Archive for December, 2010
Blumenthal is predictably milquetoast and non-committal with regards to anything specific. That said, he did say he’d like to see the Senate work better.
I asked Brown about the statement he made over the summer about directly electing Committee Chairs. He said it is intended to “send a message” and that electing chairs individually was a departure from what has been done in the past.
Tester was the most specific of the Senators, saying that he wanted to put the onus on the filibustering minority and that with regards to the election of committee chairs, he recognizes that the Senate Majority Leader needs to have people that he can work with. He says there needs to be balance.
Durbin says he hopes for filibuster reform that both parties can support. Regarding election of Committee chairs, he sounds less enthused. Moreover, he loves Joe Lieberman…
High school kids are asked to do the things our military must be protected from.
It started out great. I was happy that he was successful in inserting language into the financial reform bill that forced a degree of ex post facto transparency on the Fed and its TALF program. I was wondering what Frank’s take on the data was, and in particular if revelations like the rampant conflicts of interest might give rise to additional legislation or proactive accountability measures.
Soon enough, the conversation slipped off the rails.
I’m don’t have the expertise of Karl Denninger or David Dayen or Atrios or Yves Smith, and Barney is pretty good at bullying the conversation, so I wasn’t really able to pin him down. But… you will notice that he didn’t want to talk about the toxic debt time bomb hidden away on the Feds ledger (debt they took off the banks hands), or the money lost to AIG (or the payout at par the Treasury made to Goldman Sachs on AIGs obligations), or the ongoing foreclosure fraud crisis, or the fraudulent and deceptive mortgages that were written that underpins the entirety of this mess, or the criminality inherent in all of these banks submitting SEC filings riddled with material falsehoods and deceptions. Frank kept saying that the banks did nothing illegal; in hindsight, the fact that he’d even mouth those words to me is pretty insulting.
I ended up chasing him down because I like the guy, think he’s as good as we’re going to get on a lot of this stuff and hate the idea that he refuses to accept that people have a right to be pissed off about all of this. He said again and again that he’s sick of only hearing about the bad side of this mess; that we in the progressive media don’t spend enough time explaining what he and the rest of the government got right. To him, they deserve a lot of credit for re-regulating the mortgage market. I told him they got credit for the Consumer Protection apparatus and Elizabeth Warren; he wants us talking more about the reforms that have been put in place that he says will prevent the need for more bailouts.
Clap louder everybody. And stop your whining. Barney Frank says so.