Wall Street's Financing Bill

Russ Feingold tells some inconvenient truths: This bill caves to Wall Street interests, it doesn't meet the test of preventing another financial crisis, and it won't get my vote.

...reports indicate that the administration and conference leaders have gone to significant lengths to avoid making the bill stronger. Rather than discussing with me ways to strengthen the bill, for example, they chose to eliminate a levy that was to be imposed on the largest banks and hedge funds in order to obtain the vote of members who prefer a weaker bill. Nothing could be more revealing of the true position of those who are crafting this legislation. They had a choice between pursuing a weaker bill or a stronger one. Their decision is clear.

To top it off, Scott Brown's now wavering on his vote, saying 'he'll think about it over the July recess'.

There's no reason for progressives to weigh in on behalf of the Obama administration to make Feingold buckle, when they won't even negotiate with him. Geithner will make this bill a Republican bill if that's what it takes to get to the point where Obama can call it a "win" and there's not a reason to help them do it either.

Democrat loyalists can go on about "the perfect being the enemy of the good" and miss the point here. "They had a choice" and chose dealing with Senator Brown to make the bill weaker, and maintain his vote, rather than make the bill stronger and get Feingold's vote-- he wasn't even consulted. They didn't even persue the progressive alternative.

There's another angle here, of anything now needing 60 votes to pass the Senate; with underlying opposition to a bill equating to not voting for cloture either. That's an unfortunate reality that the last decade has brought upon the Senate. Used to be, a Senator like Feingold, or anyone from the opposition, whom would vote against it, would still go ahead with voting for cloture--not of substance to the underlying approval of the bill in question but as a procedural vote. Not anymore: 60 is the new 50. That's gotta change.

One other point, and this can't be underestimated. Feingold is in a tough re-election battle, and he's one of the few Democrats to have done the right thing, and vote against the Bank Bailouts. His coming out against this bill, and being vocal about it, probalby helps his chances of re-election by highlighting his opposition to the "Unholy Alliance Between Washington and Wall Street."

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RE: Wall Street's Financing Bill

Feingold should have been consulted, but I don't think it was a Feingold vs. Brown kind of thing. If you give Feingold what he wants, you gain him but likely lose four Republicans and possibly two Democrats (Bayh and Ben Nelson). That will sink the bill. Give Brown his small demand and you don't lose anyone because Feingold's already gone and Cantwell's demands were seperate. That lets the bill pass.

We can come back to too-big-to-fail after filibuster reform is passed in January. If I agree with just one thing, it's the last paragraph of the post. In Novemer and December, that should be the Netroots focus, when new rules are being written.

by Nathan Empsall 2010-06-30 03:21PM | 1 recs
The firebaggers told me HCR wasn't worth passing

Public approval of the HCR bill has improved steadily since then, to now where more people approve of the bill than disapprove of it. So forgive me if I don't believe at face value that there are no real reforms in this bill.

I have to agree with your sentiment. As distasteful as it may sound, we really have no choice but to negotiate rightward and try for the best we can.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-06-30 05:51PM | 0 recs
You're wrong......as usual

There you go again.....but I am curious where you came up with this whopper:

"Public approval of the HCR bill has improved steadily since then, to now where more people approve of the bill than disapprove of it."

Check out the most recent RCP average on Obamcare, which compiles polls taken between 5/21-6/21:

Favor: 43%; Oppose: 49.8%  (-6.8%)

That bill is a pile of crap, and the voters realize it. The conventional wisdom that voters will always favor entitlement programs once they're passed is a tired and shopworn idea; too bad Obama and his clowns so stupid that they really believe it.


by BJJ Fighter 2010-07-01 12:58AM | 0 recs
RE: You're wrong......as usual

Here is the latest meta-analysis of all healthcare polls on Pollster. The public opinion is evenly divided, but the trend lines show a far less vociferous opposition.

by tarheel74 2010-07-01 11:57AM | 0 recs
RE: You're wrong......as usual
http://www.pollster.com/polls/us/healthplan.php PS to the mods, the HTML for posting comments here SUCKS. Please fix it.
by tarheel74 2010-07-01 12:02PM | 1 recs
RE: You're wrong......as usual

So BJ didn't even get his hysteria right. That trendline is pretty clear.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-07-01 01:56PM | 0 recs
RE: You're wrong......as usual

Listen BJ, losing is hard. And you got beat on HCR.

The high risk pools go into effect today.

Judging from the tone of your response, you're really upset about this, which brings me unending pleasure.

And now voter sentiment is improving, as cited int he Washington monthly.

HEALTH CARE REFORM'S POPULARITY GETS ANOTHER BOOST.... Last week, a national Associated Press-GfK poll found that support for the Affordable Care Act was not only the rise, but had reached new heights -- health care reform's supporters outnumbered opponents, 45% to 42%.

Now, we have another poll with similar results. A new Gallup poll shows support inching up, with supporters topping opponents -- 49% of respondents said passage of the law is a "good thing," while 46% said it's a "bad thing." That's a modest shift in the right direction from a few months, but it's a shift nevertheless.

Poor BJ.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-07-01 01:53PM | 0 recs
There you go again

Read it and weep:


To avoid getting embarrassed again, I'd urge you to move on to some real news outlets; you'll find that "Washington Monthly" doesn't have much of a following. The same Gallup poll that you cite also shows that 50% of the public favors repealing Obamacare. The RCP summary includes those findings; your little magazine conveniently left them out.....wonder why.

Maybe Obama can consult with Malia to figure out a strategy that will boost support for his health care effort.....although I must say, her counsel hasn't been much of a help on the oil spill.

In the meantime, this White House occupant is proof of the old saying: "never send a boy to do a man's job!"


by BJJ Fighter 2010-07-01 03:27PM | 0 recs
RE: There you go again

Oh noes, (R)as says it isn't popular.

You're going to be stuck with another entitlement program!

by NoFortunateSon 2010-07-01 05:22PM | 0 recs
Call me cynical

But something so grandiosely labeled Wall Street Reform is bound to fail. There is way too much money involved. When Glass-Steagall act was passed, derivative was a pejorative used to describe something that was unimaginative and CDS was unheard of. Right now both are multi-trillion dollar unregulated gambling pits. This "reform" is just a fig-leaf, an extension of fin-reg theater. The tax-payer bails out Wall Street and in return Wall Street tells our representatives "beat us, but not too hard". Nearly everyone in Washington is deep in the pockets of Wall Street, so if Feingold decides to stick to his principles (the jury is still out on that), more power to him.

by tarheel74 2010-06-30 04:21PM | 0 recs
Feingold can vote no

but by filibustering what he's doing is endorsing the idea of a 60 vote threshold for everything and anything.

You can't support his filibuster and then call to get rid of it at the same time.

by DTOzone 2010-06-30 06:44PM | 1 recs
RE: Feingold can vote no

Sure you can! When you want to rob Obama of a victory, which he will get. It just passed the house 237-192.


by NoFortunateSon 2010-06-30 07:29PM | 0 recs
Well yes

If all you want is to see Obama fail because you don't like him and you hide behind the banner of "true progressive" to shield your pettiness, like many here do, then yea, you can be a hypocrite.



by DTOzone 2010-06-30 09:05PM | 0 recs
RE: Well yes

Did you support Bush when Paulson was proposing his bailouts?  or the Iraq war? Were you a petty person then? Opposing this president has nothing to do with ideology but integrity. There are certain areas where compromise is inevitable. But there has to be some reciprocity.  I will vote for Ron paul if I think he is capable of reforming our military industrial complex and financial system. (Not that i think he can, but I am open to his ideas, and see what works , and what won't).

by Pravin 2010-07-01 02:35AM | 1 recs
I wasn't talking about you

so relax.

by DTOzone 2010-07-01 08:11AM | 0 recs
RE: Wall Street's Financing Bill

Democrat loyalists can go on about "the perfect being the enemy of the good" and miss the point here. "They had a choice" and chose dealing with Senator Brown to make the bill weaker, and maintain his vote, rather than make the bill stronger and get Fie==eingold's vote-- he wasn't even consulted. They didn't even persue the progressive alternative.


Anybody else seeing a pattern here?


by jeopardy 2010-06-30 04:29PM | 0 recs
Why would the deal with progressives?

We're underrepresented in government, and there aren't many of us to begin with.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-06-30 05:46PM | 0 recs
Actually that's a lie

Maria Cantwell got some concessions she wanted because she asked for them and was engaged in the conference process. Feingold just disappeared.

If by pattern you mean Jerome lying, or at best, being deliberately misleading, then yeah I noticed that too.

by DTOzone 2010-06-30 06:39PM | 1 recs
RE: Actually that's a lie

I found this post very misleading too. 

Wall Street's financial reform? Hardly.

Is it everything we wanted? No. Is it better than nothing? Like HCR, an emphatic yes.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-06-30 07:40PM | 1 recs
RE: Wall Street's Financing Bill

Why don't you blind Democratic Party Obama loyalists ask yourselves why Obama doesn't feel the need to cater to both sides? Why demonize the left and say that catering to the right is acceptable? This is what feeds the mainstream narrative and leads to a circular pattern of the right always being catered to whether they are in power or not. How did Bush get some of his wishlist passed when he didn't even have a strong majority and he failed to cater to the left? Why is it so tough for Obama to do the same?


I am not even a typical liberal but I find the way establishment Democrats dismiss the liberals as unworthy of catering to as bringing about another Naderesque movement. But then you guys won';t blame yourselves. you will just blame the 3rd party voters. Howard Dean tried to work within the system by campaigning for people who vilified him and what did he get rewarded with? A big fat kick in the ass after his term was up. Yet, people said Nader should have done what Dean did and work within the party. Feingold is no nader and yet he is having a hard time being consulted on important issues despite his track record of being one of the very few Democratic Senators who are more often right than wrong.


The bank bailout was vilified by both right and left. So I do not know what obama is accomplishing by catering to the right this much. The right does not respect compromise. They respect only power. Obama needs to project that  by finding their weak points and find ways to threaten them using populist rhetoric. He's got a big army of PR guys. They need to earn their money and learn how to get people riled up against opponents of his bills the same way the tea partiers and Palin get their support by framing issues in ways a lot can relate to.

by Pravin 2010-07-01 02:32AM | 2 recs
RE: Wall Street's Financing Bill

The right does not respect compromise. They respect only power.

That's exactly right.  We're the ones who need to understand the limits of our power.  Right now we simply don't have the votes.  We need to accept that and pick the best plan of attack.  It's only going to get worse in the near-term.

Given the cloture rules (which are the real problem here), the way I see it we have 2 options for the 60th vote:

1. We cut some outrageous pork-filled deal with Brown or another Republican -- and take the heat and negative ads that come along with it.

2. We water down the bill enough that 2 or 3 Republicans can join in, and plan on fixing it later.

Pick your poision.  Not passing a bill is not an option if we give a sh*t about the '12 cycle.


by gabr1el 2010-07-03 02:04AM | 0 recs
A Little Pragmatism Please

I understand this bill is far from perfect. I understand both left and the right must be actively posturing for strategy sake.  Fine.  That doesn't mean we can afford to miss this opportunity.

We all know that Democrats are going to lose a non-trivial number of Senate seats this next cycle.  We also know we'll have more opportunities to fix the bill down the road, even if those fixes are tucked into other legislation.

So posturing aside, why the hell would we miss our opportunity to pass a bill when our majority is the largest it's likely to be in some time?  The American public is on our side here.  Let's cut whatever shitty deal we have to in order to tuck this one under our belt, and prove we can govern.

I'm not buying that inaction is the best alternative -- not for the country, not for the party.  The time for pragmatism is now.

by gabr1el 2010-07-03 01:44AM | 0 recs

 That kind of sensible reasoning can get you labelled a "FANBOY" around here.

(Full disclosure: I AM a FANBOY for real.)

by QTG 2010-07-03 01:00PM | 0 recs
Actually this cartoon sums the pro-administration commentary best

by tarheel74 2010-07-05 10:56AM | 0 recs
Actually this cartoon sums the pro-administration commentary best
by tarheel74 2010-07-05 10:57AM | 0 recs
Actually this cartoon sums the pro-administration commentary best


by tarheel74 2010-07-05 10:58AM | 0 recs


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