Tuesday, April 27, 2010


It's happened a few days in a row now. Or perhaps, It's happening again but just on another issue. The news programs are having fun with the divisive actions of the US Seanate as 41 members of the GOP have filibustered the option to open formal debate on the issue of Banking & Finance Reform.

McConnell and company have walked lock step on this issue of tending to our nation's banking restrictions by voting NO when asked to bring the issue to the floor. But I don't know how long Mitch can keep the group together. It seems there are a few Senators showing signs of weakness.

Americas' anger at Wall Street is palpable. Polls show that over 70% want greater restrictions. Right now we have the chance to push through the most sweeping new controls on financial institutions since the Great Depression. All because most of those who lost a great deal in the last few years recognize the need to act now and with teeth.

But the Senate failed to get the 60 supporters needed to proceed on the regulatory overhaul. The surprise, well maybe not to everyone, was the NO vote coming from Ben Nelson, the Democratic Senator from Nebraska. This man has issues.

The bill as it stands, is not perfect. We all know that. It has some of the same weaknesses that we saw in the Healthcare Reform bill from last year. I understand there are a number of amendments waiting for the debate to start on the floor to close some of the loopholes that have been exposed as well as giving the bill more teeth. Especially in the way the authorities would pursue the possible wrongdoings by the banking institutions. But let the debate start already!

The pundits on most news channels are pointing to the recent success of the healthcare legislation and the appearance of the GOP protecting the large investment firms as a perfect strategy for the Democrats to not only maintain their majority, but to possibly add seats this November. I don't know if this strategy will pan out as some would hope, but it does give pause to where some Senators swear allegiance when dealing with consumer protections at this extreme. I'd like to think some lessons were learned.

Both the House and Senate bills, aim at heading off any recurrence of the near collapse of the financial system in 2008, would create a mechanism for liquidating large firms that get into trouble, set up a council to detect systemwide financial threats and establish a consumer protection agency to police lending. The legislation also would require investment derivatives, blamed for helping precipitate the near-meltdown, to be traded in open exchanges.

CSPAN provided everyone a chance to witness some curious banter as they showed the Financial Investigative Hearings.
A number of Senators pulled some colorful words from select internal emails within Goldman Sachs. The clips were shown later as the shocked Goldman Chairman Lloyd Blankfein was quoted the term "shitty deal" numerous times. It's not often that CSPAN gets the chance to broadcast four letter words to the masses.

The latest is that outgoing Senator George Voinovich, the Republican from Ohio, might offer his blessing to the majority by letting his YES vote start the formal debate. You'll find once he breaks the blockade, you'll see other Republicans join in. One thing you should know, George is not running for re-election.

As for that Investigative Hearing; It was interesting that John Ensign got to ask Chairman Blankfein some pertinent questions on ethics.


Anonymous said...

Just more evidence of the shrinking Republican constituency. I wonder what the teabaggers think of this?

Anonymous said...

1:03 Us republicans are alive and kickin' so don't count us out!!! We are gaining in numbers due to the disatisfication of the current members in NYS governmnent and federal government.Also noteworthy,is that people are now switching to be NOP's (non affliated party)and some of those are democrats.

Anonymous said...

The more I see McConnell's face, the more I'm convinced his skin is melting off.

6:15 would be wise to accept that many people chose to disassociate with the major parties just to receive less propaganda only to find out they send more to the NOPs.

With so many of either side collecting huge donations from the banking industry for their campaigns, the Tea Party people have nowhere to turn but their own candidates. Now we get to see how that works in practice all over the country.