ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points [119] -- Democrats, Sell Yourselves!

[ Posted Friday, April 16th, 2010 – 16:43 PDT ]

There was an amusing story in the news recently about some folks who got word that a beer company had sent hundreds of cases of beer to the local dump, because it was past its expiration date. Finding this a shame, these enterprising folks "liberated" themselves 50 cases of free beer, presumably to drink it forthwith. The most amusing part was the closing quote in the article, from the beer company's president: "Beer is a popular product."

Well, yes. It is. One might almost say beer sells itself. Almost, until you remember the zillions of dollars beer companies spend on advertising (see: any random sports event on television), and the fact that the bottles and boxes those folks swiped were prominently marked with the brand name of the beer. The motto of the story (for our purposes here today) is: Beer itself is popular -- so popular it does indeed "sell itself" -- but you've got to sell the brand for it to do any good for your particular company.

Which brings us to the Democrats. Now, Democrats as a whole have actually had a pretty good week out there, since the battle is truly being joined on the Wall Street reform bill heading to the Senate floor. More on this in a bit. Republicans are squirming, because they are put in the position of doing Wall Street's bidding while they desperately try to convince people that they are actually against Wall Street's interest in the matter. In other words, they're (once again) peddling the Big Lie.

But this time, surprisingly, Democrats are fighting back. And Republicans are quickly painting themselves into a corner, and they haven't even realized it yet. The Republican party line is that they want "stronger" Wall Street reform than the Democrats. Of course, this is total hogwash -- what they really want to do is kill the bill altogether, and allow the financial system to continue running under the very rules which led it off a cliff (taking the American economy with them). But, in order to sell it to what is increasingly an angry populist Republican base -- anger directed at Wall Street itself, I should mention -- the Republicans are trying to say they're for strong reform, and the Democrats are offering up watered-down reform which will lead to "endless bailouts" and won't solve the problem of "too big to fail."

Democrats have leapt at this opportunity so far, and will likely do so on the floor of the Senate as well (if a filibuster is somehow avoided) -- "You want stronger reform? Fine! Let's strengthen the bill!" This is not exactly the desired Republican outcome, which is why Republicans really wish the whole issue would just go away.

Democrats, for once, appear to be itching to have this fight. So, as I said, it's been a pretty good week for Democrats. But, as we'll get to in the talking points part of the program, Democrats need to not only fight the good fight on current legislation, they've got to get a lot better about taking credit for good things they've already done. But before we get to that, let's single out a few Democrats for some praise, first.

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

I saw a headline this week that put a smile on my face: "Harry Reid Charging Ahead On Wall Street Reform" (OK, it was in the Huffington Post, but still...). I had to read it twice, just to make sure I really had seen "Harry Reid" and "Charging Ahead" next to each other.

All kidding aside, Reid is indeed showing some backbone here. This will become more evident next week, as the bill gets to the floor, but for refusing to back down (so far), Harry at least deserves an Honorable Mention this week. Give 'em hell, Harry!

Also deserving of an Honorable Mention is President Obama, who has (one really would like to hope) learned his lesson from the health reform effort. Obama is not only forcefully taking on the Republican nonsense on the issue, but he is also threatening to veto anything which comes before him which isn't strong enough -- a threat sorely missing in the health reform debate. In other words, Obama seems to be saying, "I'm not letting Rahm Emanuel cut a bunch of deals on this one, to water it down into nothingness." Again... one would sincerely like to hope. But so far, Obama has actually been drawing some pretty strong lines in the sand on Wall Street reform, and signaled that the White House is going to use the bully pulpit to fight hard for individual provisions of the bill. And that, at the very beginning of this Senate battle, is a good sign indeed. Keep up the good work!

But the real winner of this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award is Senator Chris Dodd. As chairman of the Senate committee responsible for financial reform, Dodd was the one who wrote the bill everyone's now talking about. He tried for months on end to get Republicans to agree, and incorporated many of their ideas in his bill. This fell apart a few weeks ago, when it was obvious that the Republicans wanted to endlessly dither and run the clock out on the bill. Quite predictably, the Republicans (led by Mitch McConnell) have been out there (with their Frank Luntz talking points in hand), trying to convince everyone that up is down, black is white, and wrong is right. As usual.

Faced by this onslaught, Dodd shot back. Everyone who cringed at the Democrats last August for not strongly countering Republican lies (see: "death panels") really needs to treat themselves to reading or watching Dodd's response, delivered on the floor of the Senate. Dodd does not mince words:

Mr. President, I rise today to set the record straight on some of the rhetoric I've heard over the past couple of days when it comes to financial reform.

Now, as I've said repeatedly during the many months we've been working on this important legislation, these are complex issues. There is room for disagreement and debate.

However, Mr. President, that debate -- critical as it is to the future of our economy and to the livelihoods of millions of middle class families across this country -- that debate should not be sullied by misinformation, or derailed by those who would try and make it just another partisan game.

Unfortunately, the talking points deployed by Wall Street Lobbyists in an effort to protect a status quo that leaves my constituents and all Americans vulnerable to another economic crisis -- those arguments are littered with falsehoods, outright falsehoods that I regret to say are now being repeated by people who should know better.

Do yourself a favor -- read the entire thing, as Dodd goes on to eviscerate every Republican argument to date.

Dodd will be leading the effort to pass Wall Street reform. And he doesn't appear to be shying away from fighting for it, either. The important thing here is that all of this is happening at the beginning of the fight. Democrats are not going to succeed in getting public opinion behind their bill if they let their opponents define it. And, so far, they've been doing an excellent job defining it themselves, for once.

I've always said this is a good fight to have in an election year, because defending Wall Street fatcats is just not going to be all that popular with the voters right now. Democrats appear engaged and feisty on the issue so far, which is heartening and impressive indeed. So we salute Chris Dodd for leading this fight with this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award. Well done, Senator Dodd! Keep fighting!

[Congratulate Senator Chris Dodd on his Senate contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

No prominent Democrats sprang to mind when contemplating the past week. So, instead, we're going to award our first-ever Most Disappointing Progressive Corporation Of The Week. Since we can't exactly call a corporation a "Democrat" (well, maybe we can, not sure what the Supreme Court would say about that... ahem), we're changing the award this week to the MDPCOTW, and the "PC" in that should be seen as a subtle insult, as well.

Because this week, Apple Computers went a bit too far. They turned down a Pulitzer Prize-winner from registering his own iPhone app, to deliver his animations to Apple's customers. Mark Fiore was rejected by Apple because his content "ridicules public figures." Which makes me immediately wonder if there's an iPhone app to get The Onion or not, but that's beside the point. The point is that this is an online-only political cartoonist who won a freakin' Pulitzer Prize, guys!

Now, Apple is within its rights. It's their product, their App Store, so they get to set the standards. Which they do -- they have a clause in their developers' agreement that clearly states they can ban anything they find objectionable. And Fiore is already available to iPhone viewers (such as on his YouTube channel).

But the real point is that Apple -- who introduced the Macintosh by promising us all they were the reason why "1984 won't be like 'Nineteen Eighty-Four' " in a memorable Super Bowl ad -- should really reconsider this decision, because of the likely harm to their corporate image this story could bring them.

The Washington Post blog "Faster Forward" (written by Rob Pegoraro) is really taking on Apple over this issue, so anyone interested in the outcome should probably look to Pegoraro for any updates on the situation. For what Fiore aptly calls Apple's "un-Apple-like" behavior, we award the first-ever Most Disappointing Progressive Corporation Of The Week prize to Apple Computers. Ironically, we're giving this award in our weekly section which is dedicated to ridiculing public figures.

[Contact Apple on their company contact page, to let them know what you think of their actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 119 (4/16/10)

Yesterday, on tax day, thousands of people took to the streets to thank President Obama and the Democrats in Congress for passing the stimulus bill which gave them all an extra four hundred dollars back on their taxes this year, and for making the average tax burden this year the lowest in 60 years on American families. Right? Um....

Well, no. They didn't. Because most of them had never heard about any of that. Part of last year's stimulus package was a tax credit which just about any working family (making anything from a minimum wage to a middle-class wage) got this year -- but which very few people knew about. This is a massive communications failure on the part of Democrats, up to and including President Obama.

But this isn't the only issue which Democrats haven't been boasting about. There are quite a number of things which Democrats inexplicably seem to be keeping secret, instead of bragging about them. Which goes back to branding. Tax cuts may sell themselves to the public, but unless you brand it, you don't get the political credit for passing them. Do you think, if the Republicans had passed a tax credit of four hundred bucks (eight hundred for married couples), they wouldn't have been screaming about it to the skies for the past year? By now, they'd likely be calling it the "Ronald Reagan Memorial Tax Credit" or something. But -- here's a quick quiz -- how many people have heard about the "Making Work Pay Tax Credit" yet? If you answered "yes," how many of you heard about it when you filled your tax forms out, and happily discovered this free gift; and how many heard about it from Democratic politicians explaining the tax relief they had passed over the objections of Republicans?

Sigh.

But, to get back to the larger point, why the Democrats appear so willing to always hide their light under a barrel is beyond me. Democrats should have realized that the fact that they've successfully painted the Republicans as the "Party of No" (Republicans even embrace the term, now), doesn't mean that they shouldn't point out what, exactly, they've been saying "Yes" to in the meantime. Republicans have handed a silver lining (or a blessing in disguise) by being so united against anything President Obama wants to do. Republicans think the severe partisan split in Congress works to their advantage, but it can easily work to the Democrats advantage -- if they'd only get out there and proudly defend their actions. Brag a little, even! And don't forget, in every sentence, remind voters that "Democrats did this, while Republicans tried to stop us."

Anyway, enough ranting. Let's get on to our own talking points for Democrats everywhere to use this weekend, especially those who would like to get elected or re-elected this fall.

 

1
   Obama cut your taxes

This one can be used either in a discussion about taxes, or whenever lazy journalists ask politicians questions about "what America believes" from some poll or another.

"Well, there's a real disconnect between public opinion and the reality of the situation. For instance, President Obama and the Democrats in Congress enacted some pretty serious tax cuts for 95 percent of American workers -- all but the extremely wealthy. But, in polling, the public seems to think their own taxes have gone up since Obama took office, by a wide margin. The fact remains -- Obama and the Democrats cut nearly everyone's taxes. Any American taxpayer who got their 'Making Work Pay' tax credit this year -- four hundred dollars per person, eight hundred for couples -- should thank the President and the Democrats for including this tax break for working families in last year's stimulus package. And they should thank Obama again next year, when they will get another four hundred dollar break on their taxes, too. President Obama and the Democrats have brought taxes on American families to the lowest point they've been in 60 years, with almost no support from Republicans."

 

2
   The stimulus is working

This one is a tough case to make, since you're basically making the case that "things would have been worse" -- which, since they didn't, is more of a hypothetical to most voters. But that doesn't mean Democrats shouldn't be defending the stimulus a lot more than they have in the past.

"The stimulus package that passed last year is now working, as we see our economy slowly improving. This is exactly what it was designed to do. It front-loaded some money, which helped in the immediate crisis last year, and then it spread other money out over a two-year period, to help sustain the economic recovery over time. Democrats passed this stimulus with very little support from the Republicans, even though several Republican ideas were included in the bill. Without the stimulus, the economy would have been in a lot worse shape today, that's for sure. And you don't have to take my word for it, ask just about any economist that question, and they'll tell you -- the stimulus is working."

 

3
   We're making a profit on the "bailouts"

This one just astonishes me, personally, because Democrats (from Treasury Secretary Geithner on down) have never even really attempted to counter the demonization of the word "bailout" by the Republicans (even though, remember, the bailouts themselves happened under a Republican president and with Republican support in Congress). The "Troubled Asset Relief Program" (TARP) money they passed back then was painted as Washington just shoveling tax dollars at Wall Street for free, with no strings attached. This is just flat-out wrong. Democrats need to start making this case, and redefine the issue's reality in the public mind.

"Everyone's against the word 'bailout' in Washington, and it's easy to understand why. The public is upset over the concept. But the public is missing a key part of the program, which is what I think has led to a lot of this anger. We didn't just hand Wall Street a bunch of money, we got something in return. Whether it was stock, or a loan, or whatever, the taxpayers got something of value in return for the money sent to Wall Street. Now that these companies are paying back their TARP funds, the taxpayers are actually making a profit on the money as it comes back in. Yes, you heard me right -- the taxpayers are making a profit. Now, not every bank has paid us back yet, and some institutions may not in the end if they collapse anyway, and the car companies are likely to pay back the funds a bit slower. So I can't predict whether we'll make a profit on the entire TARP amount or not at this point. But if you look at the overall picture, the public seems to think we just gave away seven hundred billion dollars to Wall Street, and that's just not true. That money is coming back steadily -- with interest in most cases. The taxpayers are making a profit on these repayments."

 

4
   The deficit is going down

Here's another one the White House should be shouting from the mountaintops, but inexplicably isn't.

"Did anyone notice the story the other day that the projected deficit for this year is now three hundred billion dollars less than the original estimates? While the overall deficit is still very high, increased tax revenues are making the budget picture look a little better. Again, that's the effect the economic recovery is having on the federal budget. We still have a lot of work to do to get the budget back into balance, but we are definitely headed in the right direction on that front, as the news of the three hundred billion drop in this year's deficit shows."

 

5
   Unemployment is steadily getting better

Once again, Democrats are nervous about even bringing this point up. The overall unemployment rate is still very high, and no politician wants to appear "out of touch" with their voters who are either looking for work or knows someone who has been laid off. But Democrats really shouldn't hesitate to point out how much improvement we've made on this front so far, and how the direction of the bikini bottom graph is improving over time. Because if things do get noticeably better by election day, Democrats really need to "brand" it as a victory for their economic policies.

"When President Obama took office, American lost around 750,000 jobs that month. Since the stimulus package passed, this number has gotten smaller and smaller, until last month we added over 100,000 jobs -- even without counting the Census jobs. This is still not good enough, but it shows that we are indeed heading in the right direction. In the meantime, all Republicans have to offer is trying to block extensions of unemployment payments to Americans who are still hurting. Democrats are fighting hard to bring jobs back to America, and the situation is getting noticeably better than where we were a year ago."

 

6
   Democrats are taking on Wall Street, Republicans are defending Wall Street

Once again, I heartily encourage everyone to read Senator Chris Dodd's floor speech in response to Republicans on Wall Street reform. It's a doozy of a speech. And, even though he does badmouth the concept of talking points, we're going to include the end of his speech as well, here, in an effort to inspire other Democrats to reach Dodd's oratory standard of excellence (in our defense, we sincerely believe that our talking points do indeed bear a close relation to reality).

To review: Our bill imposes tougher standards on large, risky Wall Street firms. It eliminates the federal government's capacity to bail out individual companies. And it requires that financial firms write their own shutdown plans and then pay for the liquidation process if it's needed.

Here's what I will say to Wall Street. If you have a better idea, let's hear it. If you have other ideas, let's debate them.

But if all you have are up-is-down, black-is-white talking points that bear no relation to reality, then get out of the way and let the serious legislators work.

The outcome of this debate affects the economic security of every single American family. It's too important that we get this right. We can't afford to play politics on this one.

 

7
   Glenn Beck says send the $800 back

And finally, in the "you just can't make this stuff up" department, we have Glenn Beck. This was brought to my attention in a recent Bob Cesca article, so I'll just turn the talking point over to him to explain:

For example, last week, a caller to Beck's radio show explained that she received an unexpected extra $800 in her IRS tax refund. The woman told Beck and his morning zoo crew that she suffered from poor health and intended to buy a treadmill with the money. Beck jumped in and inexplicably instructed her to send the money back to the IRS. He never really explained why. It turned out that the woman forgot to check off the "Making Work Pay" tax credit on her 1040EZ -- a tax cut that was included in the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act. So Glenn Beck convinced this obviously infirmed woman that it's better to refuse a tax cut because it came from "Marxist" Obama than to use the $800 tax cut to improve her health.

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground

Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

-- Chris Weigant

 

16 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [119] -- Democrats, Sell Yourselves!”

  1. [1] 
    Michale wrote:

    Brag a little, even! And don't forget, in every sentence, remind voters that "Democrats did this, while Republicans tried to stop us."

    Democrats are AFRAID to "brag"... And rightly so..

    Because the only thing, the only REAL "accomplishment" that Democrats really have to brag about is the one thing that 75% of the American public was against...

    An "accomplishment" that was done in SPITE of the harm it will do this country.

    An "accomplishment" that was done SOLELY for the sake of the Party.

    In essence, Democrats told the American people to F.O.D.

    Not much of a thing to brag about, eh??

    Michale....

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    Unemployment is steadily getting better

    "Mr President... That is not entirely accurate"
    -Secretary Nimzicki, INDEPENDENCE DAY

    :D

    Jobless Claims in Another Surprise Surge
    NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The number of Americans filing for unemployment insurance for the first time jumped for the second week in a row, according to government data released Thursday.
    http://www.wibw.com/nationalnews/headlines/90934384.html

    Because if things do get noticeably better by election day, Democrats really need to "brand" it as a victory for their economic policies.

    Of course, the flip side to that is also true.

    If unemployment doesn't show any improvement (which is possible) or actually gets worse (which is likely) you know who will get the blame for it.

    Michale.....

  3. [3] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i was watching c-span coverage of the teabaggers, and i swear i heard a politician say something like,

    "the president says he cut your taxes. does anybody here actually believe that?"

    how can someone believe or disbelieve a tax cut? it's not a point of belief, it's a point of fact; either you get more money back from the government, or you don't. so, the teabaggers may not believe in the tax cut, but i don't think they'll be sending it back.

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    how can someone believe or disbelieve a tax cut? it's not a point of belief, it's a point of fact; either you get more money back from the government, or you don't. so, the teabaggers may not believe in the tax cut, but i don't think they'll be sending it back.

    Explain to me how a $400 "tax cut" can be a cut, when the DPers are going to take back that x 10,000 in new taxes??

    Do you HONESTLY believe that CrapCare is revenue neutral??

    Doesn't seem much of a "cut", does it? :D

    Michale

  5. [5] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Explain to me how a $400 "tax cut" can be a cut, when the [dems] are going to take back that x 10,000 in new taxes?

    michale, i know you pride yourself on factuality, so please reply factually. first of all, please either provide evidence of the $4,000,000 per person tax hike, or revise your figures to reflect something factual.

    secondly, the new health insurance law has not yet been implemented, and the tax penalty for refusing to carry health insurance doesn't go into effect for years. you yourself said it was far too low - barely more than the tax cuts already in place.

    thirdly, this incredibly small tax penalty, assuming it is ever actually implemented, would only be levied on the freeloaders who pay nothing to use the hospital services your taxes and mine provide.

    fourth, and i'm just guessing you don't make more than a quarter million a year, would you rather have the money or not?

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    michale, i know you pride yourself on factuality, so please reply factually. first of all, please either provide evidence of the $4,000,000 per person tax hike, or revise your figures to reflect something factual.

    It's hyperbole... :D Perhaps you've heard of it..

    secondly, the new health insurance law has not yet been implemented,

    Really?? I could have sworn Obama signed it and it is now the law of the land..

    I guess I was wrong again...

    and the tax penalty for refusing to carry health insurance doesn't go into effect for years.

    I wasn't referring to the tax penalty, I was referring to taxes in general. Or do you believe that CrapCare can be paid for without ANY raising of taxes or prices anywhere??

    Is THAT what you are saying??

    Especially when you consider how many states are going to opt out of CrapCare as far as paying for it goes.

    you yourself said it was far too low - barely more than the tax cuts already in place.

    I said it was too low to provide a deterrent, which it is..

    thirdly, this incredibly small tax penalty, assuming it is ever actually implemented, would only be levied on the freeloaders who pay nothing to use the hospital services your taxes and mine provide.

    So, what you are saying is anyone who chooses NOT to purchase insurance is a "freeloader"...

    WOW... A quite "un liberal" statement...

    What about the very poor who can't afford CrapCare even with government hand-outs...

    Are they "freeloaders"??

    fourth, and i'm just guessing you don't make more than a quarter million a year, would you rather have the money or not?

    I would rather have a system that makes sense.

    As we ALL agreed (before CrapCare became a plus for the Democratic Party only) CrapCare doesn't make sense and it's not good for the country...

    Michale.....

  7. [7] 
    highplainswoman wrote:

    On financial reform, I'm just a bit mystified as to why nobody but nobody has pointed out the proposed "funds" would be coming from the banks themselves much in the same way the banks now contribute to the FDIC, and for approximately the same reason: to protect consumers from their own misbehavior. As to the charge the banks would only pass the fees through to their customers, I haven't noticed the banks passing through the FDIC fees. Indeed, free checking accounts are the norm now--and banks not having free checking accounts don't attract much new business.

    Secondly, doesn't it only make sense to set aside a certain amount for "rainy days"? That used to be a "common sense" idea that was abandoned at some point in the past. As a moderate liberal Democrat, I would like to point the blame in the Republicans' direction; however, I'm not sure that would be entirely accurate. All I know is that sometime in the last 15-20 years, all of us in the baby-boomer generation somehow forgot the things our parents taught us.

  8. [8] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Really?? I could have sworn Obama signed it and it is now the law of the land...

    it is, but one of its many problems is the delayed schedule for implementation.

    I guess I was wrong again...

    that wouldn't be anything new... but then, perhaps i haven't heard of sarcasm either. ;)

    do you believe that [the new law] can be paid for without ANY raising of taxes or prices anywhere??

    i don't have to believe it, the CBO and OMB analyses say it's the case.

    So, what you are saying is anyone who chooses NOT to purchase insurance is a "freeloader"...

    no, only those who can afford it and choose not to. we've been through this before. this is not to say i think the bill is any good; i'm already on record that it's scarcely better than nothing - but it's budget neutral. which brings us back to the initial topic of this discussion - the extra $400 in your wallet...

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    i don't have to believe it, the CBO and OMB analyses say it's the case.

    That was before it was learned how funky the accounting was that Obama and the Democrats used.
    Income from a cut here and a cut there was spent twice, even thrice...

    That was before more than 3/4ths of the states have pending litigation for opting out of CrapCare as unconstitutional.

    That was before there began some real discussions about the Value Added Tax.

    no, only those who can afford it and choose not to.

    And you think it's perfectly OK for the government to force you to purchase something, simply for the good of the people??

    Where does that slippery slope take us??

    Would you be OK with the Government telling you what car to drive? What food to eat??

    All for the "good of the people"???

    What about when the GOP takes back Congress and the White House??

    Will you be happy with a GOP government telling you what to purchase?? What to drive?? What to eat??

    Somehow, I don't think you would be OK with that..

    the extra $400 in your wallet...

    As I have shown, it's probably better for everyone to hide that extra $400 under the mattress to help defray the costs that all the taxes that will be coming down the road.... :D

    Obama has broken/stalled/compromised more promises than he has kept..

    Do you honestly believe his "Read My Lips" moment that no one making less that $250K/yr won't see any new taxes??

    Seriously???

    Michale.....

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    As to Dodd's Wall Street Bailout bill...

    I have answered my own question to David in a previous commentary.

    David had mentioned the slush fund that Dodd's bill wants to create..

    It doesn't come from the financial giants that will benefit, but rather from ordinary small businesses, in the form of new taxes.

    To top it off, the fees for the Dodd bill’s resolution fund that would pay off a failing firm’s creditors would come not just from banks but from a broad array of Main Street businesses.

    http://www.openmarket.org/2010/04/16/obama-dodd-financial-bill-would-futher-enrich-goldman-sachs/

    And, it STILL is a bailout because it has the government (meaning you and me and every other American) footing the bill for a sweet quasi-bankruptcy.

    The failing company would get a much sweeter deal from the Government (you, me, etc etc) than they would get if they went thru normal bankruptcy..

    In short, the very companies that the legislation is allegedly designed to regulate and rein in, would be the largest benefactors from the bail outs..

    And ya'all are on board with this???

    Michale......

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hi HPW,

    On financial reform, I'm just a bit mystified as to why nobody but nobody has pointed out the proposed "funds" would be coming from the banks themselves much in the same way the banks now contribute to the FDIC, and for approximately the same reason: to protect consumers from their own misbehavior.

    This is not correct..

    To top it off, the fees for the Dodd bill’s resolution fund that would pay off a failing firm’s creditors would come not just from banks but from a broad array of Main Street businesses. Stable life, auto and home insurance companies would have to pay into this fund to subsidize the failure of the next high-roller, and the fees they pay would likely be passed on in the premiums their policy holders pay. And the bill’s definition of “nonbank financial company” is so broad that it could cover manufacturers only tangentially involved in extending credit, such as those that lease equipment to their customers. This would raise prices and cost Main Street jobs.

    http://www.openmarket.org/2010/04/16/obama-dodd-financial-bill-would-futher-enrich-goldman-sachs/

    The Obama/Dodd legislation is simply another pretty handout to Wall Street to reward their bad behavior at the expense of John Q Public. Much like CrapCare was a pretty handout to the Drug companies and the Insurance companies..

    Michale.....

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    "But there are serious problems with the Dodd bill. The Dodd bill has unlimited executive bailout authority. That’s something Wall Street desperately wants but doesn’t dare ask for. The bill contains permanent, unlimited bailout authority."
    -Rep. Brad Miller, D-CA

    Please explain to me how the Dodd/Obama legislation is not a recipe for more bailouts for Wall Street at the expense of Main Street, when even Democrats are saying it is???

    Anyone??? Anyone??? Beuhler???

    Michale.....

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    And lo and behold...

    Who do we find out was Obama's 2nd TOP Campaign Contributer??

    None other than Goldman Sachs... At almost a million dollars in campaign contributions...

    Geee.... Who woulda thunked it, eh??

    Michale.....

  14. [14] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, going to try to get to everyone here.

    Michale [1] -

    Isn't it (more properly) "FOAD"? Or am I misreading you? Or perhaps it is my own preoccupation with capitalizing words of three letters or less... I fully admit, this could be it...

    [2] -

    OK, I'm going to reprint a comment from DU here, that I made:

    As I see it, the choice for Democrats is thus:

    A. Campaign on good economy. By November, economy improves noticeably. Dem chances: not great, but not horrible.

    B. Campaign on good economy. By November, economy takes turn for worse. Dem chances: looking like idiots, getting slaughtered in the midterms.

    C. Don't campaign on the economy. By November, economy improves, but Republicans claim credit. Dem chances: not good at all.

    D. Don't campaign on the economy. By November, economy turns worse. Dem chances: slim to none.

    It's a risky choice, but A. still seems like the best one to me, that's all I'm saying here, really.

    Remember, Fridays are heavily partisan, here.

    nypoet22 -

    This is a curiousity for me, too. During the HCR debate, news media started reporting on "reality versus what the polls show people believe about reality." But the fact remains, 95 (or even 98) percent of Americans got a tax break, and yet polls show only 12 percent believe their taxes have been lowered. This is a massive communications failure on the Democrats' part. I considered titling (and running with the metaphor) this article "What we have here... is a failure to communicate..." personally.

    Michale -

    Much of the rest of your arguments rest on the logic I addressed in today's (Monday, 4/19/10) article, so I guess we can continue that conversation in that comment thread. Not ducking you, just trying to get caught up here in my responses (call me lazy, I won't argue...)

    highplainswoman -

    First off, welcome to the site. I apologize for taking a while to post your comment, as this weekend I was rather busy with other things. Your point about forgetting what our parents taught us is indeed valid. And you are right, what the Dodd bill proposes is very much like the FDIC, which would dismantle companies (and NOT "bail them out") with a fund paid for by Wall Street banks. But that reality is fighting its way upstream, currently, against Republican talking points. We'll see how it all works out.

    Michale [9] -

    Aha! The dreaded VAT! See today's article...

    As for the rest of it, I will bet, sight unseen, 100 quatloos that the bill the Senate actually passes on Wall Street reform, gets over 10 Republican votes. Or are you still smarting from the HCR bet? Heh heh.

    -CW

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    Isn't it (more properly) "FOAD"? Or am I misreading you? Or perhaps it is my own preoccupation with capitalizing words of three letters or less... I fully admit, this could be it...

    It is indeed.. I'll forgive you this little nit because I have always wondered that myself.. :D

    Much of the rest of your arguments rest on the logic I addressed in today's (Monday, 4/19/10) article, so I guess we can continue that conversation in that comment thread. Not ducking you, just trying to get caught up here in my responses (call me lazy, I won't argue...)

    OK yer lazy.. :D hehehehehe

    Yea, I noticed your new post and responded accordingly. :D As I am wont to do.. again and again and again and again.. :D

    As for the rest of it, I will bet, sight unseen, 100 quatloos that the bill the Senate actually passes on Wall Street reform, gets over 10 Republican votes. Or are you still smarting from the HCR bet? Heh heh.

    OUCH.. And the ref takes a point away!!! :D

    Yea, yea bite me.. :D

    I'll adopt a wait and see approach. It's possible that the DP is actually capable of passing legislation that is common sense, effective and does what it says it will do. Yea, I know.. What have I been smoking..

    But, I concede the possibility so I'll wait and see what they come up with..

    Considering what's in the legislation now, I can't see how ANYONE could vote for it.. Basically it creates a slush fund that comes indirectly, from the American Public in the form of higher prices and taxes... Oh wait, Obama jettisoned that idea.. Right???

    Michale.....

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya know, I made a comment earlier about the US Government telling us what to buy. Next it will be following by telling us what to eat and when to sleep.

    As an aside, I noticed that no one seems to mind such government intrusion.. Go figger...

    Anyways, I thought it might be a few years before the government moved on to other regulations..

    Seems it's happening now..

    FDA plans to limit amount of salt allowed in processed foods for health reasons
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/19/AR2010041905049.html

    Once again, the wisdom of Edgar Friendly shines thru...

    "I'm into freedom of speech and freedom of choice. I'm the kind of guy who likes to sit in a greasy spoon and wonder, "Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecued ribs with the side order of gravy fries?" I WANT high cholesterol. I wanna eat bacon and butter and BUCKETS of cheese, okay? I want to smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in the non-smoking section. I want to run through the streets naked with green Jell-o all over my body reading Playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly might feel the need to, okay, pal?"
    -Edgar Friendly, DEMOLITION MAN

    Ya'all can argue and whine and cry about all the Bush regulations and such. But at least there was a valid reason for those actions.

    This is simply nothing but crap.

    If I want a lot of salt in my food, who is the government to tell me I can't!!???

    I honestly can't believe ya'all are fine with this. I really can't...

    Michale.....

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