haves, the how-could-I-not sees, the I-didn't-tell-him-I-loved-hims, all those stages of grief that will go on for a long time because young men are not supposed to leave us this way, before they have even begun to really live.

    The lucky ones, the parents whose kids all woke up, the kids who woke up the way they were supposed to, their friends who are still here - they will ask their own questions, feel their own guilt, learn to live with fear they thought they were fairly immune from.  Not my kid, not my friend, we're not like that, it can't happen to people I know.  Well, now they know it does, and that's probably the scariest part.

    You're alive, and then you're not.  You bring them into the world, and things like this just aren't supposed to take them out of it.

    It's always the right time to tell the people you love that you love them.


    Thanks Anne. Guilt. (none / 0) (#47)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:27:42 PM EST
    Was the friend at the party? Did he feel responsible for what happened?

    Scary... (none / 0) (#16)
    by magster on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 12:57:54 PM EST
    ... I hate how one High School tragedy can lead to a few more right in succession at the same High School.

    They're so fragile. (5.00 / 5) (#17)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 12:59:25 PM EST
    We all are... (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 01:22:16 PM EST
    that sucks man...too heavy.

    Two recent suicides in my little world, no one close but unsettling all the same.  

    The human body, more so the human mind...mad fragile.


    Thanks. (none / 0) (#38)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:06:39 PM EST
    Initial reports (none / 0) (#27)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 01:23:50 PM EST
    Says Kramer died of alcohol poisoning.

    Ya, although (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 01:29:57 PM EST
    according to some of the kids at the party, there may have been/was more than just alcohol involved. They are doing a toxicology screen or whatever on him, supposedly takes a week or two.

    I'll say this much (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by CST on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 01:51:22 PM EST
    the results of the toxicology don't matter.

    Not to those who lost someone.  Certainly not to the one who drove off a bridge.

    The 18-early 20s were very rough on my  personal bubble, between drugs, war, cancer and suicide.

    But on this side of it, they're all still dead.  And a loss is still a loss.

    Very sorry to hear this.  My heart goes out to the friends and especially the parents - who still have to figure out how to live - and to forgive.


    Ya, thanks. (none / 0) (#37)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:05:52 PM EST
    Sucks (none / 0) (#77)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 03:10:42 PM EST
    We have all probably been a drink or two from death's door and at least he went out peacefully.  The suicide, not so much, but on his terms.

    Although the families don't have it, these boys and many others have peace now.


    Sorry for everything (none / 0) (#63)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:48:58 PM EST
    Speak for yourself: (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:25:43 PM EST
    Who ARE these people? (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:50:09 PM EST
    I equate molten chocolate cake with what I imagine heaven to be like......



    Make it... (none / 0) (#76)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 03:10:04 PM EST
    Molten Chocolate Space Cake and I'll rock that cloud too!

    Molten chocolate cake (none / 0) (#153)
    by robert72 on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 07:31:29 PM EST
    reminds me of my favorite dessert on the many cruises I have taken - chocolate melting cake on Carnival. We ate it every night - nothing like it!

    pork belly? (none / 0) (#82)
    by CST on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 03:23:57 PM EST
    I think I'm going to the wrong restaurants.  These are so common they are cliche?

    I wish.

    The one thing I would have on that list - is the one thing they left out.  French fries.  Okay okay, they're easy to make and not terrible.  But do they have to come with EVERYthing?


    Maybe it's a west coast thing. (none / 0) (#86)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 03:29:06 PM EST
    Very frequently on menus in non-chain restaurants.  

    most (none / 0) (#90)
    by CST on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 03:46:04 PM EST
    of the restaurants I go to are non-chain, but of the "ethnic hole in the wall" variety.  

    Not a lot of pork belly in vietnamese/ jamaican/ guatemalan/ etc... cuisine.


    I haven't tried pork belly. The name (none / 0) (#98)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 04:07:25 PM EST
    is a turn-off.  Lots of pork in Vietnam and Guatemala.  

    I had it once (none / 0) (#103)
    by CST on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 04:15:55 PM EST
    at a "fancy" restaurant.

    It was to die for, and I would probably die early of a heart attack if I ate it very often.  I'm a big believer in trying any food once, even if it seems scary, because you never know.  Although for some things (snails, chicken feet) - once was enough.

    Lot's of pork.  Haven't seen any belly though.


    Ever tried bacon? (none / 0) (#150)
    by DFLer on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 06:56:29 PM EST
    same thing....

    in US bacon mostly cut from belly, so Wiki lord sez


    Ohio Gov. Kasich: (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 09:43:42 PM EST

    After Kasich was elected governor last November, he said special interests better suck it up and get on his legislative bus: "You get on the bus, or we're gonna run you over."

    It soon became clear that Kasich viewed public employee unions as a special interest costing government too much money.

    I am not cool (none / 0) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 12:18:21 PM EST
    I just had to ask who this Seri person is they keep talking about.  I also thought it must be spelled Suri, double not cool.

    Please share your info! (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 12:20:34 PM EST
    Meanwhile, Kim Kardashian wants a divorce after 72 days of marriage.  And no, I really don't care.  

    My daughter watches Keeping up (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 03:01:31 PM EST
    with the Kardashians, and I have to admit that, if I'm around and she has it on, I watch.   Yes, they are all quite good at promoting themselves, but I don't think that's a crime, is it?  People who are famous for being famous, I guess.

    As for the marriage, well, Kris Humphries is younger than Kim, and he came across as very immature to me; it could be the editing, but I just never got a good vibe from him.  And, her family is very protective, very close and it can't be easy to fit in.  The closer they got to the wedding, the more I started to feel she was trying to convince herself that it was working, that he was "the one," and having lots of doubts.  Again, maybe that was editing - I mean, who knows how much "reality" there is in reality TV, right?

    And I guess the downside of living your life in front of the camera is that when you fail at something, you have a huge audience there to witness it.

    Whether it failed because they rushed into it, or there was more to the story than the TV audience was privy to, it's still hard to fail, and so I have a certain amount of sympathy for them - for Kim.

    She seems like a smart woman, who will find a way to land on her feet; don't imagine there will be any two-hour wedding specials the next time, though!


    The thing is (none / 0) (#78)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 03:11:06 PM EST
    They are famous for being famous.  They are famous for having a father who was a friend of OJ's and Bruce Jenner is their stepfather.

    And a mother who was best friends w/ (none / 0) (#83)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 03:26:12 PM EST
    Nicole (per Wiki).

    He was the early bird to this racket, (none / 0) (#97)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 04:06:09 PM EST
    not his wife and her kids from marriage to Kardashian.  

    And (none / 0) (#99)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 04:09:40 PM EST
    Jenner has had some bad plastic surgery....

    he looks like he was (none / 0) (#107)
    by jondee on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 04:23:48 PM EST
    vying with Michael Jackson for that Peter Pan role..

    Hey, give him a break. (none / 0) (#106)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 04:22:53 PM EST
    He's been making plenty of money on his own over the years. A college friend's co hired him as a motivationaly speaker not too long ago and my friend said he was really good. I'm not sure she came to the marriage with a lot of money.

    Maybe she did: (none / 0) (#128)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 05:13:47 PM EST
    Robert Sr. had a lot of dough, (none / 0) (#137)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 05:41:13 PM EST
    however Kris had divorced him and was married to Bruce when Rob Sr. died. I don't think she got much when she divorced. I would imagine their 4 kids were Robert Sr.'s inheritors, not his ex-wife Kris, but who knows?

    Assuming Robert Sr. had a lot of dough (none / 0) (#142)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 06:17:09 PM EST
    when he and the future Mrs. Jenner divorced, I also assume she received a handsome divorce settlement/trial judgment.  

    P.S. Robert Sr. apparently got his J.D. at my alma mater.  Who knew?  


    From a really shaky intertubes source: (none / 0) (#143)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 06:24:40 PM EST
    According to one televised account, Kris was dating Bruce while going through the divorce process with Robert Kardashian, Sr.

    When the subject of money came up, Robert and Kris could not come to an agreement.

    Reportedly, Bruce took matters into his own hands and invited Robert to lunch and told him that he was so in love with Kris and her children that she would forgo a settlement so that she could be free to marry Bruce Jenner.

    Ha. Let's hear what the current (none / 0) (#144)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 06:26:28 PM EST
    Mrs. Jenner has to say about that.  Maybe Bruce recognized lots of $$ in his future stemming from the charisma of her children.

    You cynic you! (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 06:27:20 PM EST
    Look who's typing. (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 06:28:00 PM EST
    Moi?! (none / 0) (#184)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 11:25:55 AM EST
    And (none / 0) (#6)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 12:26:50 PM EST
    The cost of their wedding (around $20 million) divided by 72 days of marriage equals about $222,000+ per day of marriage.

    Current topic of conversation here at work.


    Pre nup.? (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 12:27:47 PM EST
    yup (none / 0) (#21)
    by sj on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 01:07:22 PM EST
    I just read she made 18 million by selling (none / 0) (#23)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 01:16:02 PM EST
    the rights to wedding and honeymoon interviews, pics, etc. Even the 20 carat ring on her finger was payment from some jeweler or something...

    Ah, a con artist. (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 01:17:02 PM EST
    If she does it again (none / 0) (#31)
    by me only on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 01:36:39 PM EST
    she should market it as "Wedding Stimulus."

    3rd time a charm? (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 01:52:52 PM EST
    This was her 2nd wedding, I believe?

    But, we were laughing reading some etiquette expert talk about how she should return the gifts:  If the bride is too distraugth, her mother and bridesmaids can help.  (Uh, I've been in 12 weddings - my commitment as a bridesmaid ended the moment the wedding was over).


    JB, other (none / 0) (#40)
    by me only on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:11:27 PM EST
    than a couple of NSFW pictures I have seen I don't know much about Kim K.

    But, it seems that her commitment also ended the moment the wedding was over...


    Just read Wiki. Whole family (none / 0) (#52)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:35:05 PM EST
    is really good at making money from being "celebrities."  Kim's first listed occupation:  business.  

    That's (none / 0) (#56)
    by me only on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:39:24 PM EST
    famous for being shameless, right?

    Someone must be watching! (none / 0) (#58)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:40:20 PM EST
    If Jeralyn's TV habits are (none / 0) (#69)
    by me only on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:54:45 PM EST
    the American average, I would posit a lot of people are watching.  Why they do so, speaks volumes.

    Saw an older poll where results (none / 0) (#101)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 04:14:12 PM EST
    showed majority didn't know Romney is Mormon or Obama is Christian.  

    I watch (none / 0) (#136)
    by loveed on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 05:35:11 PM EST
     Every now and then.
     I remember when there father brought them to the OJ trial,one day.
     I also thought the wedding was beautiful. Kim cut hearts from one of her father shirts, and had them sewn inside all three wedding dresses.
     There silly young girls who knows how to make money.

    But didnt they more than (none / 0) (#71)
    by coast on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 03:01:01 PM EST
    that selling the coverage rights?  I'm pretty sure they came out on the positive end, financially that is.

    A similar product (none / 0) (#32)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 01:47:03 PM EST
    is available for android....called VLingo.  It doesn't talk back, tho, you have to read it...which IMHO is actually nicer.

    Also (none / 0) (#34)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 01:48:47 PM EST
    Siri used to be an app.  When they added it to the OS, they pulled it from the App store.  It's been around for awhile, not really a 4S feature....

    They bought the Siri company, right? (none / 0) (#109)
    by ruffian on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 04:33:27 PM EST
    Not like they stole it and incorporated it and then pulled the competition from the app store.

    Probably wouldn't be the first time, but not in this case.


    Oops...I'm told it is Siri...triple not cool (none / 0) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 12:18:49 PM EST

    Got it. (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 12:24:08 PM EST
    "I would like a five start hotel in ___, with a swimming pool and exercise facility."  NPR

    David Savage reports on yesterday's (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 12:22:25 PM EST
    oral argument at SCOTUS re incompetency of counsel re plea bargains:  LAT

    Sad (none / 0) (#158)
    by Rojas on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 08:21:19 PM EST
    Sad excuses for human beings.
    Out of touch with reality. Wouldn't piss on em if they were on fire.

    Yes, you can! B of A backs off (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 12:29:14 PM EST
    re debit card fee: LAT

    My bank Regions backed off too (none / 0) (#110)
    by ruffian on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 04:34:46 PM EST
    Very good news this morning. I had practically rearranged my whole life to avoid the fee. Did not know how dependent I was on that debit card.

    Next consumer outrage: $25 to (none / 0) (#167)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 09:33:02 PM EST
    check one bag.  

    That's a tougher one. Not as many choices (5.00 / 2) (#173)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 06:41:13 AM EST
    in carriers as there are in banks. People are rebelling by not checking bags, which makes boarding the plan a real ordeal, but does not hurt the airline. They are just as happy to lose the weight of checked luggage.

    They are adding all these fees so they can keep their advertised straight-up fare lower in the travelocity and other on-line search engines. I think those sites should change their policy about searching fares, and include all fees before returning results, not as fine print.


    Yet the airlines are supposedly trying (none / 0) (#191)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 01:39:22 PM EST
    to speed up the boarding process.  I have observed some airlines encourage gate checking for no baggage fee.  I like it.  And Southwest.  

    Here's how I envision a protest. (none / 0) (#192)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 01:41:30 PM EST
    Much like the Nov. 5 change banks call out.  Everyone carry on everything on every airline on __.  

    1.Murray not to testify in his own defense... (none / 0) (#9)
    by magster on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 12:38:12 PM EST
    2.Denver "leader" of Occupy Denver bails because people looking for violence or trouble are doing just that (guy who pushed cop off motorcycle on Saturday has record for assaulting police officers).

    3.And...thankfully I never photographed myself "Tebowing".

    "Tebowing"... (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 12:46:48 PM EST
    after sacks of Tebow is the best thing to happen to on the field celebration since Billy "White Shoes" Johnson.

    He's been sacked 14 times in 2 games (none / 0) (#15)
    by magster on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 12:56:03 PM EST
    Sadly, his start in Oakland may be his last if he doesn't improve. Another bad game and I'll be "Quinning" or "Webering". However, I will never do the Orton again no matter what the alternatives are.

    Horrible time to be a Denver sports' fan.


    Not to rub it in... (none / 0) (#20)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 01:01:55 PM EST
    but lots of teams in front in the Andy Luck sweepstakes to boot...these are dark days for Denver sports.

    Not to worry... (none / 0) (#155)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 07:58:45 PM EST
    this draft is chocked full of QB's that are 100X better than Tebust will ever be.  Barkley, Jones, Tannehill...

    What's scary is that 3/4 of Bronco's fans think he's the QB of the future.  LB, S--maybe, but not a QB.  

    McDummy sure did a number on this franchise and its going to take awhile to right the ship.  On the bright side, the (very young) Av's appear to be heading in the right direction.  


    Much rather see... (none / 0) (#156)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 08:06:52 PM EST
    Weber than Quinn.  At least we know he can hit Decker when he's wide open.

    No QB can win (none / 0) (#159)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 08:48:28 PM EST
    if he's laying on his back while the D dances around celebrating.

    The Broncos have problems that no QB can solve.


    Just for you. (none / 0) (#39)
    by republicratitarian on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:06:41 PM EST
    Hot damn... (none / 0) (#41)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:14:06 PM EST
    thats a nice score...linemakers don't miss often, but thats a big miss.

    Dude must be a hardcore Cards fan...or hardcore degen, either way good for him.


    Obviously the VP is a Braves fan. (none / 0) (#42)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:19:30 PM EST
    I wonder how much... (none / 0) (#50)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:31:05 PM EST
    the gambler wanted to bet before MGM scaled him back!

    Yep. And, are you surprised the VP (none / 0) (#51)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:32:26 PM EST
    actually revealed his mind set?

    Nah... (none / 0) (#54)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:36:18 PM EST
    a stand up move imo, explaining the reasoning behind setting the high line on the Cards.

    Back on Sept. 12th I don't think many would have questioned his reasoning.  Hindsight 20/20.


    He Wanted to Bet More ? (none / 0) (#53)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:36:08 PM EST
    Wonder what kind of cash he wanted to put down, doubling his bet would have hit nearly a million.

    That's a damn fan.


    Or a damn degen... (none / 0) (#57)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:39:59 PM EST
    parlaying a good run at Blackjack, looking for the really big score in the sports book.

    At least thats how I do...I'm usually a 10-20 win bettor with the ponies, but when I'm in A.C. post a nice roulette rush, I become a 50-100 win bettor...parlay parlay parlay!  


    Does he have a day job? (none / 0) (#59)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:41:10 PM EST
    He is unnamed... (none / 0) (#68)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:52:57 PM EST
    and wisely so...If I hit lotto you won't see me on tv holdin' the big check...no ma'am.  

    Rich I wouldn't mind too much, but famous?  F*ck no, not even for 15 minutes.


    How about infamous? (none / 0) (#70)
    by me only on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:55:43 PM EST
    Maybe... (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 03:05:51 PM EST

    Anonymity is where it is at.


    But you'd tell us. wouldn't you? (none / 0) (#84)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 03:27:01 PM EST
    Once ya got the invite... (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 03:47:31 PM EST
    to the all expenses paid Talkleft Convention in Sin City, you'd figure it out without me havin' to spell it out.

    But if any of our friends bring cameras I'm rocking the Nacho Libre mask.


    Money management (none / 0) (#171)
    by NYShooter on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 03:13:36 AM EST
    Someday I'll tell you about my experience with a former manager of the Sands, Las Vegas.

    The "trailer" for the story goes like this: I was in Reno one afternoon playing Blackjack on a small side street, in one of the tiny, 2 table, bar/casinos. I was betting quarters ($25) and was having a fairly good time. The manager of the joint, however, took a special interest in me, and did everything he could to get me quit, or leave; stuff like shuffling after every hand, new deck after every couple of hands, and so on. Anyway, it wasn't a lot of money and I wasn't into causing any trouble, so I quit.

    I went from the card table to the bar, and proceeded to have some good conversations, and getting good and wired. So, feeling pretty good, I strolled over to the manager who had busted my xxxx's earlier (he was sitting at the bar drinking also) and struck up a conversation. Mainly, I wanted to know what I did to get him so interested in me. But first, some serious drinking took place, and as the day moved into night, we were becoming good friends, and getting sloshed to Nirvana.

    So, that's the build up. What he told me during that binge was enough to curl my toes, and place him into the hall of fame of Shooter's BFF ever. With prior careers as manager of some of the biggest casinos in Nevada the secrets he told me, especially about "winning" at blackjack, were, as they say, "priceless."

    That's all for now, but there is more.....much, much more.


    The anticipation... (none / 0) (#181)
    by kdog on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 09:41:16 AM EST
    shall kill me brother!

    I will return in kind, not a profitable story, but a tale of a near miss on a joker poker jackpot involving Lucy.


    This I gotta hear. (none / 0) (#185)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 11:27:42 AM EST
    Smoking gun found (none / 0) (#10)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 12:38:21 PM EST
    So in your mind.... (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Dadler on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 01:35:22 PM EST
    ...the entire real estate bubble was cause by the government forcing banks to loan money irresponsibly to poor people?  If that were the case, if the government made it so easy for these companies to hand out money to everyone (if they threatened them so hard), why the need for all that unverified income on loan apps?  Why the need to push so many otherwise qualified borrowers into ARMS?  (And this happened far more than you can imagine, with many low income folks, I know plenty of people in the biz who watched it happen with disgust.)  Either people qualified on income or they didn't.  The government didn't say lie it up, they said stop discriminating against otherwise qualified borrowers.  

    Those poor, poor lenders, the government MADE them encourage people to lie, it MADE them lie people into deadly ARM loans.

    Hogwash.  Yes the government played a role, but the biggest and most nefarious role was played by those in the private sector.  The government didn't bring down the economy with derivatives and CDOs, it helped bring it down by allowing itself to be bought (does the term regulatory capture mean nothing?).

    To attempt to lay this entire thing at the feet of those on the bottom of our society is, simply, an inexcusable stupidity for an American to engage in.  It is a lie, flat out.

    Of course, those at the top will do everything the can to absolve themselves.  Just like you are doing for them.  The banks were innocent, totally, they may have made clerical errors, but that is all...please.  You really want to try to serve up that steaming plate of bullsh*t.  You really think the biggest financial players in this nation didn't KNOW what they were getting into financially.  If that's true, then they are incomepetent, and every penny of compensation paid to executives is as fraudulent as you get.

    Kill the poor.  Eat them, fertilize your lawns with them.  And put golden robes and halos around all the wealthy.


    Of Course... (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:42:17 PM EST
    All that ails this country is the poor's fault.

    Never mind the poor don't have anything and the rich have everything, even with all that money, power, and influence they are always victims to those stealthy poor folds with nothing.

    Never mind the idiots who fight for the rich that are the poor, like AAA who probably thinks he's one of them, or would soon be if those pesky poor folks would quit bleeding him dry.


    I never was hired by a poor person (none / 0) (#120)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 04:48:27 PM EST
    or sold anything to a poor person.

    Does that mean I "hate" poor people and "love" rich people? No. But it is a statement of fact.


    And I Never Been Hired by A Rich Person (5.00 / 1) (#186)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 11:38:31 AM EST
     ...which, just like your comment, has nothing to do with the mortgage crisis.

    The way you switch topics is almost inspiration if it wasn't so cheap.

    Any comment on the rich SOB's taking us to the cleaners on the mortgage crisis and putting the country in a tail spin.  Or you got more bumper sticker slogans to get off your chest ?


    And you've always been (none / 0) (#139)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 06:06:24 PM EST
    hired by a rich person. Right? You guys are so predictable with your talking points.

    2 + 2 = 4 (none / 0) (#162)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 08:56:59 PM EST
    Yes, facts are predictable.

    Well (none / 0) (#174)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 06:53:56 AM EST
    then I guess you've worked a lot as a butler and never worked for a fortune 500 company.

    I take that to mean that (none / 0) (#149)
    by DFLer on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 06:47:29 PM EST
    you never worked at a grocery store, or flipped burgers or owned any rental property, or made diapers, or owned a gas station, or.....

    I'll give you a nod on my poor (none / 0) (#163)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 09:03:15 PM EST

    But I think you see my larger point.

    And yes, I worked at a grocery store (age 14), DQ, (age 15-16), drug store, (age 16-18), factory (18), USN (18-28), telecom manufacturers (28-65).

    And while at home I worked on the farm (age  7-18) which was just expected of children back then.



    I'm not asking for your creds as a (none / 0) (#194)
    by DFLer on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 05:47:07 PM EST
    working person.

    I'm simply challenging your statement that you never "sold anything to poor people" - and your implications thereof that, on a larger scale, corporations/the economy doesn't make money on poor and not so poor people.


    Actually Jim (none / 0) (#152)
    by Rojas on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 07:21:02 PM EST
    Didn't you spend your career at IBM?
    I'm pretty sure they put poor people in jail who refused to pay you salary.

    Nope, never was an IBMer (none / 0) (#164)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 09:06:18 PM EST
    Survived three days of tests and interviews coming out of the Navy and received an offer.

    Turned it down when I realized they were "suggesting" what neighborhood I should live...

    Telecom was looser socially and more dynamic.


    the entire real estate bubble (none / 0) (#45)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:23:02 PM EST

    Not the entire cause but, it was the root cause.  Derivatives were not a problem in themselves, the derivatives of high risk mortgages were a huge follow on problem to the underlying problem of risky mortgages.

     Until government regulatory policy changed, banks and mortgage brokers routinely required 20% down, proof of employment, and a credit history.

    Those bankers were no more and no less honest or greedy when the Fannie and Freddie required those attributes on the mortgages they bought.  When Fannie and Freddie followed government policy and opened the flood gates to buy more highly risky mortgages, the banks and mortgage brokers did their part and delivered the product (risky mortgages) that their customers (Fan and Fred)demanded.

    As Maxine Waters lauded back in the day it is clear as a bell that the GSE's had "innovated" into buying high risk mortgages.

    Under the outstanding leadership of Mr. Frank Raines, everything in the 1992 Act, has worked just fine.  In fact, the GSE's have exceeded their housing goals.  What we need to do today is to focus on the regulator.  And this must be done in a the manner so as not to impede the affordable housing mission.  A mission that has seen innovation flourish, from desktop underwriting to 100 per cent loans.

    When a government sponsored enterprise wants to buy high risk mortgages, it is not a moral failing to provide what the customer demands.



    Of course, it's a moral failing (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by Towanda on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 07:35:35 PM EST
    and a fiduciary failing to bank investors and others who trusted banks.

    It is possible to, at the same time, not discriminate yet still lend soundly.  

    The law to which you point did not say "lend to lousy risks."  It said "stop denying loans to good risks who happen to not be white."

    Why is it so hard to get that?


    The policy was "Affordable Housing" (none / 0) (#157)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 08:12:27 PM EST

    When Fannie and Freddie demanded to buy no money down, no proof of employment, and no credit check mortgages those are by definition lousy risk mortgages.  

    The banks did not have a fiduciary responsibility to Fan and Fred.  They had a responsibility to deliver the product the customer ordered.  

    Fan and Fred were hardly babes in the woods.  They had more experience in rating mortgage risk than anyone on the planet.

    It said "stop denying loans to good risks who happen to not be white."

    Why is it so hard to get that?

    That was the origional CRA.  BTW, there was zero credible evidence that the greedy banks were turning down profits from minorities.  In fact, the default rates showed just the opposite.  The Clinton administration changed the criteria for compliance to a raw numbers count.  If you had to make 100 loans to a favored minority and only 70 applicants have good credit, then to make your numbers the other 30 are going to be riskier.

    However, the banks for the most part did not want to hold risky mortgages on their books.  This where the "innovation" that Maxine Waters lauded comes in and Fan and Fred changed the criteria on the loans they would buy to now include the high risk stuff.



    Affordable Housing Had Nothing to do With it... (none / 0) (#187)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 11:48:32 AM EST
    They took cr@p, labeled it grade A paper, sold it, and bet it would fail.  Had it been labeled correctly, the ones to lose would have been the original issuers, which would have curbed issuing credit to people who didn't deserve it, instead it let them target people with bad credit and low incomes.

    if I load a homeless guy $10k, who's to blame if he doesn't pay ?  Those souls you keep blaming didn't manufacturer money in their basements, their were given credit they should have never had.  No one, and I repeat, no one forced them to give credit to people who had bad credit.  And although you keep inferring they did it out of some sort of philanthropic cause, they didn't, they did it to make money.  And boy did they cash in.

    Poor people don't control jack, yet you clowns are always blaming them.  It doesn't make sense.


    They're now doing the same thing (none / 0) (#188)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 11:56:23 AM EST
    with used cars, if you can believe that (bold is mine):

    David Dayen:

    More attention needs to be paid to the LA Times' excellent series on subprime auto loans. The first installment concerned Buy Here Pay Here used car dealerships, and how they hook low-income borrowers into high-interest loans, then repossess the car when the loans go bad and resell the car to the next mark. This is an endlessly repeating cycle, where the same lemon can be sold and resold multiple times. And if you're current on your payments or if you worked out what you thought was a modification, well, that's just an inconvenience.


    But perhaps more shocking is how Buy Here Pay Here dealerships, which have increased their market share in recent years, are funded and sustained. It will sound familiar to anyone who went through the housing bubble.

    "The amount of return from these loans you can't get on Wall Street. You can't get it anywhere," said Michael Diaz, national sales manager for Small Dealers Assistance Inc. in Atlanta, which buys loans originated by Buy Here Pay Here dealers. "It's the gift that keeps giving."

    Investor money is pouring into the industry from several sources, helping Buy Here Pay Here dealers expand their reach and raise their profile [...]

    Buy Here Pay Here is also being boosted by one of the sophisticated financial strategies that drove the nation's recent housing boom and bust: securitization.

    Loans on decade-old clunkers are being bundled into securities, just as subprime mortgages were a few years ago. In the last two years, investors have bought more than $15 billion in subprime auto securities.

    Although they're backed mainly by installment contracts signed by people who can't even qualify for a credit card, most of these bonds have been rated investment grade. Many have received the highest rating: AAA.

    That's because rating firms believe that with tens of thousands of loans lumped together, the securities are safe even if some of the loans prove worthless.


    Because subprime autos can be repossessed and resold quickly and easily, and because the investment is smaller, it's arguably safer than subprime mortgages. But the deficiencies in the system are evident. And considering that the system relies on fraud (the Buy Here Pay Here dealers lard up extra fees and engage in other forms of chicanery), you can see the whole market come crashing down if any law enforcement official ever bothered to investigate it the way the LAT did. However, keep in mind that, thanks to Rep. John Campbell and others, auto dealerships were exempted from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau oversight. So this falls into a regulatory crack, at least at the federal level.

    See how nicely that all worked out?


    Credit discrimination (none / 0) (#190)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 12:24:52 PM EST

    No one, and I repeat, no one forced them to give credit to people who had bad credit.

    Fannie and Freddie set the standards as to what credit was good enough for the mortgages they purchased.  

    Can you explain why banks and mortgage brokers should discriminate against borrowers that had good enough credit by Fan/Fred standards and refuse to initiate a Fan/Fred held loan for those would be borrowers?



    "smoking gun" (none / 0) (#48)
    by jondee on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:30:02 PM EST
    we should all carry them. They're what made this country great..

    Btw, is that a different smoking gun than the FBI report in 2004, that sighted an "epidemic of white collar crime" in the home mortgage field?

    No. Again, the cause was liberal-do-gooder social engineering and socialist-wealth-redistribution schemes by God! What else could it be!


    You have a habit of overstating (none / 0) (#55)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:36:25 PM EST
    I hope you break that habit before you pick up AK off suit in the tournament...

    No, the government didn't cause ALL of the problem. But it was the Daddy Rabbit.

    Without Carter's attack on the banks over supposed "red lining" then the banks would not have been so anxious to make marginal loans. If Clinton hadn't pushed Fannie and Freddie, as my link shows, then the industry as a whole wouldn't have thought the door was open and even then, if Barney Frank and company had not opposed Bush in 1993, the results would have been different.

    9/11/2003The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.

    Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry.


    Significant details must still be worked out before Congress can approve a bill. Among the groups denouncing the proposal today were the National Association of Home Builders and Congressional Democrats who fear that tighter regulation of the companies could sharply reduce their commitment to financing low-income and affordable housing.

    ''These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis,'' said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ''The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.''

    Representative Melvin L. Watt, Democrat of North Carolina, agreed.

    ''I don't see much other than a shell game going on here, moving something from one agency to another and in the process weakening the bargaining power of poorer families and their ability to get affordable housing,'' Mr. Watt said.

    NY Times Link

    And, to be fair, Bush, and later McCain in 2005, should have used more political capital to get the job done. Kinda like a parent is supposed to make sure Junior brushes his teeth.

    And what does this mean?


    Why the need to push so many otherwise qualified borrowers into ARMS?

    If they were otherwise qualified, an ARM should have been no problem unless they were not smart enough to not use the money left over for new cars, etc. Is there a defense against stupid?

    And, as the bubble started to expand even more rapidly, the "industry" did some outrageous and in my opinion illegal things. I've written this before. Read "The Big Short," by Michael Lewis if your blood pressure is under control.

    But spare me the paeans of love about the "poor." There is nothing noble about being rich nor is there anything noble about being poor.


    Thought the door was open? (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 05:33:01 PM EST
    Jesus Feck, what is moral hazard about or for?  The damned door was never open and they all knew it.  They thought they had found a way to make STUPID people gambling for retirements on Wall Street pay for everything until they blew their own selves up.

    You're forgetting the investment houses... (none / 0) (#64)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:49:51 PM EST
    begging for more loans to chop up into CDO's, and the rating agencies for rating that junk AAA, so the investment houses could sell it to rubes as solid while betting against it themselves.

    We're talking fraud on a massive scale, a Ponzi scheme so massive it makes Bernie Madoff look like a street corner three-card monty artist...damned if there was anybody involved in a position of power who was on the up and up.


    Nope, I'm not forgetting. (none / 0) (#75)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 03:07:26 PM EST
    That's all covered in "The Big Short."

    Was it fraud? How so? No information was withheld.

    But you do have a point that it was the rating agencies that kept the balloon expanding with their AAA ratings.

    But since they also rate government debt you can bet your sweet bippy the government is not going to bother them.


    "Legally" fraud... (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 03:13:02 PM EST
    I don't know, the law is kinda funny...but when Goldman and the rest are pushing a "piece of crap" (their term, not mine) on their customers while betting against same piece of crap, and paying S&P to rate crap AAA, that is fraud in my book.  I don't know what else to call it.

    I saw it over the weekend (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by ruffian on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 04:46:55 PM EST
    Well done, and yes depressing. I heard it was based on Lehman Bros though, not Goldman.

    Jeremy Irons, so good (none / 0) (#123)
    by ruffian on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 04:50:38 PM EST
    It's not a panic if you're the first one out the door.



    If that wasn't fraud (none / 0) (#81)
    by jondee on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 03:23:18 PM EST
    we might as well just strike the word from the dictionary.

    Unfortunately... (none / 0) (#87)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 03:32:48 PM EST
    the dictionary you and I are used to is obsolete, they're using the newspeak dictionary, and they must be on the 25th edition or something cuz I'm really f*ckin' lost.

    War is Peace
    Ignorance is Strength
    Freedom is Slavery
    Fraud is Finance


    Try this one: Former city admin. of (none / 0) (#88)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 03:42:57 PM EST
    Bell sues city for breach of contract (pro per).  

    And this. Private equity investors (none / 0) (#93)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 03:56:20 PM EST
    and auto loans on used cars:  LAT

    I hate to say it (none / 0) (#94)
    by jondee on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 04:00:06 PM EST
    but it may be more like Shylock-speak: fraud is now JUST someone's "opinion" (and, as such, protected by the First Amendment.)

    Buyer and investor, beware.


    The information that was withheld (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by ruffian on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 04:46:07 PM EST
    was that they were betting against these same securities. They had no motivation to make loans that would succeed.

    That was also withheld from buyers that were assuming prices were set by a functioning market where people making loans were not betting on them failing.


    Legally fraud? I don't know (none / 0) (#122)
    by ruffian on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 04:49:48 PM EST
    But I know that the banks are scared enough of it to be trying for this 50 state settlement with the AGs that the administration is also pushing. They sure want all investigations to stop ASAP.

    CA AG withdrew from the settlement (none / 0) (#125)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 04:52:51 PM EST

    so did MA AG (none / 0) (#129)
    by CST on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 05:17:17 PM EST
    Who has now decided to go it alone on this.

    "I have lost confidence that the banks will bring to the table an agreement that properly holds them accountable for wrongful foreclosures," Coakley said Wednesday. "Because our office for some time has anticipated that result, we have begun preparing for litigation."



    And fraudulent foreclosures (none / 0) (#134)
    by ruffian on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 05:30:15 PM EST
    based on robosigning and MERS are only a part of it. Luckily those problems came to light in time to stall the whole thing long enough to investigate the rest of the mess, and fraudulent loans are also being investigated.

    Not to mention the suits brought by investors.

    Rushing into any kind of a settlement is doing a real disservice to the country, to say the least.

    Which is not stopping my own AG Bondi - who is against a settlement because it is too hard on the banks.


    Excellent news (none / 0) (#131)
    by ruffian on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 05:19:30 PM EST
    They all should.

    ruffian, see my comment below, (none / 0) (#127)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 05:11:45 PM EST
    linking to Mike Lux article at HuffPo.  Well, unless you're about to have dinner, because it will probably kill your appetite.

    As if it wasn't bad enough that the administration doesn't seem to think any of the massive fraud needs to be fully investigated and those involved held accountable, it wants to at once immunize them in exchange for a pittance - and then - wait for it - run hard against Wall Street in the 2012 election!

    What is the thing that is exponentially bigger than chutzpah?

    And here's Matt Stoller on the deal:

    What makes these discussions so utterly absurd, so ridiculous, and farcical, is that robo-signing, an abuse the banks have admitted to and clam they've ceased, is still going on. The AP reported this in July; mortgage servicers in Nevada have stopped foreclosing because of a law explicitly criminalizing robo-signing. Yes, the banks are asking for a release of claims on acts, or perhaps crimes, that are ongoing. And these abuses are extensive: lying to investors about the quality of the mortgages; violating their own contracts by failing to convey mortgages properly to securitization trusts; charging fees that are impermissible under Federal law and the contracts; making a mess of property records and engaging in deceptive consumer practices through the use of MERS; and engaging in document forgeries and fabrications in foreclosures. All these people trying to give the banks "a settlement" are in fact immunizing banks against acts they are committing and will commit going forward. Only in the future, when a voter complains to his or her state AG, that official will have to explain to that voter that his/her rights have been given away.

    We're talking about an ongoing case of criminal theft of private property by mortgage servicers charging illegal fees and then using fraudulent documents to foreclose. Now, a settlement implies that this practice is over, and that the banks are remediating past wrongs. It isn't over, but the AGs and Federal regulators are treating it as if it is. Think about this incentive - why should a bank change its mortgage servicing once it has immunity for robo-signing, origination, pyramiding of fees, etc? The last consent decrees weren't enforced, why would this one be enforced?

    But, hey - what's a little economy-wrecking when you can bamboozle the people into giving you another four years as King of the World?

    Just when I think I couldn't be more disgusted...


    jeebus (none / 0) (#133)
    by ruffian on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 05:24:05 PM EST
    Yes, glad my dinner is still thawing. I did not realize they were pushing for proactive forgiveness as well. Surprised? Guess I should not be.

    I know it will take a long time, but the whole story will be known someday. I don't have a lot of hope for any kind of justice. Wish I believed in a punitive god.


    The "whole story?" (none / 0) (#172)
    by NYShooter on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 03:39:53 AM EST
    I'll tell you the whole story:

    Goldman Sachs (or any of the other swine) gets caught with their hands in the cookie. After "extensive" talks with the SEC and Justice Dept, they agree to a "settlement": The thieves get to keep the Billions they stole, they pay a pittance penalty, (and don`t you just love this one...."neither admit, nor deny" any wrongdoing, and then they all meet at the Four Seasons to celebrate that "Justice was done."

    Now, don't you feel just a little bit guilty for thinking there's a double standard for the rich?


    Baawaaa (none / 0) (#92)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 03:50:14 PM EST
    So you're finally blaming Bush. Bush sat around with his thumb up his butt for years and did nothing. McCain at least tried so I will give him that. Fact of the matter is, Bush could have cared less about this type of thing.

    Uh, did you even bother (none / 0) (#116)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 04:46:06 PM EST
    to read the 9/11/2003 NYT link?

    Evidently not.

    Nothing new there.


    Baawaaa (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 06:08:29 PM EST
    Bush wanted the foxes to watch the hen house is what that boils down to. Just admit that Bush was a total loser and move on. There's a reason he left office with the lowest approval rating ever recorded.

    That's just nonsense and typical of you (none / 0) (#160)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 08:53:18 PM EST
    claiming things that are not supported by the record.

    The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.

    Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry.

    The new agency would have the authority, which now rests with Congress, to set one of the two capital-reserve requirements for the companies. It would exercise authority over any new lines of business. And it would determine whether the two are adequately managing the risks of their ballooning portfolios.

    The plan is an acknowledgment by the administration that oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- which together have issued more than $1.5 trillion in outstanding debt -- is broken. A report by outside investigators in July concluded that Freddie Mac manipulated its accounting to mislead investors, and critics have said Fannie Mae does not adequately hedge against rising interest rates.


    And of course Barney opposed it.


    Heh, heh, heh ... (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by Yman on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 07:07:49 PM EST
    That same, old link trying to pretend the Bush administration wanted to do something about Fannie/Freddie?  Funny stuff, considering that Republicans were merely reacting to the Fannie/Freddie accounting scandal, and they never even moved a bill out of committee.  Despite controlling the Presidency and both houses of Congress in 2003, they talked about the need for reform and then (as attention to the scandal died down) did nothing.

    Are you hiding behind Barney?? (none / 0) (#161)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 08:54:55 PM EST
    Answer this.

    What would have happened if Barney and the rest of the Demos had embraced reform??


    someone's (none / 0) (#169)
    by jondee on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 10:03:17 PM EST
    hiding from reality behind Roger Ailes and the Heritage Foundation..

    From whence did Barney Frank obtain these omnipotent powers; to cloud the minds of the President and all his numerous conservative allies to what was occurring, and bend them all to his will like that, Jim?

    Some little understood yankee-liberal-gay-voodoo?

    What's your theory?



    No need to hide behind anyone (none / 0) (#176)
    by Yman on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 08:08:34 AM EST
    But I will give you a little history lesson on Fannie/Freddie regulation since 2003.

    Democrats, including Frank, did support efforts to strengthen oversight of Fannie and Freddie.  All of the efforts for reform in the aftermath of the Fannie/Freddie died in the Republican-controlled House and Senate, never even making it out of committee.  This included (just in 2003) HR2022, HR2117, HR2575, HR2803, HR2897, S1508, S1656, and HR3507.  Then, after the heat from the scandal had died down, the House overwhelmingly passed HR1461 by a vote of 331-90*, including a large majority of Democrats.

    A few months later on October 26, 2005 (the day the House was scheduled to vote on H.R. 1461) the Bush Administration issued a Statement of Administration Policy opposing the House Republican GSE bill.It then died in the Republican-controlled Senate.  In September, 2006, Frank and Oxley sent a bipartisan letter to Senator Shelby urging GSE reform. Many Democrats and Republicans signed this letter urging the Senate to act.

    Finally, in March, 2007 (after Democrats took control of the House and Senate) H.R. 1427 was passed out of commitee by a vote of 49-15. The legislation had the support of the Bush Administration.  In May, 2007 it was passed by a vote of 313-104 - all opposition came from Republicans.

    * Frank voted in favor of the bill on the commitee vote, but voted against the bill when it reached the floor - not because of any opposition to reforming the GSEs, but because the Republican leadership decided to cut out funding for faith-based charities that provide low-income rental housing from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

    "No charge for the education".



    I don't know, my friend (5.00 / 1) (#183)
    by NYShooter on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 11:19:33 AM EST
    You sure a glutton for punishment.

    You know how Mr. Social Liberal, and the Winger platoon he sails with, operate. They are impervious to the truth. The response is always the same. They throw out whatever crap their Pied Piper of the day is expounding, and then snicker like a chuckle head like they've "gotcha." Then, when they're called on it, they reach for their "truth deflector shields," ignore everything you've said, and respond to a charge that was only made in their own heads, and proceed with the chuckle head chuckle.

    But, you seem to have fun with it, so, "no harm no foul," I guess.


    I think I just have ... (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by Yman on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 12:07:16 PM EST
    ... a lower tolerance for winger myths.  Your approach is probably the better one, but if they're not called on their BS, people who don't know better start to believe them.  Probably not such an issue here at TL, but when you know they're just pulling it out of their @ss, it's a little hard to take.



    "Smoking Gun" (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by Yman on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 01:48:03 PM EST
    In a 17-year-old article, interpreted by Investor's Business Daily.



    I was not aware that facts change with age (none / 0) (#121)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 04:49:15 PM EST
    I mean, the things I learn.

    You're not "learning" anything (none / 0) (#147)
    by Yman on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 06:31:11 PM EST
    ... except for more straw arguments.

    Facts don't change with age.  What changes is silly, winger theories when they find an old document that they think supports their fairy tales.


    Sorry that facts upset you so. (none / 0) (#165)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 09:06:55 PM EST
    Facts don't upset me (none / 0) (#177)
    by Yman on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 08:12:36 AM EST
    In fact, I love facts.

    It's silly, unsupported, winger opinions that are so funny - like this piece from winger IBD.


    From the link (none / 0) (#195)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Nov 03, 2011 at 08:56:38 AM EST
    At President Clinton's direction, no fewer than 10 federal agencies issued a chilling ultimatum to banks and mortgage lenders to ease credit for lower-income minorities or face investigations for lending discrimination and suffer the related adverse publicity. They also were threatened with denial of access to the all-important secondary mortgage market and stiff fines, along with other penalties.

    Bubble? Regulators Blew It

    The threat was codified in a 20-page "Policy Statement on Discrimination in Lending" and entered into the Federal Register on April 15, 1994, by the Interagency Task Force on Fair Lending. Clinton set up the little-known body to coordinate an unprecedented crackdown on alleged bank redlining.

    The edict -- completely overlooked by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and the mainstream media -- was signed by then-HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, Attorney General Janet Reno, Comptroller of the Currency Eugene Ludwig and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, along with the heads of six other financial regulatory agencies.

    Facts be facts


    And fairy tales ... (none / 0) (#196)
    by Yman on Thu Nov 03, 2011 at 09:10:27 AM EST
    ... be fairy tales.

    Yes, the Clinton administration pressured lenders to stop discriminatory lending practices and redlining - as they should.

    The rest is just winger opinion and fairy tales.


    I never knew that people with poor credit (none / 0) (#199)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Nov 03, 2011 at 12:52:10 PM EST
    Deserved a loan...

    But they got'em.

    And we have the mess.

    Facts be facts.


    You "never knew" ... (none / 0) (#200)
    by Yman on Thu Nov 03, 2011 at 01:08:12 PM EST
    ... a lot of things, including the straw argument you're making.

    Of course, anyone who bothers to look at actual facts and data knows that the CRA did not cause the financial crisis.


    Not news (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by ruffian on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 04:39:00 PM EST
    You are telling me they were so scared of losing racial discrimination suits that they threw away all standards.

    I'm quite sure they would have lost plenty of discrimination suits, but not nearly as much money as they have lost trying to avoid them.



    And (none / 0) (#19)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 01:00:43 PM EST
    What is the fascination with (none / 0) (#115)
    by coast on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 04:44:46 PM EST
    trying to find a "smoking gun" in this debacle?  The fact is it wasn't just the Community Reinvestment Act, it wasn't just the banks, or the rating agencies, or the mortgage brokers, or the borrowers.  It was a failure of the entire system.  The system had controls and they were ignored. Everyone was chasing the easy money, from the banks to the people borrowing the money.  Corporate and individual responsibility were thrown aside.  The sooner that you (we) can come to grips with that, the sooner we can dig ourselves out of this.

    On a side note, I found it interesting to see that the fine executives at Frannie and Freddie decided to give themselves some pretty hefty bonuses for the fine job they are doing - that is continuing to appear before congress to ask for more billions on top of the $160 billion taxpayers have already given to them.  Will the OWSers march on their homes?  I won't hold my breath waiting to see.


    March on the head of Fannie and Freddie (none / 0) (#166)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 09:08:04 PM EST

    Of course not.


    It was a failure of the entire system. (none / 0) (#180)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 09:22:25 AM EST

    But the root cause of the failure was the lowering of mortgage underwriting standards as innovated by Fannie and Freddie.

    If they had stuck to the traditional requirements of 20% down, proof of employment, and credit history then none of the follow on consequences would have occurred.  



    "root cause".. (none / 0) (#193)
    by jondee on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 01:56:28 PM EST
    let's not forget that the lowering of those standards enabled the banks to bundle subprimes together and sell them, raking in hundreds of billions in the process..

    So, let's not be so reckless about reducing this to a simpleminded Koch brothers narrative about the disasterous results of commie, social engineering.

    People have had their intelligence insulted enough in the last ten years.


    So quit insulting (none / 0) (#197)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Nov 03, 2011 at 10:15:16 AM EST
    Facts are this:

    1. Carter's and later Clinton's initiatives were fueled by good intentions.

    2. See "Road to Hell and good intentions."

    3. They were polluted by the greed of politicians who wanted to buy votes by opposing Bush's attempts to rein in the out of control "programs."  

    4. Clinton further expanded the programs in 1999.

    What this was going to do was understood. At least by some.

    ''Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990's by reducing down payment requirements,'' said Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae's chairman and chief executive officer. ''Yet there remain too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our underwriting has required who have been relegated to paying significantly higher mortgage rates in the so-called subprime market.

    Translation. Their credit is so poor that they can't get a loan unless it is in the sub prime market.

    Question. Why does the sub prime market exist and why does sub prime loans cost more?

    Answer: It exists to loan money to higher risk customers and it costs more because the failure rate is higher. More people default. But the higher interest rates still yield a profit to the lender.

    In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980's.

    Now that is the New York Times, 9/30/1999. More:

    ''From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,'' said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ''If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.''

    Wallison had it exactly correct.

    But the bigger thing is this. What does Fannie do?

    Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, does not lend money directly to consumers. Instead, it purchases loans that banks make on what is called the secondary market. By expanding the type of loans that it will buy, Fannie Mae is hoping to spur banks to make more loans to people with less-than-stellar credit ratings.

    NYTimes link

    This created the perfect storm. It sent a signal to the industry that the government would not let the lenders be harmed.

    From that came the buyers who thought they couldn't lose so they decided they could just have what they wanted. And an unreasonable demand was driving home prices up and the real estate sellers  and agents did nothing to slow it down and the "upstream" people saw a chance to make risk free billions.

    Guess what happened. All of that came true. And you and I are paying for it.

    5. Bush should have tried harder to rein in the out of control plans. But, he didn't. Of course blaming him for this is like blaming parents for the sins of their children.


    Posted a new short story to the blog (none / 0) (#25)
    by Dadler on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 01:17:37 PM EST
    I'm not going to opine (none / 0) (#28)
    by sj on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 01:28:46 PM EST
    as to whether this is good or bad.
    Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou faced calls from within his own party to step down on Tuesday after he threw the nation's euro zone membership into jeopardy by calling a referendum on a bailout package agreed only last week.

    I will only observe that TPTB have got to be getting very, very nervous that the automatic response to "Jump!" is no longer "How high?"

    I will say that I think this was very brave.  Even though it may have been a "d@mned if you do, d@mned if you don't" position he was in.

    Isn't that more chickening out then being (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by tigercourse on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:30:51 PM EST
    brave? He doesn't want to be responsible (which is the same problem Greek pols have had for decades) so he's pawining it off on the people.

    Imagine such a thing...the people (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:41:57 PM EST
    actually getting to weigh in on what's happening in their country...

    Don't they know that that's not their place?  That those sorts of decisions are best left to a handful of people who probably won't feel the negative effects of those decisions?

    Sheesh...this let-the-people-be-heard thing is just crazy talk.  Crazy.


    I would agree with you and SJ (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by coast on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 05:19:05 PM EST
    if there were a chance in h$ll that this might pass if put before the people for a vote.  But the fact is, the people would never approve this deal so he is chickening out.  If your kid does something wrong and you believe they will take responsibility for their actions, then its ok to ask them what a proper punishment is.  But if they are just going to say "hey I feel bad about what I did so I think thats enough", then what has the kid actually learned?  Nothing.

    If the people reject this deal, then the dominos will begin to fall and it isn't going to be pretty.


    Although, if the voters diss the deal, (none / 0) (#62)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:43:28 PM EST
    they will bear the financial consequences.  Not pretty.  

    The voters will also bear the (none / 0) (#79)
    by sj on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 03:12:03 PM EST
    consequences if the deal is approved. Also not pretty.

    I strangely (none / 0) (#66)
    by CST on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:50:30 PM EST
    find myself agreeing with both of you.

    I think this is the right decision and the chicken decision.

    Some days they just happen to be the same thing.


    Well, the people of Greece are not blameless (none / 0) (#67)
    by tigercourse on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 02:51:04 PM EST
    in this fiasco. They should have considered not cheating on their taxes and taking jobs where they did no work but got paid with money from the very loans they now wish to default on.

    Depends on your point of view (none / 0) (#73)
    by sj on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 03:05:25 PM EST
    He is under tremendous pressure from the entire global and European financial community to move this deal forward.  This is in spite of the fact that the current austerity measures have angry people in the streets.  Never mind how much angrier they'll be after this deal.

    The financial community appears to be furious that what they viewed as done deal is now back on the table.  I think the easier thing to do was let the deal move forward.  It is unlikely to be ratified by a popular vote.  Frankly, I think the people should be invested in it if the deal doesn't go through.  They're more likely to work together after the fallout.

    Basically, he didn't have a good choice.  But if he was going to go populist, it was smart to do before any of the complaining parties got wind of it.

    By the way, this?

    He doesn't want to be responsible (which is the same problem Greek pols have had for decades)

    Could be rewritten this way:
    He doesn't want to be responsible (which is the same problem ALL pols have had for decades)

    I can't opine on the financial sense this makes (although I do have an opinion).  I have always been better at the sociological analysis than the financial analysis.

    So that's the long answer.  The short answer is, "nope.  It's brave"


    I Am Tired of This Albatrose... (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 03:28:27 PM EST
    ...around our necks.  My financial future is somehow dependent on the Greeks/European ability to fix their financial problems.

    Just one more reason to despise Corporate America and the Globalization of everything.  These are people I have no control over, at least here, there is the appearance of control by vote.

    And unless I want to make a dismal rate on my retirement, it has to be linked into Wall Street, which in turn is linked into the whims of, at least today, the Greek PM.

    Up and Down with my GD future and I am sick of it.

    Brave, brave would be sucking it up and quit putting the rest of the world through the ringer with indecisiveness.  If the deal wasn't cool, then he should not have agreed to it.  These political stunts are killing us little folks world wide.


    Well, that would be braver surely (none / 0) (#102)
    by sj on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 04:14:43 PM EST
    But I definitely didn't expect him to buck TPTB at all, even as subversively as he did it.  

    So I stand by my original assessment.  His political career is likely over.  He will have no financial support from the moneyed class and while he may be removed from office immediately, it is almost certain that if it doesn't happen now, it will happen at the next election.

    Our retirement funds are ephemeral no matter which way Greece goes.  The peoples of Greece are just as much of a victim as we are.

    But really, wouldn't you have likde a referendum on the Wall Street/bank bailout before it happened?  (I say this knowing that we don't have a national referendum)


    What I Was Trying to Say (5.00 / 2) (#112)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 04:38:50 PM EST
    Is that my only real avenue is global.  I'm not particularly mad at Greece, but their financial woes should not determine at what age I retire and how much is in my pocket when I am 80.

    Ditto for Wall Street, folks in Germany shouldn't have to feel the financial pain of our legislatures inability to contain it's crooks.

    Essentially, a vote in America has little to do with ones financial security because it's all globalized.

    So in that regard, no one in the world is democratized, we have very little input in our financial futures.  The referendum isn't a good analogy, because the crisis is global, yet one country is deciding the turnout in the short term, possibly the long term.

    I get that we are all victims, but in reality we should be victims of our own government, the ones we supposedly control.  Ditto for referendums, they should effect the people who are voting on them or their representatives, no some chumps, us included, on the other side of the planet.  Who have absolutely no say in it, yet effects us in a very real way.


    Things that should make people's (none / 0) (#89)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 03:44:15 PM EST
    blood boil...

    It's this settlement with the big banks and mortgage servicers that the administration is just more determined than ever to push through.

    Mike Lux has a piece up at HuffPo on this. After explaining that he very much still supports Obama, he goes on to say (all bold is mine):

    A dozen banks would contribute a grand total of $3.5 to 5 billion toward the settlement, pocket change for massive companies that apparently approved their foreclosure mill law firms likely committing over 1,000,000 counts of perjury in the robo-signing process. The rest of the money, about $20 billion, would come in the form of "credits" banks essentially give themselves if they agree to reduce a certain amount of the principal owed on mortgages. We don't know the details yet, but given that all banks in the home lending industry write down some mortgages, unless the details are tough on the banks (a phrase not generally heard of among regulators in this era), this will be giving banks credit for mortgages they would be writing down anyway. And if they don't end up writing down as much as they project, they probably won't end up being penalized for it given the history of programs like HAMP.

    And in exchange for the pocket change penalty and agreeing to get credit for doing what they would have done anyway (which would be very big of them), banks would be given legal immunity for all those perjury counts and all the other fraudulent activity done through the MERS corporation -- a shell corporation set up by the biggest banks to help them securitize all those mortgages into the financial products that caused the housing bubble and financial panic of 2008.


    If the administration rams through this ultimate in Wall Street sweetheart deals -- a laughably pocket change fine combined with "credit" for what they would have done anyway, at the expense for a get out of jail free card for 1 million counts of perjury and a wide range of other potential fraud -- they will have zero credibility to run as the tough on Wall Street candidate. ZERO.

    but that's their plan, according to Lux: run against Wall Street.

    This makes no sense. For example, for the Obama administration to be leaning so hard on California Attorney General Kamala Harris to sign off on this is truly politically suicidal, both for them and for her after she so strongly announced she was pulling out a couple of weeks ago. Yet they continue to push her. Why are they pushing so hard for this? It all boils down to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. It is apparent that Geithner believes the only thing that matters in terms of fixing the economy is to keep the big banks in good financial shape, which is ironic given that in public he claims that everything is fine with the banking sector now.


    But the cult of Geithner seems to reign supreme inside this administration. No matter how much damage Geithner's policies will do to this President, the administration is still following his lead.  


    This is high-stakes drama, folks. Pay close attention to what happens next, because it may well determine the fate of both the American economy for the next 10 years and the 2012 election. Let's hope the Obama administration gets some sense on this issue, because by continuing on the path they are with this deal to once again bail out the banks from their own law breaking and incompetence, they are in danger of destroying all the good things they have done to shore themselves up politically these last couple of months. The political folks like Dave Plouffe need to understand the policy Tim Geithner is pushing is in direct contradiction with their political strategy of taking on Wall Street and will blow up badly in their faces. You can't give the Wall Street guys the ultimate sweetheart deal, and then try to run against Wall Street, or run as fighting for the middle class. As my old boss Bill Clinton used to say, that dog just won't hunt.

    This is, as near as I can tell, the Obama team in a nutshell: find a good political message, bang the crap out of it, but, meantime, make policy decisions that are 180 degrees in the other direction; I don't know whether they think we won't notice, or that the consequences of these decisions don't mean anything as long as he's re-elected, but I think Lux is right when he says:

    And look, it won't be just me who will notice how bad this deal is -- and I'm a ton more sympathetic to the President than many of the people who will. Reporters like Morgenson will keep blasting away. Economists like former IMF chief economist Simon Johnson and Nobel Prize winners Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman will be outraged. The tens of thousands of people occupying cities all across America will turn on the White House. The millions who have signed online petitions on Wall Street issues will be devastated. Organizations that are usually Obama's allies like labor and MoveOn.org will likely condemn the deal. And at the end of that entire outcry, they will have no credibility left to ever tell voters they are tough on Wall Street. According to exit polls last year, by a sizeable margin more voters blame Wall Street for our economic mess than blame either Obama or Bush, and they were swing voters -- the kind of voters who broke for Obama in 2008 and Republicans in 2010. But those voters will have no reason to think Obama will be more on their side instead of on Wall Street's if he pushes this deal through.


    Poor Mike Lux just does not understand (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by ruffian on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 06:06:04 PM EST
    how many Independents will be won over by this brilliant compromise with the banks. And think how the moderate members of the GOP will flock to the polls to vote for him!

    I read (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 06:10:52 PM EST
    that article and it's good. Obama and the yes men he seems to surround himself will certainly try to pull off this stuff I'm sure though. It seems both parties seem to think that all the voters are incredibly stupid.

    Now don't you wish (none / 0) (#111)
    by sj on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 04:38:14 PM EST
    that we had a provision for a national referendum?

    Then why is he complaining? (none / 0) (#126)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 04:56:20 PM EST
    After explaining that he very much still supports Obama, he goes on to say (all bold is mine):

    Well, if you had bothered to read the (none / 0) (#132)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 05:20:02 PM EST
    article, you would have gotten an answer to your question:

    I have had a somewhat up-and-down history with the folks in the Obama administration. I was proud to be their liaison to the progressive community during the Obama-Biden Presidential transition, and have labored mightily to help them at several key junctures during this first term. I have been quite critical of them at times on political strategy and specific policies, but have always supported them overall because I know Barack Obama is a far superior president to any of the extremist lunatics in the Republican Party: I definitely prefer a sane, intelligent president to one of those turkeys. I have been especially appreciative of their outreach to me and other progressives since Rahm Emanuel left for Chicago, and have been thrilled with Obama's newfound messaging toughness on jobs and taxing millionaires over the last couple of months.


    It's not that I am taking any of the above back: I still very much want Obama to win re-election in 2012 against Mr. 1%, Mitt Romney, or any of the other Republicans who might get the nomination. But I fear that without a major change of course, the administration is choosing a path which will be devastating both economically and for them politically in 2012. I figure my friends at the White House getting mad at me is well worth it if I can contribute to saving them from themselves.


    I have banged away on this topic with my old friends in the administration for a while, which is why I feel like I have no other choice to go public with this.

    Do you ever do your homework?


    This IS a funny line, however (5.00 / 1) (#175)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 08:05:21 AM EST
    It's not that I am taking any of the above back: I still very much want Obama to win re-election in 2012 against Mr. 1%, Mitt Romney, or any of the other Republicans who might get the nomination.

    Yeah, 'cuz Obama is a 99% er.....


    And more hilarity (5.00 / 1) (#178)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 08:17:42 AM EST
    David Plouffe was quoted as saying "We intend to make it [being tough on Wall Street] one of the central elements of the campaign next year." And they are absolutely right to do so, as that kind of populist messaging against the most unpopular institution in America is exactly what the doctor ordered in these tough times. I have been advocating a tough-on-Wall Street message for the Obama White House ever since they took office, and couldn't have been more pleased to see this emerge as a central strategy. But if the administration rams through this ultimate in Wall Street sweetheart deals -- a laughably pocket change fine combined with "credit" for what they would have done anyway, at the expense for a get out of jail free card for 1 million counts of perjury and a wide range of other potential fraud -- they will have zero credibility to run as the tough on Wall Street candidate. ZERO.

    Of course - because what's important is that the WH is sending out a "tough on Wall Street" message, and not actually doing anything to actually be "tough on Wall Street."


    And one more (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 08:21:17 AM EST
    No matter how much damage Geithner's policies will do to this President, the administration is still following his lead.

    Not to mention how much damage Geithner's policies (separate, of course from Obama's) will do to this country.


    jb, you are not alone in your reaction (5.00 / 2) (#182)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 09:45:34 AM EST
    to this piece, trust me.  

    On the one hand, he knows Obama will be better than any Republican (the standard but-the-other-guy-will-be-worse argument), and he also knows that the settlement Obama's pushing is, hands-down, just wrong, damaging to the economy, bad for those in foreclosure or who have been harmed by this mess - but - what really has him in a tizzy is that the political strategy, to run against Wall Street even as Obama has been working a deal that will benefit them, has the potential to sink his chances to be re-elected.

    Does this mean that, were that not the stated plan, Lux would not have spoken out?  I'm beginning to wonder.

    Lux has absolutely nailed the Geithner "problem," but neither that, nor the sweetheart deal Obama's pushing is enough to send him into the if-he-does-all-of-this-I-will-not-vote-for-him camp.

    In other words, Lux has written what amounts to a sternly-worded letter; I'm sure he feels better, and I'm sure he's being treated like some kind of speaker of truth to power, but in the end, he might as well have saved his rhetorical breath, because he doesn't intend to impose any consequence for Obama's terrible policies and decisions.

    Same old, same old.