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Bank-Favoring Censorship by Congress

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Harper’s Magazine has written up the lengths to which the authorities will go in censoring views that dissent with what is the unstated official policy: that no demand of the banking industry is too unreasonable not to be catered to.

The object lesson is the gutting of the falsely-branded derivatives reform bill. It arrived with a loophole so large you could drive a truck through it, namely that customized derivatives were not covered. So this bill will do nothing to impede the growth of complex opaque products; in fact, it encourages it, since banks will have no oversight if they tweak a product so that is can be deemed “customized.” It was further weakened by excluding most of the banks in America and by excluding a whole swathe of end users. The final insult was making the derivatives clearing house self-regulating.

The hearings on the bill had testimony scheduled only from what amounted to industry flacks. Someone apparently realized at the 11th hour that that might not go over with the correctly angry public too well. So less than 24 hours prior to the session before the House Financial Services Committee, an invitation was issued to Rob Johnson, a former managing director at Bankers Trust Company and former economist at the Senate Banking Committee and Senate Budget Committee.

So what transpired? As Ken Silverstein recounts:

Johnson, who came last, offered the only serious critical viewpoint… After about five minutes of his testimony, Congresswoman Melissa Bean—another industry-funded committee member who chaired the hearing because Frank was absent—had heard enough. “I’m just going to ask you to wrap up because we’re running out of time,” she told Johnson.

Johnson gamely continued. “When I hear the testimony today that are largely financial institutions and end users, I believe that I represent a third group that comes to the table, which is the taxpayers, the working people of the United States,” he said.

“I do need a final comment,” Bean interjected seconds later.

That put an end to Johnson’s testimony. “I was just called to this hearing last night, so I will provide detailed comments on your bill and a statement for the record that will finish my comments,” he concluded.

So what happens next? >The House Financial Services Committee has refused to publish his testimony, offering “the dog ate my homework” level excuses, first that they hadn’t gotten it, then that it was in the wrong format, then that their IT department was experiencing difficulties (always a good one when real reasons are running thin). The last one was pure Catch-22: that he had gotten his written testimony in too late.

You can read his statement, which is obviously too offensive to powerful interests for it to see the light of day in any officially-sanctioned venue, at the Roosevelt Institute.

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57 comments

  1. i on the ball patriot

    Ho hum …

    Oh vanilla greed,
    You poor little raper,
    Its comeuppance time,
    You’ll soon get the taper,

    Pernicious greed,
    Has come to town,
    Thrown you to the floor,
    And now lifted your gown,

    You whine and you whimper,
    As the gang rape begins,
    But deep down you know,
    Its pay back for your sins,

    Exploitation through usury,
    The basis of your crimes,
    What you sow you reap,
    You now face hard times,

    You writhe and you scream,
    As your blood turns to vapor,
    But the public only yawns,
    When its raper on raper …

    Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

  2. Bob Goodwin

    The key thing which differentiates a liberal from a libertarian is their position on free speech. Your post seems to be arguing for free speech over common good. Of course the rub always seems to be who gets to define common good. Are you against Glenn Beck speech? Zero Hedge Speech? Matt Taibi speech?

    1. Richard Smith

      Can’t make sense of your comment, Bob. There’s no evidence Yves is against free speech by any of those bods. Disagreeing with what they say, or the way they say it, isn’t the same thing as denying their right to say it.

      The difference between libertarians and others on free speech may come down specifically to their respective tolerance of public calls for violence. That’s not relevant to the odiousness of the state’s denying Rob Johnson’s testimony the same conspicuousness as all the other witnesses. The whole political spectrum ought to be able to agree that Johnson’s testimony should be up on the site.

      1. Dave Raithel

        Which is why it is not unreasonable to suggest the probably impossible – that candidates may collect contributions only from persons eligible to vote in the election and office for which the candidate stands. This is a simple, neutral, non-partisan good government do-good proposal that Congress would never enact and the Robert’s Court would never up-hold.

  3. mmckinl

    Truly an OUTRAGE …

    Great reporting Yves …

    It is not only worse than we thought … It is worse than we could have imagined …

  4. Karen Magee

    It’s all over except for the shouting. It’s so obvious that our economy, perhaps even our form of government, is not gonna make it. There is so much lying and corruption, there is nothing to save.

    1. Lavrenti Beria

      “It’s so obvious that our economy, perhaps even our form of government, is not gonna make it. There is so much lying and corruption, there is nothing to save.”

      Now there’s an analysis that reaches through to the heart of the matter. No election, no White House initiative, no Congressional investigation, not even big sis, Elizabeth Warren, will ever fix what’s wrong here. We’ve lost our democracy. From top to bottom, the filth – and I mean filth – that govern us are simply creatures of the interests that variously fund and threaten them: The banks, the drug companies, the arms industries and AIPAC. Only massive public demonstrations and strikes have the potential of bringing about changes fundamental enough to mean anything. We need literally to start all over again.

      1. Graphite

        We’ve lost our democracy.

        Not really. I’d say we’re getting exactly what we voted for — politicians who can feel free to grab power and trample the Constitution at every turn, as long as they keep the bread & circuses & stimuli flowing.

        1. SidFinster

          Living in Ukraine, a nation not exactly renowned for the integrity of its bureaucrats and elected officials, I have concluded that the difference between the governments in most western nations and the government currently infesting this country is a difference of degree, but not of type.

          1. Lavrenti Beria

            There would seem to be a difference in the pain tolerance of the people of Ukraine and those of the United States, however. You guys turned out in the hundreds of thousands to work a fundamental change in your government a couple of years back. The American people do little but offer applause to the maggots that run the show here. Its disgusting, actually.

    2. Ultimate Janitor

      Perhaps not.

      But a mass lynching might straighten things out for another 30 or 40 years.

  5. Skippy

    Um…now why does OBAMA drag his feet on sending more troops over to Afghanistan.

    Skippy…just kidding..really.

  6. Rickstersherpa

    Yes, Congresswoman Bean is truly a bought and paid for elected by the banks. In part, Bean is only a Democrat because business oriented folks like here who are also pro-life have been driven out of the Republican Party by the Theocrats.

    I see that a “concerned” troll by the name of Bob Goodwin has found this site. I must admit that I read his post a couple of times and I still don’t quite see what point he is making (Matt Tabbai = Glenn Beck?????). But for his edification I will try to explain the 1st Amendment and what it says to him, which says:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    Contrary to what people seem to think, this does not mean that other people are not free to criticized, question motives, or make arguments against what other people say or write. If Glenn Freaking Beck says something utterly moronic, Media Matters is free to rip him a new one, just as Glenn Freaking Beck will still be free to utter his next moronic statement. That is the essence of the “Market Place of Ideas” that Associate Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes was rather to optimistic about in sorting the bad from the good. What happen in this case is Congress did perhaps, at least in spirit violate the First Amendment, in limiting Professor Johnson’s testimony, that some members found unpleasant, they were limiting the right “of the people to Petition their Government for a redress of grievances.” Perhaps we should start a petition for the redress of this extremely grievous situation of bank oligarchy.

  7. Francois T

    I’m afraid I can’t stay polite this time. Besides, what would be the point?

    Every time I hear or read the name “Melissa Bean”, one word keeps imposing itself from my thalamus to the depths of my cortex:

    Bitch!

    1. Ultimate Janitor

      She will not accept e-mails from individuals outside of the Illinois 8th district.

      So I guess I will have to mail her 657,000 letters telling her to sesign tomorrow. Thats going to be a hit on postage!

      Cunt is the correct word I’m afraid.

      1. jim

        Let’s see, Bean is making policy affecting 300,000,000 people in this country, yet Melissa Bean REFUSES TO HEAR from anybody outside her district. Of course, if you are a large corporation, and potential campaign contributor, I suppose the corrupt Melissa Bean would love to hear from you.
        UNBELIEVABLE!!

  8. emca

    One could ask here, what is needed more, reform of Finance, or reform of the system to reform Finance?

    Ms. Bean, as a judge, would be disqualified in a court of law do to her obvious conflict of interest. Yet in politics there is no conflict, not in hers or any other case where the parties of interest have bankrolled those politician’s platform of representation.

    What’s worse is that even Mr. Johnson’s aborted and censored testimony in opposition to the farce wouldn’t have occurred if it hadn’t been for consumer groups complaining at the inequity of it all. As stated, I guess someone on the committee concluded it was too obvious a con without some token of actual opposition.

    A fine puppet show of democracy.

  9. Observer

    Yves, perhaps you may have time to take a look at this quote from Keynes (The Economic Consequences of the Peace, 1920). If you read past superficial differences between then and now, it seems to be very much on point, 90 years later…he speaks of how the artificial determination of winners and losers risks delegitimizing the system:

    “Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the Capitalist System was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. The sight of this arbitrary rearrangement of riches strikes not only at security, but at confidence in the equity of the existing distribution of wealth. Those to whom the system brings windfalls, beyond their deserts and even beyond their expectations or desires, become “profiteers,”, who are the object of the hatred of the bourgeoisie, whom the inflationism has impoverished, not less than of the proletariat. As the inflation proceeds and the real value of the currency fluctuates wildly from month to month, all permanent relations between debtors and creditors, which form the ultimate foundation of capitalism, become so utterly disordered as to be almost meaningless; and the process of wealth-getting degenerates into a gamble and a lottery.

    “Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”

    We need to get back to “the rule of law,” so to speak, in economic life, fast.

  10. Hugh

    Melissa Bean is an example of why “capture” sometimes misses the point. She is someone who freely sold herself to financial interests. With people like her typical in the regulatory process, depression is inevitable. Our political classes would be running their scams on the tilting deck of the Titanic trying to get in that last score. They are so blinded by their own self-interest that they will see the country damned before they give up an iota of their wealth and power.

    1. Lavrenti Beria

      The whole idea of “capture”, meaning a kind of ideological or intellectual conversion, has always been a coward’s way of describing the realities at work here. Such “conversions” have all the validity of the new church membership of the socially assertive business executive wishing to be seen in his community as at least minimally pious. The point is and has always been the campaign contributions. Funny how a $10,000 check can help make a theoritician out of theiving maggot, eh?

  11. Timbo

    I found this not at all unrelated, nor too harsh:

    In the preface of a 1947 Ukrainian edition of Animal Farm he(Orwell) explained how escaping the communist purges in Spain taught him “how easily totalitarian propaganda can control the opinion of enlightened people in democratic countries.” This motivated Orwell to expose and strongly condemn what he saw as the Stalinist corruption of the original socialist ideals.[9]

    In that preface Orwell also described what gave him the idea of setting the book on a farm:[9]

    …I saw a little boy, perhaps ten years old, driving a huge carthorse along a narrow path, whipping it whenever it tried to turn. It struck me that if only such animals became aware of their strength we should have no power over them, and that men exploit animals in much the same way as the rich exploit the proletariat.

    We are 300 million….

      1. Observer

        Oops, Timbo, I did not mean that what you wrote was offensive…I posted this in the wrong area, sorry.

  12. Hugo

    I think we are living in a time rather similar to the final end of the Roman Republic, which was signalled by the assassination of Julius Caesar 15 March 44 B.C.

    There followed a civil war which concluded with the naming of Augustus (Octavian) Caesar as emperor. He kept all the old formalities of the Republic, but he was the absolute ruler, for life. From then on, Rome was an Empire, not a Republic, but the people took quite some time to catch on.

    The U.S. is in the course of transformation from a Republic, a very tattered one, into a Dictatorship. Obama is not a dictator, but he will be succeeded a few terms down the road, by an out-and-out Dictator. Or, if not a Dictatorship, a despotic Oligarchy (rule of the few) made up of International Bankers, that is to say, Jews. Might as well say it! They are NOW, the power behind the Throne, and that is why Congress behaves the way it does.

    That is why so many people are frustrated with Congress, which is not responding as it should, to its Constituents, the voters. The Congress is obsolete, it has no power, it is a lap-dog of the banks. The Constitutional structure is broken, gone, never to return. The old forms of redress of injuries are finished. Habeas Corpus, Adios! It’s a new and nasty world!

    There is NO U.S. of A. any more. Little by little, people will come to understand this. Very frustrating, for now!

    1. Timbo

      @Hugo

      I have heard this analogy stated many different ways, and I must say, it is a harrowing thought.

      However how would you respond to this statement-

      Never before in the history of mankind has one nation had its populous armed so well.

      You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.” – Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto (Japanese Navy)

      What I’m sayin is, look down south to Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, or north to Montana, Dakotas, Minnesota and you will see veritable Armies that can live and survive off the land. If the shit ever really hits the fan, we as a nation, hold that one card. Our founding fathers had the prescience to arm us to the teeth.

      I think that gives us a fighting chance over the Romans, Germans, Russians, or many others who were tyrannized from within.

      Good post though…

    2. DownSouth

      Hugo,

      Singling out any one group to blame, such as the Jews, is not at all helpful.

      Quite to the contrary, it is playing right into the hands of TPTB.

      TPTB always seek to project their own failures and incompetence onto some group. It’s a tactic as old as the hills.

      But one doesn’t have to be a student of history to know this. Just look around you, how the scapegoat de jour changes so rapidly. Today it’s the Jews. Tomorrow it’s the immigrants. The next day it’s the Moslems. And the day after that it’s poor people. And if you listen to the Pat Robertsons and James Dobsons of the world, it’s those pernicious gays and lesbians that are to blame for all America’s problems.

      So TPTB always encourage making a blanket condemnation of some group. But whatever you do, don’t single out the actors that are actually causing the problem.

    3. craazyman

      Hugh, Hugh, puh-leease, as the say in Ronkonkoma.

      The Jews???

      This whole ordeal is a matter of demonic possession. And by that I mean the viral thought-forms that prey on the periphery of consciousness like gargoyles, eating their way into the center of the brain.

      The Jews have usually been on the wrong side of the demonic possession of the collective consciousness. No, it’s works of literature like Ionescu’s Rhinoceros that better explain the circumstances. Or works of social pyschology like Gustav LeBon’s “The Crowd”.

      In mathematical terms we have an expression of what I have developed and called the Poop Theorem.

      Where P(b) = (Ex) X (LaX) or P = ExLax

      Where P(b) = Bank Profitability; (Ex) = Employee Productivity and (Lax) = Legistative and Executive Branches.

      One insight of the Poop Theorem is that the many members of legislative and executive branches of government — like Ms. Bean — are by and large unpaid employees of the big banks, even though they receive a salary from the public treasury. Clearly, any corporation that has unpaid employees will experience a productivity leap, although the profits in these cases are often composed of true economic profits and social liabilities, which unfortunately are not distinguished in their consitutent parts on the income statement.

      The Poop Theorem offers a mathematical explanation of the high pay of senior big bank executives. And this high level of pay activates neuronic energies in the mind that shut down the “Logos receptors” and make the mind a virtual petri dish for the bacteria of consciousnes that we can call “demons”. If you saw these demons through the filter of the imaginative faculty, they would look like little gargoyles with hunched insect legs and jaws like the pinchers of termite mouths.

      I am a professor of contemporary analysis at the University of Magonia. And my paper will be submitted to the Journal of Normative Economics for publication. Predictably, it was rejected by all the mainstream economic journals, who alleged it was the work of a madman. But I am used to such invective and it no longer troubles me.

      1. Siggy

        The Poop Theorem indeed. Your exercise of scatological sophistry is downright funny. It is also very sad in that it also reflects helplessness. You’ve lost your will to fight and now must make humor of that which is absolute disaster.

        1. craazyman

          No worries Sig.

          I gave $25 to Rep. Alan Grayson. I made a typo in above. I did not meant to imply all our Legis. and Exec. reps are unpaid employees of the Bangsta’s.

          I’m in a bad mood because GLD is not at $200 yet. If it gets there, I will give Mr. Grayson $100 and campaign for his re-election.

    4. Dan Duncan

      Hugh, you really should pick up the timeless tome “Anti-Semitics”. This classic is to Anti-Semiticology what “Dianetics” is to Scientology. Legend has it that LRon penned both himself…Uhh, I mean…Himself.

      Anyways, one of the fundamental rules of “Anti-Semitics” is that proper Jew-Bashing always requires a reference to Zion. You don’t just go straight to the tired old “Jews are Bankers” bit.

      Oh, and by the way: Where in the hell was your assertion that Jews control the media?

      You seem like a good soldier, though. Dull, but good. So here’s what I’m going to do for you. I’ve excerpted some of your tortured prose and made a few modifications. Take my changes and feel free to cut and paste on all your future posts. This way, you’ll still spread the message of hate and ignorance…but you’ll do so intelligently.

      “The U.S. is in the course of transformation FROM a Republic, a very tattered one, into a ZIONIST DICTATORSHIP. This Dictatorship, shall be a DESPOTIC Oligarchy (rule of the FEW) made up of International Bankers, that is to say, ZION MONEY LENDERS. These Zion JEWS will use their purse strings to solidify their CONTROL over the Media. These Zionists will be the POWER BEHIND THE THRONE!”

    5. Richard Smith

      Hugh or Hugo? Surely not Hugh?

      Whoever you are, Dan is right about your style. Many more capital letters, please!

      1. i on the ball patriot

        DownSouth — I agree.

        But I would add that it is also more than “scapegoating failures and incompetence onto some group”. The intentional divisiveness now created is the strategy of an ideology that seeks to create a two tier ruler and ruled world with the masses in perpetual conflict with each other. It is not solely scapegoating failures and incompetence, rather there is now an added dimension which consists of an intentional acceleration of divisiveness to grind down the middle class and replace it with a law enforcement class. It is a conscious plan for societal control, employed by the wealthy ruling elite, that reflects great competence.

        The root struggle is deception pitted against perception, in self, and in the society at large. The goal of reform should be to reduce the extremes of cannibalization within the human species. The priority target is the wealthy ruling elite who have unbalanced the system through deception. A major stumbling block is that the global middle class has been complicit in, and benefited greatly from, that deception in the past. Their benefit has been a greater crumb supply relative to the rest of the world, and they still believe that their crumb supply will continue. To obtain the goal of reducing the extremes of cannibalization, the western middle classes must be made to realize that they are now a primary target of the wealthy ruling elite’s deception and they must realize and internalize their own complicity in that deception. They will not change until they make that viewpoint change. Many realize that they are coat tailing the exploitive deception of the wealthy ruling elite and simply say, “Fuck it!”, many more are in denial, which is a form of self deception. Its a big nut to crack. Setting aside the intentionally created divisiveness of race, creed, gender, sexuality, etc., the broad divisions that SHOULD be focused on repetitively are; rich against poor, have against have not, exploiter against exploited, etc.

        Timbo — regarding the well armed scamerican citizens. I would remind you that the Sunnis in Falluja were well armed. Ducks are shot down one at a time. Your strongest weapon is perception.

        Craazyman — I lived in Magonia for a while and was extremely happy there. But the happiness caused me to ultimately feel guilty about the plight of others in the world so I moved back to scamerica so as to bitch out the scum bags that have hijacked the place. I return in my mind to Magonia once in a while for solace. You have developed a very sound theory. I applaud you for it!

        Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

        1. DownSouth

          i on the ball patriot,

          It seems that, beginning in the 60s, racial and cultural issues gained dominance in the popular mind. The political battles that garnered the most attention had to do with race, abortion, gay rights, feminism and religion. Anyone who wanted to interject class issues was immediately branded a socialist, Marxist or Communist, which seemed pretty effective in shutting them up. Meanwhile, the bankers and financiers quietly and inexorably toiled away, destroying the legal and regulatory framework put in place during the 30s to protect the rank and file American.

          Was this all intentional? I don’t know. But along the way the notion that elected representatives should represent the interests and values of those that live in their districts seems to have slipped away.

          I think it’s important to acknowledge that liberals are as much to blame for the vitiation of American democracy as conservatives are.

          Peter Skerry, writing in Mexican Americans: The Ambivalent Minority, calls the type of politics practiced by Melissa Bean “elite-network” politics. “Network” refers to the national grid of wealthy benefactors she is plugged into. “Elite” refers to her exclusivity and weak community ties–the fact that she doesn’t represent the interests or values of the people that live in her district.

          The key ingredient of elite-network politics is money, and lots of it. The computer-targeted direct mail and television advertising it deploys necessarily imply big-spending campaigns. “State-of-the-art computerized mailings” are especially useful, Skerry says, because they “permit politicians to address narrowly targeted groups of voters without relying on high-visibility media campaigns or public forums.” “From the politician’s perspective,” he explains, “this approach has the great appeal of reducing the risk that contradictory positions will be exposed, or that voters will come together physically and thereby become aware of their collective interests and strengths.”

          The other ingredient elite-network politicians require are relatively unorganized, passive constituents that place few demands on them.

          We of the liberal persuasion of course all love to hate politicians who betray their constituents to bankers and businessmen. But, as Skerry goes on to show, this tells only half the story. For in the majority Mexican-American districts, the politicians also sell out their constituents to wealthy advocates of a number of other issues, including feminism, gay rights, increased defense spending, abortion rights, bilingual education, affirmative action, immigration and an open-border policy. Skerry cites extensive polling information showing these are all issues that Mexican-Americans are either ambivalent to or outright opposed to, and yet the elected representatives he analyzes promote them as if they were the most salient issues of the day for their constituents.

          So I’m not sure what I’m trying to say here, other than to point out that the destruction of American democracy is a complex issue, that we all had a hand in it, and we all should shoulder our share of responsibility for it.

          And there’s also this issue of what happens when democracy doesn’t yield the results we want. We get ourselves into these hypocritical situations like George Bush did with Palestine. He was all fired up about promoting democracy, until in the legislative elections of 2006 Hamas gained the majority of seats in the first fair and democratic elections held in Palestine, defeating the ruling (US- and Israeli-backed) Fatah party. Then in May 2006 the US and other governments imposed sanctions on the Palestinian territories for voting for Hamas.

    6. Hugh

      Err, guys, I am Hugh. You are responding to someone named Hugo. We are not the same person. I condemn his anti-Semitism as well as his sense of Roman history. Caesar crossed the Rubicon in 49BC spelling the end of the old Republic. He was made dictator for life but his power base was among the common citizens. It was precisely the Republic which was made up of oligarchs. While making sure he had effective control, he continued the trappings of the old Republic. The political situation in Rome was far more complicated than Hugo makes out.

      1. craazyman

        Its too late Hugh ;)

        THIRD CITIZEN:
        Your name, sir, truly.

        CINNA:
        Truly, my name is Cinna.

        FIRST CITIZEN:
        Tear him to pieces! he’s a conspirator.

        CINNA:
        I am Cinna the poet, I am Cinna the poet.

        FOURTH CITIZEN:
        Tear him for his bad verses, tear him for his bad verses.

        CINNA:
        I am not Cinna the conspirator.

        FOURTH CITIZEN:
        It is no matter, his name’s Cinna; pluck but his name out of his heart, and turn him going.

        THIRD CITIZEN:
        Tear him, tear him! Come; brands, ho! firebrands. To Brutus’, to Cassius’; burn all. Some to Decius’ house, and some to Casca’s, some to Ligarius’: away, go!

  13. beesymph

    I think we are missing the bigger point. Derivatives have the power to blow up the US and the world economy. The banks feel that they have a right to be supported when the suffer catastrophic losses. Thus, make it clear as a matter of government policy we are reintroducing moral hazard and if your derivatives explode it is at the expense of the bank’s shareholders, employees and creditors.

    If we feel, as a society we cannot take that risk (like we would not want a free market in anthrax production) then the responsible thing is impose significant regulatory restrictions.

    Banks cannot have it both ways.

    1. Ultimate Janitor

      They already have blown up the world economy.

      No one seems to have the guts to say what the total notional amount of the derivative contracts are.

      Estimates are well over $100 trillion probably $200. And they made a fortune on them. Now the bottom has fell out and they want a bail out or else.

      So this is how Fascism works.

  14. john bougearel

    Melissa Bean belongs to that group known as “pro-growth democrats” that largely support bank lobbyists policies.

    Bean’s campaign contributions from financial institutions may be the highest in the country.

  15. john bougearel

    I had no idea, Melissa Bean was chairing these hearings, and that she cut off Rob Johnson at the hearing.

    The upcoming House regulatory reform bill has been drafted by Barney Frank, another Pro-Growth Democrat. Pro-Growth Democrats within our political system are an insidiously malevolent force working against middle class America, contributing to policies and legislation that are hollowing out America’s middle class.

    Josh Rosner wrote an excellent piece on the upcoming regulatory reform bill.

    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/10/congress-and-tbtf-%e2%80%93-bring-in-the-bomb-squad/

  16. Patrick Neid

    Well, thank god Ms Bean was a Democrat. Her actions along with John Kerry trying to expunge comments on Honduras from the official record might have raised eyebrows had they been from another party. This way, with one party one press, peace reigns in the kingdom.

  17. Clark

    What is especially revolting about this is that it was done on the open, naked assumption that we are either (1) to f***ing stupid to get it; or (2) that they don’t care a whit at this point. Either alternative is horribly dispiriting. But maybe that’s the message.

    1. Siggy

      It is all of the above. It is time to vote the bums out! Do that for three of four elections and the poltroon might get the message.

  18. i on the ball patriot

    Election boycott!

    When you vote you legitimize the scam electoral process, the gate which all of these scum bags must pass through, and you give up your power. Better to not vote at all and write your grossly overpaid supervisor of elections and tell him/her to consider your letter a vote of ‘NO Confidence In Government’.

  19. Ultimate Janitor

    Boy this is filthy. Oh sorry, business as usual at the US Congress.

    Unfortunately I am sure that many of the people that voted for this corrupt witch have no idea what a derivative is. They were just impressed by the campaign stuff or a “nice” volunteer knocked on thier door one day and said what a great representative Melissa Bean will be.

    This is the kind of filth that needs to be cleaned up. And there is allot of it.

    Filthy pig selling the ground out from beneath unborn feet.

    Ultimate Janitor

  20. Dean

    Look at the politics. Wall Street read the tea leaves and shifted the majority of their donations to the Dems.

    Dems are now carrying their water. Republicans are on the losing side if the promote real reform as Wall Street will not fund their campaigns. Wall Street is awash in cash and illusory profits/prophets.

    The Republicans are in a box: ask for reform, gain the vote but no cash to carry their message.

  21. Mentalic

    It’s strange to read about all such things, and wonder how all this does not create any kind of reaction from the people in the US. If you look at the kind of rallies and opposition marches that happen/happened in Latin America and other countries where people literally fight for their rights, I sometimes feel that democracy in the US is nothing but a joke.
    As long as people in the US get to eat well, and get to see the next episode of American Idol or CSI or whatever, they don’t really care what’s happening to the country.
    Some nut might bring up the familiar argument of “oh yea…you don’t think US is a democracy..look at our freedom of speech..yada yada..”, but they fail to realize that whatever freedom of speech they had is no longer there…All they have now is the freedom to hear whatever propaganda is spewed out of the so-called MSM.
    This country has really gone to the dogs. I really don’t see how the people in the US will get their country back.

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