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Boehner explains why FinReg is "killing an ant with a nuclear weapon"

Dems and bloggers are jumping on this interview that John Boehner gave to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, in which he appeared to deride financial reform as "killing an ant with a nuclear weapon."

That line is the only direct Boehner quote about FinReg in the interview -- the rest was parahprased -- so I was at first skeptical. But the Tribune reporter on the story sends over Boehner's full quote, and it is indeed about FinReg. Boehner:

"This is killing an ant with a nuclear weapon. There are faults in our regulatory system, some in terms of transparency, most as a result of ineffective enforcement by the bureaucracy who have no idea what these financial products look like today. That could've been fixed, but that's not what we have here.

"This bill institutionalizes too big to fail, puts the government on the hook and gives them the ability to bail out anyone, and allows these unelected bureaucrats to make decisions on behalf of the government in terms of who they're going to bail out, who they're going to take over, who they're going to control, whether they're a financial firm or not....

"I just hope this bill is out there for several weeks so that the American people can see it and the American people can understand it."

Dems have already jumped on the "ant" quote. "An ant, Mr. Boehner?" scoffed Nancy Pelosi's office in an email. "It was the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression -- Americans lost 8 million jobs and $17 trillion in retirement savings and net worth."

The full quote does seem to make it clear that Boehner's use of the word "ant" is a reference to the problem, and the "nuclear weapon" is the Dems' response to it.

UPDATE, 1:30 p.m.: Boehner spokesman Michael Steel clarifies:

"It's clear Boehner is not minimizing the crisis America faced -- he is pointing out that Washington Democrats have produced a bill that will actually kill more jobs and make the situation worse."

By Greg Sargent  |  June 29, 2010; 12:57 PM ET
Categories:  Financial reform , House Dems , House GOPers  
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Mr. Boehner would that be The Immortal Ant; that has become: "Too Big To Fail"?

Posted by: Liam-still | June 29, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Boner continues to act like a 6th grader... Do you expect anything else out of this mental midget??

Posted by: rbaldwin2 | June 29, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Sharron, Obtuse, Angle:

Declares that; God has a plan to use Rapists to forcefully impregnate women, and therefore she, Sharron Angle opposes having such embryos aborted.

"When asked by conservative radio talk host Bill Manders whether she would support banning abortion even in cases of rape or incest Angle said there was no acceptable reason for an abortion because "God has a plan."

Manders: Is there any reason at all for an abortion?

Angle: Not in my book.

Manders: So, in other words, rape and incest would not be something?

Angle: You know, I’m a Christian and I believe that God has a plan and a purpose for each one of our lives and that he can intercede in all kinds of situations and we need to have a little faith in many things."

She claims she is a Christian?. Isn't she supposed to be a member of the Church Of Scientology?


Stop focusing on the Rove nonsense, and focus on the Crazy Angle:

"Angle’s idea of appealing to women:

· Tell them they’re wrong to be in the work force if their husbands are, too.
· Make it harder for women to access their OB-GYN.
· Perpetuate the lie that abortion leads to breast cancer.
· Oppose insurance companies covering mammograms. "

Posted by: Liam-still | June 29, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Reposting my comment from the previous thread because it is relevant here:

I don't get that we have an irrational mob essentially calling for blood and revolution -- Boehner comparing people today to 1776 -- and the media reports it without ANY critical analysis!!!

I don't get that it's just another news day.

It's like:

"The minority leader in the House today said the right wing protests of 2010 remind him of the Revolutionary War of 1776 and described the Democratic Party as 'snuffing out America.' And now to Jim with sports! How bout them Astros, eh Jim?"

I mean. WTF is wrong with this country? Forget the lunatic fringe. What's wrong with the REST of the country that such behavior is ignored or permitted? I'm not talking about activist Dems like us. Where is today's mainstream America, and mainstream media, on the Republican Party acting like a bunch of Domestic Terrorists? How can this type of behavior be totally laughed off and dismissed? All we see in the media is that this is like 1994 and Obama is weak. And people like Sarah Palin are huge media draws despite the fact that anyone with half a brain would scoff at how intellectually lacking she is.

Here is an example:

News reporters on a hot mic TRASHING Palin and her recent speech in CA.

Why don't we ever hear THAT?!?!

It's not partisan to say: "When you've got to write a report as a college student and you just try to jam as many quotes in as possible…That's what I got," but we NEVER hear that kind of analysis unless it is leaked or a "mistake."

People need to hear critical analysis of policies and statements/comments by BOTH sides. We get NONE of it. Just National Enquirer type reporting. And at a time when one political faction of this country is calling for OPEN REVOLUTION.

The USA is in DEEP DEEP trouble if we cannot think critically as a country any more. DEEP DEEP DEEEEEEEEEP TROUBLE.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 29, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

What a moron. Dems should, rightly, dismantle his a** on this one.

But they won't. They'll make a couple statements, then fall back. As always.


Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | June 29, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and he also says we should raise the retirement age to 70. I'm sure seniors and near-seniors would love that bit of policy...

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | June 29, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I mean. WTF is wrong with this country? Forget the lunatic fringe. What's wrong with the REST of the country that such behavior is ignored or permitted? I'm not talking about activist Dems like us. Maybe the rest of the country see's you guys as more of a threat.

Posted by: obrier2 | June 29, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Yes indeed; Mr. Boehner: I am sure that all Women, and People of Color, are yearning for the good old days of 1776. That was also a great time for Roman Catholics and Jews.

No doubt about it; Mr. Full Body Nicotine Stain; all Americans are yearning to return to those days, when property owning White Males, called all the shots, and owned as many slaves as they wished to have.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 29, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

"Boe" is pronounced "bow".

Posted by: Whys | June 29, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

"I just hope this bill is out there for several weeks so that the American people can see it and the American people can understand it."

Or maybe so Boner can understand it? Nah. Nagunnahappen.

Posted by: msmollyg | June 29, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

The repubs keep serving these juicy half-volleys and the dems & the frigging media will hit them over the line every time. America is screwed.

Posted by: amkeew | June 29, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

"Maybe the rest of the country see's you guys as more of a threat."


You LIKED the deregulated financial sector (AIG, Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns)???

You LIKED the deregulated oil industry (BP, Exxon, Shell)???

You LIKED the deregulated health industry who routinely denied coverage to cancer patients?

You LIKED the Iraq War?

WHAT, man?

WHAT don't you like?

HOW would you do better for AVERAGE AMERICANS?

I want specifics.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 29, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Fell back in the infamous "job killer" position. Why do the Dems let them get away with calling everything a job killer when we clearly lost more jobs under their control than under the dems? We also have the largest deficit increases while the Repubs are in charge... Someone needs to call them on this...

Posted by: soapm | June 29, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Ah, what's the big deal? The stock market has mostly recovered, Wall Street has their bonuses back...sounds like from Boehner's point of view, Boehner's vote for TARP worked out just fine.

Yep, his buddies are OK. That means now it's time to keep the American economy down so he can blame it on the Democrats and get his guys back in power.

It's a very, very simple plan. If you accidentally tank the economy because you're a bunch of incompetents, then deal with it by bailing out the rich and then making the little people suffer so they get mad at the Democrats. You don't want to help solve the problem and give credit to the Democrats, right?

Posted by: theorajones1 | June 29, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm beginning to think the only way for America to survive as an institution is for the Democrats to come out strongly IN FAVOR of Mom and Apple Pie.

The Republicans, naturally, will have to be opposed.

And the Dems will be able to win their elections and continue to save the country from the extremist domestic terrorists on the Right.

But I think at this point just talking about how we are solving America's problems, even though we ARE solving America's problems, is like talking to a wall.

We need to get back to the basics. Mom and Apple Pie.

I'm half-joking, but in all honesty, I'm half-serious. Because I just don't know what else we can do.

Nobody cares about governing. Nobody cares about the filibuster. Nobody cares about secret holds or SCOTUS hearings. Nobody even cares about SCOTUS RULINGS, much less hearings.

But they DO care about:

Mom, Apple Pie, Little League baseball, swim meets...

If democrats can't connect with voters and they allow the R's to frame every single debate, it will be corporate welfare, greed and corruption for another generation, if we last that long.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 29, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Another example of just how TOTALLY disingenuous the GOP argument against finreg is:

Republicans are protesting the $19B "bank tax" inserted to help fund the overall legislation...

...and in place of the $19B "bank tax"? Increasing the FDIC fund with which it insures bank customer deposits.

...and how to they generate the extra money for the FDIC fund?

"The fund is supported through fees on the banking industry."


I'm so sick of these bullsh*t artist Republicans. Every last one. So sick of it.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 29, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

All, check this out, Senator says Obama privately reiterated commitment to including carbon pricing as part of energy reform:

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 29, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

per NRO: "It appears the conference will be reopened, possibly as early as this afternoon, to look at an “alternative” funding mechanism."

Posted by: sbj3 | June 29, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Boehner's been wrong on everything he's touched since he was elected. Who can possible take him seriously??

Posted by: thebobbob | June 29, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Thank God for guys like John Boehner, steadily pushing the Republicans down the path of the Whigs and the Know Nothings.

Posted by: Gates9 | June 30, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

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