Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Morning Fix: Obama's tough love for bankers

1. President Obama will sit down today with the chief executives of the nation's biggest banks -- see full list below -- to give them a bit of tough love. Asked what the president's message will be, one senior administration official pointed to comments made by Larry Summers, the president's chief economic adviser, in an interview Sunday with ABC's George Stephanopoulos. The heads of the big banks "need to recognize that they've got obligations to the country after all that's been done for them, and there is a lot more they can do, and President Obama is going to be talking with them about what they can do to support enhanced lending to customers across the country," Summers said. He added: "We were there for them. And the banks need to do everything they can to be sure they're there for customers across this country." Remember that TARP -- the program that helped keep many of the nation's largest banks solvent -- is deeply unpopular with the American people who viewed it as an example of rewarding bad behavior. The president and his administration know they must change the perception of TARP; they must show that the money given to banks came with string attached, strings that now require these financial institutions to do everything they can to help the average American. That's the symbolism meant to be sent in today's meeting. Guest list: Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman and CEO, Goldman Sachs, Ken Chenault, President and CEO, American Express, Richard Davis, Chairman, President, and CEO, US Bancorp, Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JP Morgan Chase, Richard Fairbank, Chairman and CEO, Capital One, Bob Kelly, Chairman and CEO, Bank of New York Mellon, Ken Lewis, President and CEO, Bank of America, Ron Logue, Chairman and CEO, State Street Bank, John Mack, Chairman and CEO, Morgan Stanley, Dick Parsons, Chairman, Citigroup, Jim Rohr, Chairman and CEO, PNC and John Stumpf, President and CEO, Wells Fargo.

2. David "The Dean" Broder penned a terrific column over the weekend that argues that a careful reading of the speeches by President Obama provide a unique insight into how he thinks about the himself, the country and the world. Broder traces a direct line from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright speech during the campaign to the speech at West Point announcing the new Afghanistan strategy and to Obama's Nobel prize speech in Oslo last week. "The striking thing is the consistency with which he places concrete actions into the broadest historical or philosophical setting, and how much he is influenced in his decision-making by the reach of his intellectual exercise," writes Broder. The Dean spends significant time breaking down Obama's Oslo speech which, as we noted last week, offered the closest thing to a defining glimpse of the President's foreign policy philosophy that we are likely to see. Of it, he concludes: "This was not a speech tailored to his immediate audience. He even dared to argue directly with the ghost of King, asserting that 'a nonviolent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies.'"

3. California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner (R) plans to make a $15 million donation to his gubernatorial campaign, bringing his total personal investment in the race to $19.2 million. In a statement to be released today announcing his contribution, Poizner never mentions said contribution. Instead, he focuses on the "once in a generation opportunity to really fix and reform our state" offered in 2010, adding: "I know the Republican primary will be won based on which candidate presents clear, specific, and conservative solutions for solving California's economic problems." It's not clear exactly how much Poizner is worth and he would not discuss it during an interview with the Fix earlier this year. What is clear is that Poizner's main rival for the Republican nomination, former eBay head Meg Whitman, is a billionaire with plans to spend tens of millions to secure the GOP nod. To date, Whitman has put $19 million into the race. The third Republican in the race -- former representative Tom Campbell -- is not personally wealthy.

4. Speaking of Campbell, he is reportedly weighing a possible switch from the governor's race to a Senate bid, according to sources familiar with his thinking. Campbell consultant James Fifsis confirmed to the Fix that several Republican officials have approached the former congressman about making the switch but that no final decision had been made. Campbell has long been the odd man out in the governor's race -- outshined by Whitman and Poizner. If Campbell makes the move, it will mark his third race for Senate in the last two decades. In 1992 he ran for and lost the Republican Senate nomination and in 2000 he took just 37 percent of the vote against Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D). Campbell would join wealthy former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and conservative state Assemblyman Chuck DeVore in the Senate race.

5. Staying in California, the San Fransciso Chronicle's Carla Marinucci writes about Whitman and Fiorina through the lens of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign -- with a major nod to Anne Kornblut's soon-to-be released "Notes from the Cracked Ceiling." For Clinton, "a major challenge was finding the delicate balance between being that tough, battle-hardened political leader and revealing her more personal -- even feminine -- side to voters," Kornblut explains to Marinucci. Whitman and Fiorina have both put their professional successes front and center and, in the campaign to date, played down their personal lives -- following the (unsuccessful) blueprint laid out by Clinton. Whitman and Fiorina face doubly difficult challenges as they must first navigate primary fights against men all the while battling the fact that California Republicans have never nominated a woman for either of the offices they are seeking. Writes Marinucci: "The efforts of California's two GOP female candidates will be closely tracked as a measure of the progress, and remaining barriers, to female candidates, whose races are still largely managed by male strategists." It's one major reason why California is so compelling politically in 2010 and why the Fix will be watching it so closely.

6. With Michigan Lt. Gov. John Cherry (D) looking less and less likely to beat any of the Republicans running for the Wolverine State governor's seat, there is talk that state House Speaker Andy Dillon, a Democrat, will pursue an independent candidacy for the state's top office. The problem for Dillon -- and national Democrats -- is that Cherry is a strong candidate in a Democratic primary in union-heavy Michigan due to his strong labor ties. (He is a former political director of the Association of State County and Municipal Employees.) And yet, general election polling suggests he would lose badly to state Attorney General Mike Cox -- the leading Republican nominee. National Democrats are far from sanguine about the prospect of handing over a governorship in the electorally critical upper Midwest to Republicans -- making an independent bid by Dillon all the more intriguing. While it's clear that there is interest within national Democratic circles for such a candidacy, it's far fuzzier when it comes to whether Dillon himself is actually interested in moving from the Democratic to the independent side of the aisle. He has yet to announce his intentions about running at all although most expect some sort of decision in early 2010.

7. Vice President Joe Biden will be in Georgia later this week -- appearing alongside Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue to tout the good done by the economic stimulus package passed by Congress earlier this year. Republicans have been wary to tout the successes of the economic stimulus package due to the strong opposition to the plan (and its effects) by the Republican base. Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, the most high profile supporter of the stimulus plan when it was being debated in Congress, has been pilloried by his Senate primary opponent -- former state House Speaker Marco Rubio -- for that support and has sought (unsuccessfully) to back away from it. Perdue has no such long term political concerns, however, as he is term limited out of office in 2010 and is not seen as a player in the 2012 (or 2016) races.

8. 60 Plus, a conservative organization spending millions to oppose the President's health care plan, is at it again -- this time with a $1.7 million ad buy on national cable and four targeted states -- Alaska, Nebraska, Virginia and North Dakota -- that seek to make political hay out of a Medicare-focused amendment to the health care bill offered by Arizona Sen. John McCain (R). "Can Medicare survive a nearly $500 billion cut," asks the ad's narrator. "What would huge Medicare cuts mean to you and your family members." The ads running in Nebraska and Virginia thanks Sens. Ben Nelson (D) and Jim Webb (D) for their votes -- they were the only two Democrats to vote with McCain -- and urges them to "keep fighting to save Medicare." The other ads blame "liberals in Congress" (images of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer are shown) for killing the McCain amendment; "nearly $500 Billion in Medicare cuts will take effect if Harry Reid's health care wins," says the ad's narrator. ALSO READ: Ezra Klein's take-down of the McCain amendment.

9. Know everything there is to know about today's meeting between the titans of industry and President Obama? Prove it. Take the Post's "Political Stump" quiz.

10. For all of you iPhone users -- like us -- who have cursed AT&T every time you dropped a call, we have news: it's not the phone company's fault! At least that's what Randall Stross, writing in the New York Times, concludes. Stross quotes Roger Entner, a senior vice president for telecommunications research at Nielsen, asserting that the "air interface" in the iPhone complicates its reception of both voice and data."The iPhone has the nimbus of infallibility, ergo, it's AT&T's fault," added Entner. Months (and months) of the Fix's anger has been misplaced. We're sorry AT&T. ALSO READ: Because this is the Internet, there is already a rebuttal of Stross' piece making the rounds.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 14, 2009; 5:36 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Abercrombie to resign Hawaii seat
Next: Bart Gordon to retire


On Broder's speech

There really is no reason for all this historical review - unless Obama is attempting to say that he has a different interpretation of history than you do.

For his audience in Oslo who wants to concentrate on Peace, he reviews War, and outlines what he believes is just war - to make his point that peace is not always the way.

In his Philadelphia speech, he really was NOT talking about the races getting along in the future - his vision of racial harmony.

NOOO - he spent the whole speech talking about the PAST - the grievances of the past - implying that there is some WRONG that has to be righted - that is what Black Liberation Theology is all about - take a look at it.

Then at West Point, he makes this weird review of 9/11 - as if the cadets in the room did not already decide to lay down their lives to defend this country over 9/11 -

Instead - Obama is off throwing in the line America was not "as innocent" as the country was under FDR - implying that our foreign policy somehow justified the attacks on 9/11.

There can be no other way to see these historical references - they are oddly out of place and irrelevant if Obama is not making some point

So if he is making some point - you must ask yourself what are the points ???

Open your eyes.


Posted by: 37thand0street | December 15, 2009 3:59 AM | Report abuse

Someone please explain to me why this guy gets ink, much less gets to wear a dean's robes.

Exact same reason no one cares a whit what you say. Intelligence, integrity. Sense. Reason. Fact. Logic.

Posted by: snowbama | December 14, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Re: Family Guy. Umm... Guilty pleasure?


whence the pleasure?

pretty thin gruel

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 14, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Re: Family Guy. Umm... Guilty pleasure?


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 14, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

The bankers were STATIC and downright ugly towards their customers before the crash,all that elitism confounding the best of us. Now it's post bailout, and they've spent the whole year collecting enough money to pay off the bailout. One wonders about the billions they are paying back, the billions they are giving out in bonuses, and thinks to themselves"Can you teach me how to make money like that in a down economy?" Static is the status quo for the financial institutions except for any self serving interests they may have.

Posted by: skybride56 | December 14, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse


Have you posted as "GoldAndTanzanite"?

Posted by: JakeD | December 14, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Jake, I don't hate cartoons: love Mad Magazine and the Simpsons and the Sunday funnies and manga. But Family Guy is TOO imbecilic, and I really am shocked that a person who talks as much about his faith as you do here would watch that deeply anti-religion program and think it good social commentary.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | December 14, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Note Broder's slimy insinuation that intellectual pondering is a sign of weakness.

Someone please explain to me why this guy gets ink, much less gets to wear a dean's robes.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 14, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Careful, FairlingtonBlade, any reference to cartoons is frowned upon by some here.

Posted by: JakeD | December 14, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

David Broder is right - there are alot of strange, strange references in those speeches - which ONLY make sense if one is willing to admit what Obama is trying to say.

Why else would all this irrelevant, extra stuff be in these speeches?

You guys are all wrong.


Posted by: 37thand0street | December 14, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Fairy Tale Land

There are plenty of non-exportable jobs in America to make up for the tens of millions of jobs using computer technology that are being exported.

There is even a new government pamphlet "Building Your Business Without Computers".

Bankers are overjoyed at the idea of spending their time and effort on making loans, instead of the exciting large bonuses that can be made with buying and trading Wall Street paper.

The Tooth fairy is hiring with plenty of non-exportable jobs this year after getting a business loan from the banks.

Posted by: bsallamack | December 14, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

However, what Obama was REALLY saying was maybe the United States foreign policy in the Middle East was "not that innocent" therefor that meant that somehow we deserved 9/11.


This reminds me of that Far Side cartoon where there was mathematical scribbling on the upper left and more scribbling in the lower right. In the middle? "And then a miracle occurred."


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 14, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Good luck getting any traction on this troll, 37th, but it looks like you're the only one who doesn't understand the word "innocent."

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 14, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

On Broder's article again - the historical references - remember the next day we were talking about Obama just throwing into the speech a comment that American was "not as innocent" as the country was during the time of FDR.

Another historical reference.

However, what Obama was REALLY saying was maybe the United States foreign policy in the Middle East was "not that innocent" therefor that meant that somehow we deserved 9/11.

AHHHHH There is a point there with the historical reference - WHICH OTHERWISE REALLY MAKES NO OTHER SENSE.


Just like all the historical references in the Philadelphia speech - that speech was not about a "vision for the future" NOOOOOOO- it was about the grievances of PAST - and making the CASE for BLACK LIBERATION THEOLOGY.

Chris - David Broder has it right. The historical references make no sense other than make these points - WHICH ARE REALLY SWIPES AT AMERICA.


Posted by: 37thand0street | December 14, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Broder and Chris:

You really have to watch these historical references closely - Obama is trying to tell us something - he is hiding his true thoughts about the interpretation of history behind these references.

The references to 9/11 were striking because they were completely unnecessary to the speech.

It was almost as if Obama was saying "I have a different take on the terrorism which led to 9/11"

This take would significantly influence what the proper response to 9/11 should be.


In Oslo, Obama is supposed to be making a speech about peace, but he goes off to make the case for war - so he is using the historical reference to except himself from those who may be looking for a complete devotion to peace.

The speech in Philadelphia - the historical references were CLEARLY TO OUTLINE HIS SUPPORT FOR BLACK LIBERATION THEOLOGY - Obama was saying, OK let's look at the historical record because YOU don't have it right and I have to educate you.


That is why Michele Obama was "so proud" of Barack after the speech.

Reread the speech - the historical references make no other sense - other than to make the case for BLACK LIBERATION THEOLOGY.

Thank you David Broder for pointing that out.


Posted by: 37thand0street | December 14, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

When Obama cites historical references in a speech they illuminate his point, there is a reason for their citation.

When conservatives for example George Wil cite historical references in a column, they offer no illumination, not even support, they only serve to distract and deflect and to create an impression that the writer is a scholar.

I'll take illumination over distraction.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 14, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

could be:

why pick that word and assume I meant you? I think we all know why.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 14, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

The historical references are still more pretension - as if he has to lecture us and make sure everyone knows how smart he is supposed to be -

But the reality is that many of the historical reference don't belong in the speech.

Many of the references are irrelevant - and they actually blur his message by referencing issues which confuse the points Obama is trying to make.

These references are a hallmark of poor quality - not anything else.


Posted by: 37thand0street | December 14, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

It is almost as if Obama has to research the subject before he starts to make ANY decision.


gosh what spinelessness.

real men go with the gut

worked out SO well under the Smirk

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 14, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

and with the appearance of the ped, the blog is now pronounced, ready to be flushed.


"ped" being short for "pedophile," of course.

Please keep it up, we all look forward to your absence

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 14, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

37th - when giving the speech is the final action you plan on taking up on any particular issues, it had best be a memorable one, dripping with all sorts of moral quandries and social philosophy. It is going to need a long shelf life as the action and industry needed to actually get something down never materializes.

and remember that most of the consumers and analysts of the speeches are communication and journalism majors. you remember them. the ones who couldn't hack a real major. Think Keith Olbermann.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 14, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

On Broder's article, he is right to point out these crazy historical references which Obama makes in his speechs - but seriously, most of that is completely irrelevant to the issue at hand.

It is almost as if Obama has to research the subject before he starts to make ANY decision.

Well - let's go to the dictionary definition, and the wikipedia article - this is the stuff of bad graduation speeches, not good Presidential speeches.

It also gives Obama the tone of lecturing - as if he has to impress everyone with his knowledge of a subject - which no one cares about and really has little to do with the issue at hand.

These historical references are more a reflection of Obama pretending that he knows what he is talking about - when he really doesn't.

And don't tell me that making the case for war by referencing WWII is appropriate for a speech which is supposed to make the case for PEACE.

And don't tell me that making the case for, and outlining the case for BLACK LIBERATION THEOLOGY like Obama did in his Philadelphia speech last year is appropriate for his speech which was supposed to be about "improving race relations."

And don't tell me that referencing and outlining the 9/11 terrorist attacks in a speeck at West Point is appropriate - the West Point cadets already know why they are there - and so does the country.

It was almost as if Obama had to REMIND HIMSELF why we got into the Afghan war - which is pretty sad.


Posted by: 37thand0street | December 14, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

The bankers are really bad news - that is true - HOWEVER WHAT HAS OBAMA REALLY DONE ABOUT IT THIS YEAR ???

All Obama really did was make one speech in New York about the bankers - and that was to democratic donors.

Obama's agenda this year has been characterized with nothing but wasted time and ignoring what is really important.

The ECONOMY deserved so much more attention this year - and Obama completely dropped that ball.

Obama has been obsessed with "making history" - which means "stroking his ego" by pushing health care - and thereby ignoring the ECONOMY - and PAYING ABSOLUTELY NO ATTENTION TO LACK OF JOBS CREATED BY THE STIMULUS BILL.

Then Obama comes out and WASTES months learning about Afghanistan - and then in the end, he ends up endorsing a Bush strategy in the Surge.

Obama should have been DOING SOMETHING ABOUT THE BANKERS ALL YEAR, not faking some angry words on TV in December.

Some jobs it really doesn't matter if you have someone in there who is inexperienced, but any American has to seriously reconsider if they are not really horrified by the dithering of Obama - and his lack of attention to the economy.


Posted by: 37thand0street | December 14, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

posts by Jake: 16
Posts by drivl: 14

Posted by: ZOUK | December 14, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

This blog is again "Jake's Place." Congrats, Jake. Just make sure the Post includes health benefits in your compensation package. Cheers.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | December 14, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

and with the appearance of the ped, the blog is now pronounced, ready to be flushed.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 14, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

The preferred slurs of right-wing anarchists are "statist" followed very closely by "collectivist."


Yeah I love the "collectivist" thing .. anyone doing anything in consideration of anyone else is collectivism. Requiring the use of a turn signal in freeway traffic is collectivism, and law, any imperative, and suggestion that you are not the only person in the world and you should exhibit any regard for the existence of others is "collectivism" and "extremist."

Frankly I think people who say things like this should be put to sleep.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 14, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Bit late to be pressuring banks to loosen credit. This should have been the first move, close to a year ago.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 14, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Limbaugh must have had a rousing show today, judging by the sputter of froth and foam from his minions.

Posted by: nodebris | December 14, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Hey, if armpeg wants to whine about life being unfair, more power to it. I didn't spend the 20 years of my adult life in which I was an adult taxpayer whining about local taxes and am not going to spend the next 15 apologizing for having kids in school.

By the way, we spend almost as much on publicly funded health care as most countries do on their entire health bill. We just subsidize their drugs. So, I guess Europe and Canada owe us a big thank u.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 14, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

i don't know, ask all the families with autistic children who are on their state's low income insurance plan because they are poor.

is that ......"your 'fair share' of what someone else has worked for?"

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | December 14, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

"Anarchists of the right (so-called anarcho-capitalists) are unapologetic propagandists for the capitalist order. Like anarchists of the left they seek the total abolition of the state. This is where the similarities begin and end.

The preferred slurs of right-wing anarchists are "statist" followed very closely by "collectivist."

Posted by: drindl | December 14, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

The thing Comrade Barack Obama and his Communist Obama-worshipping useful idiots commenting here don't get--re. the Democrap Socialists health care government takeover plan--is that someone always has to pay the piper.
Here's a math problem from distinquished Economic Professor and columnist Thomas Sowell from his 'Random thoughts' column:
Assume that the legislation establishing government control of medical care is passed and that it 'brings down the cost of medical care'. You pay $500.00 a year less for your medical care, but the new costs put on employers is passed on to consumers, so that you pay $300.00 a year more for groceries and $200.00 a year more for gasoline, while the new mandates put on insurance companies raise your premiums by $300.00 a year, how much money have you saved?
Here's another for the Communist--sympatizers on here, again by Mr. Sowell:
Since this is an era when many people (that's you Communist Obama--worshippers) are conserned about 'fairness' and 'social justice',what is your 'fair share' of what someone else has worked for?

Posted by: armpeg | December 14, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

jakey: Yes, I know he never submitted the long form version. I don't even have a long form. In fact, my birth certificate is no longer valid in and with some places, due to the fact it has no registration number. I guess that says I am old.

Well President Obama talked and it's all about small business loans. I wanted to hear about what Joe Unemployed can do. The banks must start lending again to the common man. What if you don't have a business plan?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | December 14, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

On Jill Biden's presumptuous insistence on being addressed as "DOCTOR":

Posted by: JakeD | December 14, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

No need to worry about minimum wage any longer. since the boneheaded libe raised it last summer, there are simply no jobs at that rate any longer.

Imagine that, raise the price and lower demand. what a novel concept for inept liberal economists to contemplate.

but it couldn't be basic economics. Must be some cold-hearted evil republican secret underground conspiracy to keep prosperity from the rest of us.

But the evidence is that Liberal policies are the exact formula for eliminating prosperity for all.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 14, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Today in Fun Fox News Chyrons

"Lowering The Minimum Wage: Is It Better for Workers?"

Posted by: drindl | December 14, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse


The Second Lady is an adjunct professor of English at Northern Virginia Community College (even WORSE!!!).

Posted by: JakeD | December 14, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

And, Michelle Obama worked for a big Chicago hospital without registering as a lobbyist too. God forbid, Jill Biden STILL works for a Delaware school district and is not registered as a lobbyist!!!

Posted by: JakeD | December 14, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

"For decades, Hadassah Lieberman has worked for the insurance-pharmaceutical-lobbying complex. Like Newt Gingrich, Dick Gephard and Tom Daschle she never registered as a lobbyist to avoid the official taint, but nonetheless worked at the powerhouse lobbying shops Hill and Knowlton and APCO. She also did stints at Pfizer and Hoffman-La Roche.

When she was hired at Hill and Knowlton as a senior counselor in the health and pharmaceutical practice in 2005, the company issued a press release which said “she hopes to draw on her political experience in concentrating on health care policy and public health initiatives.” It is unquestionable that she has used her association with her husband the Senator, who was instrumental in killing the Clinton health care reform effort in 1994, in order to secure these lucrative positions and advance the interests of her clients.

How much is she being paid? It’s hard to tell — the Senate Finance report only indicates that it’s “more than $1000.” But money paid to spouses is one of the primary ways that members of Congress manage to wander into serious money while in office, and Hadassah made $328,000 in speaking fees in one year. From 2004 to 2008, the Center for Responsive Politics estimates that Lieberman’s net worth has increased by a million dollars. That’s impossible to do on a Senator’s salary alone.

According to Larry Nobel, former executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics: “Unless it can really be shown that there is a reason that an individual is being paid for her expertise, then it does look like she is getting paid as a substitute for his speaking…In perspective, I think it falls in a category of ongoing issues that arise having to do with the proper role of spouses and whether someone is trading off of a spouse’s influence.”

Posted by: drindl | December 14, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse


Are you calling me a "teabagger"?

Posted by: JakeD | December 14, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

As the teabagger continue to roll out loser propositions -- jim Demint is the poster boy for loserhood. He wants to turn seniors' Social Security over to Bear Stearns and Goldman Sachs:

'Last week, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) sent out a recruitment call for “new Republicans,” confirming that he sees “little use for a big-tent approach for his party.” As South Carolina’s The State put it, DeMint is setting himself up as a kingmaker, wading into national races to endorse far-right candidates.

And one of the issues about which DeMint feels very strongly is Social Security. In an interview with Bloomberg News’ Al Hunt, DeMint blasted Social Security as “socialistic,” and advocated reviving President George Bush’s Social Security privatization scheme:

DeMint considers Social Security a “socialistic” measure and blasts the American Association of Retired Persons for promulgating “socialist solutions”…In the interview, he talks of reviving President George W. Bush’s failed plan to partially privatize Social Security by having workers put a small percentage of the current levy in a personal savings account.

As CNN Money’s Allan Sloan wrote back in January, “someday, Social Security privatization will come back into vogue. When that happens, I’ve got two words that will remind you why it’s a bad idea: Remember 2008.” It’s quite shocking that we’re not even through 2009 yet, and 2008, at least for DeMint, is already forgotten.

But let’s review. As a Center for American Progress Action Fund report found, under a Bush-style privatization plan, a October 2008 retiree would have lost $26,000 in the market plunge. If the U.S. stock market had behaved like the Japanese market during the duration of that retiree’s work life, “a private account would have experienced sharp negative returns, losing $70,000 — an effective -3.3 percent net annual rate of return.” And this doesn’t take into account the full plunge of the stock market, which dipped below 7,000 in March 2009.

As the Cunning Realist pointed out, failed investment banks Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers were both “blue chips, the sort of companies that proponents of private accounts insisted any new system would be limited to.” Can you imagine the mess that would have occurred — and the leverage those companies would have held — had not only the financial system’s health, but the retirement accounts of untold seniors, been tied up in them?

The Center for Economic and Policy Research found that, “as a result of the collapse of the housing bubble, the vast majority of baby boomers will be approaching retirement with little wealth outside of Social Security.” Privatization opponents would have had seniors sacrifice that safety net as well.'

Posted by: drindl | December 14, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

JakeD - if a lecture in the principal's office is the highest form of punishment, with no additional actions pending, why not go get the free lunch?

This present ident is all talk and no action. everyone knows it already. Every problem on earth can easily be solved by another speech or another summit.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 14, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

44% of Americans would prefer that the 22nd Amendment be repealed and GWB be back President again ; )

Posted by: JakeD | December 14, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Matt Yglesias writes:

"The leverage that Lieberman and other “centrists” have obtained on this issue (and on climate change) stems from a demonstrated willingness to embrace sociopathic indifference to the human cost of their actions.

A sociopath is often defined as “a person, as a psychopathic personality, whose behavior is antisocial and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.”

To me, anyone who would start a war for no reason and show no remorse when it went terribly wrong is a sociopath. Anyone would not only torture but then try to use support for torture as a political wedge issue is a sociopath. Anyone who would hold the health of millions of Americans hostage so that he could get more face-time on “Meet the Press” is a sociopath.

I believe that the biggest question about our society is why it is that so many sociopaths rise to positions of power and influence. Are all societies this way or is there something special about the way ours is structured right now?"

Posted by: drindl | December 14, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

No world leader, no member of Congress, and no member of the news media carping from the sidelines could doubt that President Bush was resolute in his thinking and would stand firm.

A year later, we have a president whose trademark is the flinch and the cringe, the bow and the scrape. When Russia objects to antimissile installations in Poland and the Czech Republic, Obama cancels them. When the Dalai Lama inconveniently arrives in Washington before the president’s trip to China, Obama ducks him. When anti-theocracy protesters in Iran beseech the West to show its support, the president coughs and glances at his watch. Obama seems to suffer from an almost reflexive nervelessness: when presented with almost any foreign dignitary other than Queen Elizabeth, this president so reliably bows at the waist that he is starting to resemble one of those top-hatted drinking-bird toys. (By contrast, Bush’s dip to avoid being hit by the shoes in Baghdad may have been the closest he ever came to bowing to anyone during his presidency.) On Obama’s trips overseas, his apologies for America’s supposed transgressions are so incessant that even his European fan base must be tempted to tell him enough already.

The reaction to his speech on Thursday in Oslo accepting the Nobel Peace Prize indicates how little we have come to expect from this president: by simply stating the obvious—that some wars, like, say, the one stopping the Nazis, need to be fought—he earned plaudits from critics (and gasps from his base) as a newly muscular commander in chief.

Throwing a shoe at violators of the president’s security ring sounds like a promising idea. Maybe the next time fame-hungry party crashers show up at a state dinner, White House social secretary Desiree Rogers will have the presence of mind to break away from posing for photographs, reach under her Comme Des Garcons gown, pull off a high heel, and let fly.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 14, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse


Some of the bank CEOs should have refused the "invitation" to go to the White House and get berated -- blame it on global warming and decreasing their "carbon footprint" -- if only we could keep Air Force One grounded too ; )

Posted by: JakeD | December 14, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

The problem is, Medicare is collapsing, and adding more costs won't help matters. The Congressional Budget Office has projected that Medicare will be bankrupt in 2017, when it will cost more than $700 billion - and that's a timid prediction. It already costs $400 billion a year. The Medicare trustees say the program has $38 trillion in unfunded liabilities.

Seniors already have trouble finding doctors who will accept the government insurance. Federal cost-cutting has slashed payments to doctors so much that they lose money every time they see a Medicare patient. Those costs get shifted to other patients with private insurance. Adding 34 million to 36 million new Americans into the system will only make doctors more scarce for those already in the program and increase the burden that gets dumped onto private plans.

Libs are shameless hucksters and should be sent to the back of the unemployment line they created.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 14, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

tough Love is about as inaccurate as you can get.

1. there is nothing tough about Obambi

2. He does not love the banks in any fashion. He is desperate to pin the blame for his extensive dallying on the economy.

Nice try. Barry intervenes with a giant government and then blames the private sector for the difficulties. Is there no sense of cause and effect for these charlatans?

The average recession is 10 months. Barry has lengthened this out to almost two years. If he had simply sat on the back bench, as he has done with everything else, we would be swimming in prosperity by now.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 14, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse


You are aware that pResident Obama has refused to release his LONG FORM birth certificate to prove he is a natural-born citizen, right?

Posted by: JakeD | December 14, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Yep, FairlingtonBlade, it seems as if lying / delusional / wishful thinking is not limited to only the Republican side of the aisle ; )

Posted by: JakeD | December 14, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

President Obama will speak about the bank meeting in about 25 minutes.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | December 14, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I remember hearing Rove on NPR the day he made that prediction. The host (Robert Siegel) asked him about the polls and Rove referred to some unspecified information he had. The exchange was truly entertaining then and is hilarious now. I hope that CC will indulge me to reprint the exchange:


SIEGEL: We are in the home stretch though and many would consider you on the optimistic end of realism about...

ROVE: Not that you would be exhibiting a bias or anything like that, you're just making a comment, right?

SIEGEL: I'm looking at all the same polls that you are looking at.

ROVE: No, you are not, no you're not, no you're not, you're not. I'm looking at 68 polls a week. You may be looking at 4 or 5 public polls a week that talk about attitudes nationally but that do not impact the outcome of individual races.

SIEGEL: If you could name races between, certainly Senate races, all...

ROVE: Like the poll today that showing Corker's ahead in Tennessee or the poll showing Allen is pulling away in the Virginia Senate race.

[My note. Allen pulling away? ROFL!]

SIEGEL: Leading Webb, in Virginia, yea...

ROVE: Yeah, exactly.

SIEGEL:'ve seen the DeWine race and the Santorum race and, I don't want call [the] races.

ROVE: I'm looking at all of these Robert and adding them up. I add up to a Republican Senate and Republican House. You may end up with a different math but you are entitled to your math and I'm entitled to THE math.

SIEGEL: I don't know if we're entitled to a different math but your...

ROVE: I said THE math.



Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 14, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

yeah, they always overlook the "criminal" fact of the banking debacle.
That skirting regulations (loaning industry) --means breaking code; and breaking regs and code is breaking law.

those would be too many dots to connect.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | December 14, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

It is only beneficial for the president to take the populist angle on this issue. Americans are mad as heck and they want to Obama the same.

Posted by: parkerfl1 | December 14, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Days after saying that he was “open to looking at” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) Medicare buy-in compromise, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) criticized the proposal on CBS’ Face The Nation yesterday. “I don’t know exactly what’s in it, from what I hear I certainly would have a hard time voting for it because it has some of the same infirmities that the public option did,” said Lieberman. Later in the day, Lieberman “surprised” Reid “in a face-to-face meeting” with the news that he would join a filibuster against a health care reform bill that included the Medicare buy-in.

A Senate Democratic aide told the New York Times that Lieberman’s announcement “was a total flip-flop” because the compromise’s supporters “thought they had secured Mr. Lieberman’s agreement to go along.” But Lieberman’s filibuster position isn’t just a flip-flop on policy. Just last week, Lieberman told Fox News that he couldn’t make a decision on the bill until the details were released with a CBO score:

CAVUTO: Which way you going to go on this?

LIEBERMAN: Good to be here. Well, the direct answer is, that Joe doesn’t know, because Joe doesn’t know what — nor do most other members of the Democratic Caucus — know what’s in the compromise proposals that came out of the group of 10 senators that Senator Reid sent to the Congressional Budget Office. [...]

The announcement, really, is that I don’t know how anybody can decide until you see the actual language of these compromise proposals. And, on the Medicare buy-in, I have increasing concerns, as I think a lot of other colleagues in the Democratic Caucus, including some of those who were not concerned about the public option.

Later in the interview, Lieberman told Fox’s Neil Cavuto that health care negotiations were “kind of at a hold right now” until Reid “gets an estimate back from the Congressional Budget Office,” which is expected to be finished as early as today."

Posted by: drindl | December 14, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

P.S. re: Topic #1 above:

Obama is only "President" IF he was born in Hawaii.

Posted by: JakeD | December 14, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Thank God for Sen. Lieberman (INDEPENDENT ; )

Posted by: JakeD | December 14, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

In 2008, Mr. Krugman was also criticized by Marc Faber (an economist who accurately called the Late-2000s_recession and March 2009 market bottom). His basic objection to Krugman's work is that, in 2001, Krugman was in FAVOR of low interest rates and a new bubble -- now he feigns objections:

"To fight this recession the Fed needs more than a snapback; it needs soaring household spending to offset moribund business investment. And to do that, as Paul McCulley of Pimco put it, Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble."

That isn't his only hypocrisy either. In early 1999, Krugman served on an advisory panel (including Larry Lindsey and Robert Zoellick) that offered Enron executives briefings on economic and political issues. He only resigned from the panel in the fall of 1999 to comply with New York Times rules regarding conflicts of interest, when he accepted the Times's offer to become an op-ed columnist. Krugman later stated that he was paid $37,500 (not $50,000 as often reported - his early resignation cost him part of his fee), and that, for consulting that required him to spend four days in Houston, the fee was "rather low compared with my usual rates", which were around $20,000 for a one-hour speech. He also stated that the advisory panel "had no function that I was aware of", and that he later interpreted his role as being "just another brick in the wall" Enron used to build an image.

When the story of Enron's corporate scandals broke, however, Krugman was accused of unethical journalism, specifically of having a conflict of interest. Some of his critics claimed that "The Ascent of E-man," an article Krugman wrote for Fortune Magazine about the rise of the market as illustrated by Enron's energy trading, was biased by Krugman's earlier consulting work for them. Krugman later argued that "The Ascent of E-Man" was only in character, writing "I have always been a free-market Keynesian: I like free markets, but I want some government supervision to correct market failures and ensure stability."

Posted by: JakeD | December 14, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Margaret. Krugman was one of the few who foresaw the Republican Recesssion coming, because it was inevitable due to Repubican deregulation. He wrote about it for at least two years before it happened.

Posted by: drindl | December 14, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Lieberman is a liar. The only interest he has is getting back at Democrats. He has broken every promise he made, betrayed every confidence, and has no interest in the fact that hundreds of thousands will die because of his prima donna act. As always, it's all about Holy Joe.

Posted by: drindl | December 14, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Paul Krugman (since he is a "public figure" I can level the following personal attack) is an @ss!

Posted by: JakeD | December 14, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

They are starting.
Parsons called it in-via conference call.
Rahm-a-tolla looks marvelous.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | December 14, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Zippyspeed and Jaked, Paul Krugman has a different take on the cause of our Republican Recession:

"Let’s recall how we got into our current mess.

America emerged from the Great Depression with a tightly regulated banking system. The regulations worked: the nation was spared major financial crises for almost four decades after World War II. But as the memory of the Depression faded, bankers began to chafe at the restrictions they faced. And politicians, increasingly under the influence of free-market ideology, showed a growing willingness to give bankers what they wanted.

The first big wave of deregulation took place under Ronald Reagan — and quickly led to disaster, in the form of the savings-and-loan crisis of the 1980s. Taxpayers ended up paying more than 2 percent of G.D.P., the equivalent of around $300 billion today, to clean up the mess.

But the proponents of deregulation were undaunted, and in the decade leading up to the current crisis politicians in both parties bought into the notion that New Deal-era restrictions on bankers were nothing but pointless red tape. In a memorable 2003 incident, top bank regulators staged a photo-op in which they used garden shears and a chainsaw to cut up stacks of paper representing regulations.

And the bankers — liberated both by legislation that removed traditional restrictions and by the hands-off attitude of regulators who didn’t believe in regulation — responded by dramatically loosening lending standards. The result was a credit boom and a monstrous real estate bubble, followed by the worst economic slump since the Great Depression. Ironically, the effort to contain the crisis required government intervention on a much larger scale than would have been needed to prevent the crisis in the first place: government rescues of troubled institutions, large-scale lending by the Federal Reserve to the private sector, and so on."

That sounds about right to me.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | December 14, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse


Karl Rove "predicted" Republican wins in 2006 as well. Perhaps you missed that lie too?

Posted by: JakeD | December 14, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Events of the last 24 hours have put the Obamacare timeline in peril, and, as the Washington Post writes, "The next 48 hours will be critical to the fate" of the package. Realistically, a deal needs to be in hand this week for the Senate to pass a bill this year. The biggest stumbling block as of this writing is Joe Lieberman, who informed Harry Reid during a face-to-face meeting Sunday that he would not vote for the bill if it includes any semblance of a public option or a Medicare buy-in for those aged 55-64. That message reiterated what Lieberman said earlier on Face the Nation: "We got to start subtracting some controversial things. ... You got to take out the Medicare buy-in. You got to forget about the public option. You probably have to take out the CLASS Act, which was a whole new entitlement program that will in -- in future years put us further into deficit."

Posted by: JakeD | December 14, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Summers Predicts Job Growth by Spring. New York Times

Mr. Summers, director of the White House’s National Economic Council, made his forecast one day before President Obama is scheduled to meet with banking executives at the White House in an effort to ratchet up lending to consumers and small businesses, to make it easier for homeowners to obtain mortgages and spur businesses to generate jobs.

Mr. Summers, Secretary of the Treasury at the end of the Clinton administration, said that “it doesn’t cost anything to encourage banks, as the president will be doing, to meet their responsibilities and expand the flow of credit to small business.”

The president, he said, “will be talking with them about what they can do to support enhanced lending to customers across the country.”

”We were there for them and the banks need to do everything they can to be sure they’re there for customers across this country,” he said.

Now that there will be no return to Glass Steagall the banks will continue to buy Wall Street paper as investment banks in hopes of large bonuses and avoid lending like the plague.

The only result of this campaign event of the President meeting with bankers might be for bankers to agree to bring back toasters to show that they are there for customers.

Posted by: bsallamack | December 14, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

is there any press out on this meeting yet? it should be breaking up for lunch.
how long will it go, anyone?

i heard that you do NOT want to be called to the White House for lunch, because,
you don't get a lunch.....

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | December 14, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Blade-what I hear:

"In the end the doom and gloomers are just really upset that the bailout as Obama/Geithner redesigned it worked wonderfully and exceeding all expectations in terms of return of capital to the taxpayers, minimizing losses to the taxpayers, getting shareholders and executives to bear the brunt of the financial mistakes of the decade of greed as well as teaching painful lessons to the banks that will lead to "don't do it again."

So where do we go from here? Jawboning banks to modify mortgages, passing historical re-regulation and reforms and banks on notice...hey you are on your own now.

GWB/Pauslon started the bailouts with no oversight, no strings...Obama/Giethner reigned in the bailout with pain, strings, ended it with the clear message sent to CIT and encouraged early profitable re-payment with executive compensation caps."

Posted by: drindl | December 14, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Memo to POTUS -- After you're done with the bankers, talk tough to your security/intel team about this (now exposed) ugly American secret:


• Regional Homeland Security- administered fusion centers use a nationwide microwave/laser radiation "directed energy" weapons system employing cell towers and satellites to silently torture, impair, subjugate unconstitutionally "targeted" Americans and their families -- an American genocide hiding in plain sight.
OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):, re: "OBAMA WRONG;" "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | December 14, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

We can take our own action, these crooks, the bankers, especially Chase and Citibank, need to be taught a lesson, and a good hard one. Anyonwe who has had their interest rate jacked to 29.99% should stop paying one cent to these thieves. Then we would either get the rates lowered, or they would simply disappear, which they deserve.

Posted by: citigreg | December 14, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Tough love?

They don't want our love; they just want our MONEY!

Posted by: postfan1 | December 14, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Ezra Klein, who's deservedly starting to get lots of favorable attention, is absolutely right about this:

"At this point, Lieberman seems primarily motivated by torturing liberals. That is to say, he seems willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score."

Posted by: drindl | December 14, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Obama sure didn't mind their contributions to his campaign and life style; guess he doesn't need them anymore.

Posted by: GordonShumway | December 14, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

@drindl - The Citibank repayment of $20B was the top headline on the Post's front page today. Interesting discussion going on right now on the Diane Rehm show.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 14, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

the banks have to lighten up and start lending, and that means to all the folks that are not, clean & pristine with credit.

these are the people that do NOT have Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or FHA loans..
the regular joe six pack.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | December 14, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Interesting point regarding #5. I remember that Oregon Senator Patty Murrary ran (and WON) as a "mom in tennis shoes". Given that men come with a presumption of expertise in military and business, subtly emphasizing the flip side is worth it. Hillary's much debated "choking up" boosted her campaign in New Hampshire.

Regarding #10, AT&T has joined my phone company at the bottom of rankings of consumers. Unless there are corroborating reports from abroad (as noted in the rebuttal), I'd take that report with a few grains of fleur de sel.

With regards to zippy (must... not... reference... the pinhead...), many of those federal employees are doctors or have responsibility equivalent to upper level managemetn (SES employees). There's even a few scientists around who come up with the occasional good idea (see internet, the). A manager at UHC adds no more value to the economy that FEBP. Still, merrily rail against feds all you want.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 14, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Obimbo simply has no understanding of profit and motivation. He thinks everone does everything out of the goodness of their heart. This Marxist notion has long been discredited. It comes from never having an actual job and harboring a deep animosity toward capitalism.

Posted by: snowbama | December 14, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

"Here's a snapshot of the electorate, at the moment when a small handful of Democrats have teamed up to tank the public option. A new Research 2000 poll, commissioned by Democracy for America and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee finds that the overwhelming majority of likely voters believe Democrats who vote against the public option should face primaries from their left.

When asked: "If a Democratic member of Congress votes against a public health insurance option, would you want a more progressive candidate to run against them in a Democratic primary?" 84 percent of respondents said "yes," 11 percent said "no," and 5 percent said they weren't sure."

Maybe these obstructionists ought to think about how their support of industry's interests over voters might cost them their jobs.

Posted by: drindl | December 14, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

If anyone out there thinks becuse Obamas speech will change how bankers act with Money.I have some great swamp land to sell you in Florida.Both parties are the same.I call them Repubocrats.I was a life time Democrat until i did some reading and finding information.Both Parties take kick backs.Favors its all wrong.Thats way i am now a Green Party voter.There the only party that will make real change stop the pay offs get rid of the slime that are in office today.Both parties are to blame.Its time that someone else like the Green Party to come in and run Goverment the way it should be run.VOTE GREEN FOR REAL CHANGE.

Posted by: root66m | December 14, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

hey chris:
have WaPO knock off with these ads that take up the screen and won't CLOSE.

always happen when one clicks to SUBMIT a message....this honky ad, WaPO sponsored, comes up....but trick is.
won't let ya CLOSE.....

can it please....or have your higher ups do it please.
really messes with the blogging

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | December 14, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

the paying back story is just a white wash to take away from the banking meeting of today...

i hope President Obama gives them hell.

1. you have to be 2 months behind in your payments to even warrant an office visit at banks. Why?
2. home equity loans have stopped completely
3. banks have LOWERED their loan percent to 50%, whereby, you gotta be so clean & pristine with a credit rating, it's pathetic.
4. no one in America will have a credit score that is valid after this. the "credit report rackets" are havin' a fit because no one cares about their credit score of 700 when they are facing foreclosure...which, BTW, the banks don't really care about.
Forget about the friendly neighborhood banker who cares!!! He's Indian and just got a green card 5 years ago.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | December 14, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Just wait until the tough love is about your mom.

Posted by: RayOne | December 14, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

i'll be right back,
i have to go to the bank.

the one that "outreach" is not in their vocabulary(ies)!!!!

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | December 14, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Should be media is NOT reporting on the banks' repayment. Perhaps they want to keep this 'issue' alive for the teabaggers' sake.

Posted by: drindl | December 14, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

After all the whining from the right about TARP, the banks have now paid the money back. But the media is really reporting on that, are they?

“Citigroup reached a deal early Monday morning to be the last of the big Wall Street banks to exit the government’s bailout program.” Citigroup will repay $20 billion of federal aid through the sale of stocks and other equity. “We owe the American taxpayers a debt of gratitude,” CEO Vikram Pandit said in a statement.

Posted by: drindl | December 14, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse


LOL!!! Good post : )

Posted by: JakeD | December 14, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Almost none of Obama's advisors actually have working experience in the banking industry. Obama certainly doesn't. You basically have a bunch of inexperienced academics telling people how to run their businesses. The sick irony is that they only needed bailouts because they were forced into risky subprime markets by the Democrats' various "anti-discrimination" lending statutes that required banks to lend money to inner-city minorities without credit checks or even proof of income -- and with up to 100% financing? Just as with national healthcare/Medicare/Medicaid, you have failed Democrat policies becoming the rationale for enacting even more horrible Democrat policies. There's a reason banks are scrambling to pay back TARP loans -- they've all realized they have a bunch of drunken hobos at the wheel under Obama.

And let's not forget that Obama has massively expanded the federal government. The LA Times reported that there are thousands of new federal agency workers each making over $100,000 a year. These people generate nothing in the economy, and are a massive net drain on taxpayers. Yet Obama has the audacity to lecture private banks for how they compensate their employees? At least those employees (many of whom do not work in anything related to real estate or subprime) are paying their taxes and generating business in the private sector.

At first blush, Obama appears to simply not understand that the government creates massive distortions whenever it intervenes in the market. But Obama is a bright, educated guy -- so really the only explanation is that he is creating those distortions on purpose, as a rationale for further interventions. It's therefore not surprising that the ultimate purpose of these meetings is even more regulation of banks. Obama will not be satisfied until the Federal government controls every facet of American life. This is a proposition that should terrify anyone who has ever visited a DMV, waited 4 hours in line only to learn they ran out of H1N1 vaccines, or watched Obama try to enter the Oval Office through a window.

Posted by: zippyspeed | December 14, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Suffice to say that some of us members of "60 Plus" are not Big Pharmacuetical executives -- we also opposed Hillarycare -- thanks for the iPhone update : )

Posted by: JakeD | December 14, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

60 Plus is 100% Pharma astroturn, dedicated to killing healthcare reform:

"However, a 2006 report in the AARP Bulletin called 60 Plus a front group for the pharmaceutical industry. 60 Plus, along with Senior Coalition and United Seniors Association, "claim to speak for millions of older Americans, although as recently as 2001 none of the three listed any revenue from membership dues on their tax returns." The article added: "virtually all of their largest contributions in recent years have come from the same source -- the nation's pharmaceutical industry.

60 Plus president James L. Martin claims to have given then-"Texas Gov. George W. Bush his first political job ... way back in 1967." [5] Martin also "credits himself" with coming up with t phrase "death tax," as part of efforts to repeal the estate tax.

Posted by: drindl | December 14, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Re No. 2: BHO should realize that, if BroderWorld and the I-hope-he-fails crowd are cheering his war/peace speech in Oslo, the WH has veered horribly off course. Let's hope BHO has a senior-level WH retreat real soon to get back on track, following through on ANTI-war campaign promises and not placating the war profiteers.

BTW, provides a cautionary note for blogs considering "emulating" Drudge.


"Drudge Report, the race bait champion of 2009, headlined Limbaugh’s remarks and has been adding to the media garbage heap since.

As gossip website Gawker has documented over and over again, Drudge is obsessed with angry black people. And unlike Fox commentator Glenn Beck, who practices overt racial buffoonery while telling his audience Barack Obama’s stimulus is actually about “reparations”, Drudge sticks to icy, racial flirtation through headlines. For instance, back in September, Drudge’s headline about Obama’s sinking poll numbers: “Obama’s Negs Rise.”"

Nuff said.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | December 14, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand why everyone is so up in arms about the big banks paying back the TARP money so soon so that they can pay out their big bonuses? As long as they pay us back with interest they can do whatever they want.
They just have to understand that this will just increase the pressure on the senate to speed up bank reform, and will also mean that they will NEVER get another bailout if this happens again.

I hope Jenny Sanford takes his punk a$$ to the cleaners for everything he put her through.

Posted by: AndyR3 | December 14, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

"But it wasn't the presidential hopeful-turned-political roadkill that people found so compelling. It wasn't the Appalachian Trail fable or the secretive red-eye from Buenos Aires or the rambling news conference in the marble-floored corridor of the State Capitol. It was Jenny."

From Rucker's Saturday piece on her divorce filing. Maybe you guys already talked about this, I've been gone, but one has to wonder whether Jenny Sanford is interested in politics? She sure is popular.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 14, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

#8 -- Thanks for the link to Ezra Klein.

LOVE EK, but this column was just a couple of paragraphs digesting and citing a column from New Republic by Jonathan Cohn and reproducing a graph from Kaiser Family Foundation.

And EK's column is 12 days old.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | December 14, 2009 6:37 AM | Report abuse

re: #8 -

Ezra Klein wrote:

"John McCain, who proposed $1.3 trillion in Medicare and Medicaid cuts during the campaign, is now filing amendments to remove every Medicare reform in the health-care reform bill. Scores of Republicans who voted for the 1997 Balanced Budget Act, which cut Medicare much deeper than anything being considered today ..., are condemning Democrats for ...entertaining the notion of slight reductions in fees to private insurers participating in the Medicare Advantage program."

McC was right during his campaign and wrong now. I am a happy user of Medicare Advantage, which provides me with much better coverage than "Medigap"
for nearly the same $$ thanks to a contrib from the general revenues of the USA. But this luxury policy - better than anything I ever had through the ABA Endowment/United Health plans - was not paid for by me through my lifetime of contribs to Medicare. It is a pasted add-on to a near bankrupt program with no revenue source save deficit financing. The McC I contributed money to in 2007-08 would have called this one in true, traditional conservative fashion, the way the Ds want to call it now.

I remain a social libertarian and civil rights advocate and fiscal conservative while the flow of American party politics has passed me by. The Rs out of power seem to have lost all sense of responsibility. They are not providing the leavening of fiscally conservative sensibility that animated McC for years, but merely taking positions of convenience. I am very uncomfortable looking at ONE party, albeit a big tent one [and here I mean the Ds], to provide both the social libertarianism AND the comprehension of fiscal limitations that will lead to solvency. For now, that seems to be all we have.

When the Ds were on the outs, most recently, they were often irresponsible in their futile flailing, so this may be a failing of memory coupled with the aging process when I say that I think the Rs are sillier in opposition then were the recent Ds. In any case, I despise the "comparative stupidity" arguments that often rage here and everywhere and I do not mean to fuel them. Suffice to say that McC the candidate was correct and the good Senator is now wrong.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 14, 2009 6:32 AM | Report abuse

The problem with any progressive Reform for the people is the Democratic Senate -- Not the House Democratis who Did vote for a strong public option and do vote for progressive reform. It is the small minority of the majority in the Senate that makes things so difficult to pass, espeically when the small - majority have a few Democratic Senators who act more like the minority party or Republicans than Democrats. No, the answer is more Democratic Senators who are true progressives and not ConservaDems!

In regards to healtcare reform, while some Senators want to slow the process down or kill it all together, there are people all over America who are sick and dying or cannot afford their medicine, they can't slow things down. There are people who are losing their health care insurance because employers just cannot afford it any more. They don't want the processed slowed down. These Senators do not feel a sense of urgency because it is not happening to them. They are not really connected to the pain of people. They should not be representatives of the people!

Posted by: wdsoulplane | December 14, 2009 6:10 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company