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We want the taxpayers’ money back, and we’re going to collect every dime.

***

We’re not going to let Wall Street take the money and run.

Much of the turmoil of this recession was caused by the irresponsibility of banks and financial institutions on Wall Street.  These financial firms took huge, reckless risks in pursuit of short-term profits and soaring bonuses.  They gambled with borrowed money, without enough oversight or regard for the consequences.  And when they lost, they lost big.

President Obama came out of his corner swinging hard at Wall Street in this morning's weekly address, blaming the irresponsible financial firms for putting the American people in a "deeply unfair and unsatisfying position," accusing them of "facing a crisis of their own creation," and once again--as he did earlier this week--declared his intention to "collect every dime" of taxpayer money through a new financial industry fee.

He explained the details of just which banks will be hit, and how, and why:

Only the largest financial firms with more than $50 billion in assets will be affected, not community banks.  And the bigger the firm – and the more debt it holds – the larger the fee.  Because we are not only going to recover our money and help close our deficits; we are going to attack some of the banking practices that led to the crisis.

That’s important.

Most importantly, the President called out the financial industry for quickly aligning itself with the opposition party to fight the fees. In quite a departure for the usually even-tempered chief executive, he went out of his way to call out both the industry and the enabling Republican Party:

Of course, I would like the banks to embrace this sense of mutual responsibility.  So far, though, they have ferociously fought financial reform.  The industry has even joined forces with the opposition party to launch a massive lobbying campaign against common-sense rules to protect consumers and prevent another crisis.

Now, like clockwork, the banks and politicians who curry their favor are already trying to stop this fee from going into effect.  The very same firms reaping billions of dollars in profits, and reportedly handing out more money in bonuses and compensation than ever before in history, are now pleading poverty.  It’s a sight to see.

And then he promptly lit into the Wall Street whiners for crying about the fee costs while awarding themselves obscene bonuses:

Those who oppose this fee say the banks can’t afford to pay back the American people without passing on the costs to their shareholders and customers.  But that’s hard to believe when there are reports that Wall Street is going to hand out more money in bonuses and compensation just this year than the cost of this fee over the next ten years.  If the big financial firms can afford massive bonuses, they can afford to pay back the American people.

It's a great Saturday morning when you wake up to the President getting a righteous rant on.

Check beneath the fold (or on the White House website for a delightfully populist full-text experience.

Remarks of President Barack Obama

Weekly Address
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Washington, DC

Over the past two years, more than seven million Americans have lost their jobs. Countless businesses have been forced to shut their doors.  Few families have escaped the pain of this terrible recession.  Rarely does a day go by that I do not hear from folks who are hurting.  That is why we have pushed so hard to rebuild this economy.

But even as we work tirelessly to dig our way out of this hole, it is important that we address what led us into such a deep mess in the first place.  Much of the turmoil of this recession was caused by the irresponsibility of banks and financial institutions on Wall Street.  These financial firms took huge, reckless risks in pursuit of short-term profits and soaring bonuses.  They gambled with borrowed money, without enough oversight or regard for the consequences.  And when they lost, they lost big.  Little more than a year ago, many of the largest and oldest financial firms in the world teetered on the brink of collapse, overwhelmed by the consequences of their irresponsible decisions.  This financial crisis nearly pulled the entire economy into a second Great Depression.

As a result, the American people – struggling in their own right – were placed in a deeply unfair and unsatisfying position.  Even though these financial firms were largely facing a crisis of their own creation, their failure could have led to an even greater calamity for the country.  That is why the previous administration started a program – the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP – to provide these financial institutions with funds to survive the turmoil they helped unleash.  It was a distasteful but necessary thing to do.

Many originally feared that most of the $700 billion in TARP money would be lost.  But when my administration came into office, we put in place rigorous rules for accountability and transparency, which cut the cost of the bailout dramatically.  We have now recovered most of the money we provided to the banks.  That’s good news, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s not good enough.  We want the taxpayers’ money back, and we’re going to collect every dime.

That is why, this week, I proposed a new fee on major financial firms to compensate the American people for the extraordinary assistance they provided to the financial industry.  And the fee would be in place until the American taxpayer is made whole. Only the largest financial firms with more than $50 billion in assets will be affected, not community banks.  And the bigger the firm – and the more debt it holds – the larger the fee.  Because we are not only going to recover our money and help close our deficits; we are going to attack some of the banking practices that led to the crisis.

That’s important.  The fact is, financial firms play an essential role in our economy.  They provide capital and credit to families purchasing homes, students attending college, businesses looking to start up or expand.  This is critical to our recovery.  That is why our goal with this fee – and with the common-sense financial reforms we seek – is not to punish the financial industry.  Our goal is to prevent the abuse and excess that nearly led to its collapse.  Our goal is to promote fair dealings while punishing those who game the system; to encourage sustained growth while discouraging the speculative bubbles that inevitably burst.  Ultimately, that is in the shared interest of the financial industry and the American people.

Of course, I would like the banks to embrace this sense of mutual responsibility.  So far, though, they have ferociously fought financial reform.  The industry has even joined forces with the opposition party to launch a massive lobbying campaign against common-sense rules to protect consumers and prevent another crisis.

Now, like clockwork, the banks and politicians who curry their favor are already trying to stop this fee from going into effect.  The very same firms reaping billions of dollars in profits, and reportedly handing out more money in bonuses and compensation than ever before in history, are now pleading poverty.  It’s a sight to see.

Those who oppose this fee say the banks can’t afford to pay back the American people without passing on the costs to their shareholders and customers.  But that’s hard to believe when there are reports that Wall Street is going to hand out more money in bonuses and compensation just this year than the cost of this fee over the next ten years.  If the big financial firms can afford massive bonuses, they can afford to pay back the American people.

Those who oppose this fee have also had the audacity to suggest that it is somehow unfair. That because these firms have already returned what they borrowed directly, their obligation is fulfilled. But this willfully ignores the fact that the entire industry benefited not only from the bailout, but from the assistance extended to AIG and homeowners, and from the many unprecedented emergency actions taken by the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, and others to prevent a financial collapse.  And it ignores a far greater unfairness: sticking the American taxpayer with the bill.

That is unacceptable to me, and to the American people.  We’re not going to let Wall Street take the money and run.  We’re going to pass this fee into law.  And I’m going to continue to work with Congress on common-sense financial reforms to protect people and the economy from the kind of costly and painful crisis we’ve just been through.  Because after a very tough two years, after a crisis that has caused so much havoc, if there is one lesson that we can learn, it’s this: we cannot return to business as usual.

Thank you very much.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:30 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The man walks and chews gum at the same time. nt (5+ / 0-)
  •  It's good to hear. (27+ / 0-)

    Now he needs to fight for this policy.  It's a start.  

    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

    by TomP on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:33:06 AM PST

  •  can I haz more pleeze...... n/t (10+ / 0-)

    Hell hath no fury like a moran scorned....

    by left my heart on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:33:27 AM PST

  •  Banks make prudent loans.....These guys are Hedge (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pointman, missliberties

    Funds.

  •  Finally. (10+ / 0-)

    Perhaps we will get some sensible regulation after all of this? Such a tax is quite an elegant method of regulation.

    Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

    by Dauphin on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:34:16 AM PST

    •  The Bush admin (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fabienne, wishingwell, Dauphin

      allowed unregulated capitalism gone wild.

      SEC was a joke.

      If the Obama admin beefs back up the SEC and puts back in place regulations on the financial institutions then these issues should be rectified.

      Fox News in a Nutshell: IOKIYAR and INOKIYO (It's Not OK If You're Obama)

      by wry twinger on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:55:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What is he waiting for, though? (0+ / 0-)
        •  Because that's how he fights. (0+ / 0-)

          He does a little bit here and a little bit there, getting things aligned, and then when it's all lined up so he can win the fight, he punches.  He does not come out madly swinging like so many seem to prefer, only to lose against insurmountable odds.  The obstacles to finance reform are very very high.  If he just came out with massive reform initially, it would be completely shot down.  The way he is doing it is the way he sees that he can make a successful change.  Those without the ability to be patient will continually suffer disappointment.  Those who are patient will enjoy the progress.

          I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

          by fayea on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 09:56:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Good Job (12+ / 0-)

    I like seeing him aggressive.

    We are asking Mr. President, Please Do Tell.

    by Othniel on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:34:31 AM PST

  •  Unfortunately, this will be a longer war (16+ / 0-)

    than we have with Al-Qaida.

    And the banks have subversives and terrorists embedded all through our country who will be supporting Scott Brown next week.

    "Progress" is the core of progressive. Two steps forward. One step back.

    by captainlaser on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:35:43 AM PST

  •  Ok, how exactly is this fee (7+ / 0-)

    NOT going to be assed on to us, the consumer?

    •  LOL (9+ / 0-)

      Banks are assing us every day.

      "Progress" is the core of progressive. Two steps forward. One step back.

      by captainlaser on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:37:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, "assed" works, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell

      But I meant "passed."

    •  Umm ... switch banks? (17+ / 0-)

      To one that is small and community oriented, like a credit union.

      My name is Douglas Watts.

      by Pometacom on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:41:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly. (8+ / 0-)

        And that way we show our "leaders" what we want by what we do. We should all be moving away from megacorporations and toward supporting smaller, more local entities.

      •  Yes, put your money in a credit union. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        one of 8, fayea

        From the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) website:

        The original intent of Congress to create a system of not-for-profit cooperatives that promote thrift and thwart usury (emphasis mine) today serves nearly 82 million members with deposits exceeding $520 billion and loans over $355 billion in more than 9,500 federally insured credit unions.

        First make sure it is insured by the NCUSIF.  Some are insured by the privately owned American Share Insurance (ASI).  NCUSIF insurance is definitely safer.  Then check its reputation and its balance sheet.  Talk to members and ask if they are satisfied with the CU's customer service and management.  In most cases you are going to find happy members who are on a first-name basis with their bankers.

        A good place to start if you have questions is the NCUA FAQ page.

        "I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil. And that no one knows the truth." - Molly Ivins

        by Involuntary Exile on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:24:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's key to his plan. The administration (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cynic in seattle, fayea

        is daring the big banks to try and pass those fees on to their customers.  They know people will vote with their feet.  I expect we'll hear more from the administration on this.  

        I'm about to take my money out of Wachovia and go with a smaller, community bank.  I've already had enough.

        The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing. ~Albert Einstein

        by lovespaper on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 09:11:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  A corporation always has other means (8+ / 0-)

      than just passing on a cost.
      Seeking efficiencies elsewhere; reducing dividends; reducing BONUSES TO OVERPAID EXECUTIVES; or allowing profits to shrink are also alternatives.

      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

      by blue aardvark on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:42:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  what? Common sense? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        citizenx, fayea, blue aardvark

        Here's hoping.....

        Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. --Mark Twain

        by SottoVoce on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:43:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  But why would they bother? (4+ / 0-)

        It's much, much simpler (and cheaper) to just tack on a minuscule increase in all transaction fees.  They don't have to touch any-inside-body's sacred cows and they hand the fee back to us.

        I hope someone can explain to me how this won't happen -- is there an aspect of the legislation that covers this?

        NPR: The opiate voice of the illusory middle way.

        by Gooch on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:47:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There are alternatives... (6+ / 0-)

          and if the up our fees, we change banks. Hubby and I changed from Chase to our local Credit Union and we couldn't be happier. Fees are lower and we know that loans are going out to people in our community from this bank. We had plenty of local banks to choose from and many smaller banks as well. You don't need to bank at the big ones.

          BTW, we found that many of the smaller banks do have banking online now so that was not an issue for us. A few years ago we stuck with Washington Mutual because our Credit Union didn't have online banking. But now most do.

          •  Sure -- I recognize that the intelligent (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CS in AZ, OtterQueen

            and energetic consumer -- such as yourself -- can be and will be proactive about shopping around for the best banking deal.  But most will not.  Most people, sad to say, take what is handed to them and stick with what they know.  Selecting a financial services vendor is a big task that most families perform once.

            My point is that you wouldn't necessarily notice the increase.  Banks perform millions (billions?) of transactions a day, from atm withdrawals to POS debits to checks, moving money, selling shares, etc. and etc. If they add just a tenth of a percent to each of those transaction fees, they'll cover the cost.  Or rather, consumers will cover the cost for them.

            I don't see how this is going to be avoided, and I don't see how the penalty makes sense unless this is thwarted in some way.

            NPR: The opiate voice of the illusory middle way.

            by Gooch on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:55:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  They will, just like all other taxes they pay (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Cynic in seattle, fayea

              Large corporations are in business for one purpose: to make as much money as possible. When any of their costs go up, they adjust the price of their goods or services accordingly, to continue making money. There is no question about that, and it is why republicans oppose taxes on businesses and are constantly trying to cut taxes on businesses, because they argue that it only drives up overall costs to their customers and also causes them to cut jobs to protect their profits, which they do.

              I've been in the midst of a few corporate "downsizing" bloodbaths and cutting jobs is absolutely another way companies lower their costs to make bigger profits. I worked at a fortune 500 company where one year they laid off more than 10,000 people, several hundred in my division, while our CEO made a salary in the hundreds of millions of dollars and got millions more in bonuses for his "cost cutting" measures. He could have just given up a few of his millions to keep all those jobs. Instead he cut the company to the bone, made huge salary and bonuses, and then when we were dying in the trenches trying to keep up with our new workload, he left and moved on to another company.

              These people do not care about the consequences to anyone else or even their company in the long term. They are just there to make money, for themselves first, and secondarily for shareholders, at least in the short term (which is what their bonuses are based on, stock price each quarter). The whole system is completely fucked up. Working there and seeing this first hand for a few years is why I left to work in a nonprofit company, and also why I never gave one dime of my money to wall street and have no retirement investments, because it's clear to me that this system is a house of cards, and a very dysfunctional way of life.

              So yes, businesses pass taxes and other costs on to their customers and to lower-level employees. They do, and there is no way to pretend otherwise.

              However I am still not ready to take the republican side and opposes business taxes. I support this one, and I support the excise tax on insurance companies too. But I think in addition to collecting money from these mega corporations, we also need to do something about the entire structure of wall street and publicly traded/owned companies. The focus on "the numbers" at the end of each quarter as the be-all and end-all of success for failure for a CEO forces them to make short-sighted decisions for short-term gain at the cost of long-term insanity.

              We need much more than just this tax to start fixing what is wrong with wall street and the financial industry. But Obama is a true fiscal conservative and he is committed, I think, to drastically reducing the enormous deficit Bush created and like Bill Clinton did, balance the federal budget. Collecting taxes and fees is how they do it, and the democratic way is to tax large businesses and corporations and collect fees from them. I also think Obama is being political with this one, responding to public anger at the banks in particular and going after them in particular because of their direct role in the financial crisis. But really it is the entire wall street culture that is the root cause, and that is not going to fundamentally change anytime soon.

              Buyer beware. Bank at local banks or credit unions and support other local and privately owned small businesses as much as possible. But yes, one way or another we do always pay for it all.  

            •  Don't be so elitist... :) (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              boofdah

              and I mean that in a the nicest way. My mother is not well educated, is 70 years old and yet she shopped around for banks when she heard they were failing. Our former credit union had plenty of low income people according to the manager. My grandmother finished 8th grade and yet she knew how to shop for bargains. I think most people will realize when their fees go up that they have other options. Sometimes I think we forget that sometimes those we think are smart enough to do something are the ones with the practical smarts to do it well before we do.

              As for the tenth of a cent per transaction....I think even I would pay for that. You know, its not just the banks at fault in all this. People take credit card offers that come in the mail, they refinance to buy a big screen tv. Personal responsibility comes into play too...even though the banks did take advantage of many people.

        •  Competition (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gooch, Cynic in seattle, fayea, methinshaw

          If only the biggest (worst behaving) banks are subject to this tax, they cannot just pass the fee on without becoming less competitive wrt smaller banks and credit unions.

          Capitalism does work, mostly. It's a great tool to have in the box; it's when you make it into a Deity to be worshiped that problems ensue.

          In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

          by blue aardvark on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:08:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  You really don't have to pay your bank (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sun dog

      anything.

    •  I'll "unass" it real fast (0+ / 0-)

      if it happens ;-)

      I'm from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party...

      by Betty Pinson on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 11:12:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What a change from last year at this time. (14+ / 0-)

    And a good change.

    Seems BHO is learning that sucking up to Wall Street billionaires during a huge recession does not help Dems. win mid-term elections.

    One would have thought this self-evident.

    Yay !!!

    My name is Douglas Watts.

    by Pometacom on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:37:50 AM PST

  •  Excellent. (9+ / 0-)

    Let's see more of this firm attack on the undeserved, ridiculous bonuses.

  •  Yeah, but he's not Ralph Nader, Jane Hamsher or (13+ / 0-)

    John Edwards, and he therefore sucks as a leader and a person, and is also the devil.

    Plus, Obama hired Rahm, and Rahm's dingo ate my baby.

    The "choice" offered by capital is illusory. If you cannot afford the choice, you don't have the freedom to choose.

    by high bitrate on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:39:51 AM PST

  •  Evidently someone forgot to tell Obama (11+ / 0-)

    that his Presidency is failed and he's now a lame duck.

    This is nicely timed, too; the legislation should be making its way through Congress just in time for the summer wedge issue votes. Please let the GOP explain why the banks should keep ourmoney (which was given to them under the Bush administration).

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:40:14 AM PST

  •  Where's proposal for 50% tax on those bonuses (6+ / 0-)

    Ranting is all well and good, but it's long past time for ranting. It's time for results!

    While these fees may recover some of the billions the banks have absorbed, why doesn't Obama come right out, like they did in the United Kingdom, and go directly after the obscene bonuses? In England, they already have in place a 50% tax on bonuses. Why doesn't Mr. Obama insist on the same kind of tax, in addition to other measures to collect the debt these banks owe? Why doesn't he push to end the Bush tax cuts now, instead of letting the tax cuts for the rich become permanent?

    This is a start, a weak start, but a start, so a little credit to Obama, I suppose. But it's long past time for Obama and Democrats in Congress to restore balance between the rich and the rest of us. They live in luxury while we can barely pay our bills. When's he going to actually get something done?

    •  Yeah - he obviously just needs to decree it done. (9+ / 0-)

      We don't need no Constitution, representative government or due process.  We just need a strong man to order things done!

      The "choice" offered by capital is illusory. If you cannot afford the choice, you don't have the freedom to choose.

      by high bitrate on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:42:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •   Cheney would be perfect (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        amk for obama

        he got things done

        •  Cheney/Hamsher 2012 (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wishingwell

          He hates Democrats, thinks Obama sucks, despises Rahm, opposes taxes, loves Grover Norquist and Teabaggers, and opposes HCR.

          He's good to go as an FDL/Firebagger/Naderite choice candidate for President in 2012.  In the meantime, he can groom Dick Jr. for her co-candidacy with Hamsher for 2016.  Maybe Dick Jr. can serve as Asshole-Regent for the last 2 years of Daddy's reign.

          This is some real 867th dimensional True Progressive Activist Chess, given all the win that such a choice would mean.

          The "choice" offered by capital is illusory. If you cannot afford the choice, you don't have the freedom to choose.

          by high bitrate on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:54:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

            •  Jane seems to be getting paid from RW sources. (0+ / 0-)

              Maybe even Freedomworks.

              http://www.balloon-juice.com/...

              I just read those FEC reports. The AccountabilityNowPac looks like a giant slush fund for Jane Hamsher and her friends that was targeted to both the left and the right. Is she really taking out $2,000 every two weeks in addition to all her travel expenses and paying her own blog thousands?

              Ahem. This looks like a business plan that was started 18 months ago and makes the latest call to the teabaggers and Norquistians just an extension of an existing moneymaking strategy.

              The teabaggers are getting busted for their crooked PACs as we speak.

              Maybe it’s time to turn our attention to the crooked PACs on our own side.

              AccountabilityNow indeed.

              I want my damn money back.

              http://www.balloon-juice.com/...

              @Da Bomb: I chatted with Jane after she proposed an alliance with the teabaggers but before she announced her alliance with Grover Norquist. What I asked her was whether she was taking money from FreedomWorks or other right wingers and she said she would take money from anyone because she wasn’t ideologically constrained [and it was in her business plan from summer 2008 all along?]

              Yeah, I am waiting for Al Giordano’s story. If I recall, he drops heavy hints that someone, presumably Glenn Greenwald with whom she started the PAC, is also taking 4 grand a month from the PAC through a cutout. DMDM Enterprises, anyone?

              As for the FEC forms, the donor list appears heavy on libertarian types from the Silicon Valley and Ron Paul types and, in addition, one Robert Kagan.

              Is it any wonder Hamsher again tried to appeal to "libertarians," with her alliance with the right wing, as they appear to have been significantly contributing to her lavish lifestyle all along? It’s just a short hop, skip and a jump to Dick Armey and Grover Norquist then, because those guys have the big bucks, if you look at it that way. And I do.

              Accountability Now for the sleazy operators on our own side!

              Does anyone have the FEC forms from 2009?

              The "choice" offered by capital is illusory. If you cannot afford the choice, you don't have the freedom to choose.

              by high bitrate on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:50:07 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  If this is (0+ / 0-)

                true, this is worthy of closer examination.
                If Ari Fleischer and FDL are in alliance against Obama...time to change the descriptive of FDL as a ''progressive blog'' or start calling Ari a progressive. Something stinks to high heaven.

                •  It sure in shit reeks.I used my diary today, (0+ / 0-)

                  but maybe somebody can pick it up.

                  Otherwise, I guess I can diary it tomorrow.

                  The "choice" offered by capital is illusory. If you cannot afford the choice, you don't have the freedom to choose.

                  by high bitrate on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 09:15:43 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Jane Hamsher (0+ / 0-)

              is a liberal blogger who offended a lot of people around here when she called for an investigation into Rahm Emanuel's tenure on a board of directors. She co authored a letter with a conservative icon named Grover Norquist to the Attorney General and a bunch of the kids got their knickers in a twist. She is now the great Satan around here. I like her site. Its called Firedoglake.

              "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

              by johnmorris on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 03:13:14 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  You don't want to tax the bankers bonuses? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Crazy like a fox

        You don't think it would be fair? If Obama were to go to bat for bonuses, there's be 150 million Americans behind him, telling their representatives to get off the pot and do it. Obama has done nothing so far to help average Americans, all the while he's been actively supportive of providing hundreds of billions of dollars of support to the banks. It's long past time for Obama to speak out forcefully on behalf of the people.

        Obama could be doing a lot more for us than he is.

        •  It would be fabulous to tax (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cynic in seattle

          the bonuses - but  -  Great Britain just announced they are doing so and the biggest transnational banks just said, "ok, fine, we'll just move our operations to Switzerland".  The biggest transnationals do not need the USA.  They have set themselves up to have an economic stronghold over the whole world.  Obama would have to get all the economically strong nations to agree to do something like that tax all at once.  

          I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

          by fayea on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 10:15:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  The Bush tax cuts expire automatically. (4+ / 0-)

      The sunset clause will simply kick in if the government doesn't do anything at all.

      •  Yeah (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cynic in seattle

        but the Reagan tax cuts don't and they are primarily responsible for our current penury. One of the most distressing things about Obama, for me, is that he buys the propaganda bullshit about taxes suppressing the economy. In fact, historically, very high taxes on upper incomes have stimulated the economy. Its not hard to see why. All of the economic activity in derivative trading gives us exactly no measurable increase in our collective wealth. The same money, taxed away from the wealthy and spent on public goods would be an investment in our future.

        "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

        by johnmorris on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 10:05:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I was with you right up until (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lockewasright

      "When's he actually going to get something done?"

      Really?  Who's the lazy one now?

      NPR: The opiate voice of the illusory middle way.

      by Gooch on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:48:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I want to see this more often. (6+ / 0-)

    He's always so laidback and unflappable that seeing him get a bit peeved goes a long way.

    "Think and wonder, wonder and think." --Dr. Seuss

    by PaDemTerry on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:42:06 AM PST

  •  I have a ton of respect for Obama (9+ / 0-)

    but it would have been helpful if he had done this a year ago.

    Better late than never. And this is a winning message.

    Let's see pretty boy Brown oppose a tax on wall street thieves.

  •  I'll believe it when I see it (8+ / 0-)

    Until that time, the White House is just blowing more "tough talk" smoke.  

    Btw, the president could make a good faith effort and fire Geithner who bought toxic assets on the public dime for double what they were actually worth.  

  •  A Token Measure at Best (4+ / 0-)

    This is not reform, it is not punishment and it does nothing to erase the $25 trillion in guarantees we still have outstanding to these banks - it is at best a symbolic gesture.

    Break up the Big Banks NOW...

    "I'm not a Maverick, but I used to drive one."

    by StephenLahanas on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:43:23 AM PST

    •  I's be happy to let them keep their money (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      methinshaw

      if they'd bring back Glass-Stegall

    •  So it is now 25 trillion? (0+ / 0-)

      Used to be 23 trillion...but hey, why not round up to 100 trillion..or 500 trillion...who cares about facts?

      I heard Roy Sekoff say on Ed that Obama took 23 trillion out of our economy to give to the bankers the other day...hope he can show exactly how that 23 trillion was spent...on guarantees? In other words, our deficit was actually more than double the national debt for just this past year?

      Wow, Roy and his gang are truly masters of negative hype.

  •  Talk is Cheap--I'll Believe Actions (5+ / 0-)

    Just Do It!  101% tax on Banker Bonuses.

    After hearing those Wall Street thieves' testimony in front of Congress about their bonuses, I thoroughly believe the only way those out-of-touch greedmongers will ever "get it" is if they can think about it for the rest of their lives in the penitentiary system.

  •  You tell it Mr. President! (5+ / 0-)

    Oooh, I love it when he gets righteous angry.

    Pro-Choice and Proud of It!

    by powwow500 on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:49:27 AM PST

  •  Is this going to be like the Public Option? (7+ / 0-)

    The rhetoric without delivery is getting old.

    My name is Douglas Watts.

    by Pometacom on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:49:42 AM PST

    •  Say Hello to Jane and the gang for us (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      citizenx, lockewasright, matrix
    •  He's just about to be the first president to (5+ / 0-)

      deliver on HCR in almost a century.  Aim your PO angst where it belongs at conservadems.  He can't cast their votes in their stead.

      Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

      by lockewasright on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:55:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How can he be the first president to deliver (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bigchin, methinshaw, Paul White

        but also have "no control" over what conservadems do?

        You need to get your mythologies straight.

        My name is Douglas Watts.

        by Pometacom on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:58:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, he has managed to not shoot the entire effort (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wishingwell, Robinswing

          in the foot by pulling a Clinton and developing a relationship with congress that is so adversarial that they screw him over just because.  The writing of the bill is not something within his power.

          Google:  'The Constitution of the United States of America' and read about separation of powers for a refresher on "mythology".  You clearly need one since the ODS has evidently overwritten those files.

          Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

          by lockewasright on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:08:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  He's delivered a hell of a lot already (5+ / 0-)

          by Presidential fiat.  If you want to bother yourself to find out, or even read the occasional diary that lists the changes that he's made, legally.  He's also, according to Congressional Quarterly, just become the the most productive president at getting his desired legislation passed in his first year since they started keeping records.  He's surpassed LBJ.

          But as others point out often, we railed against Bush's Unitary Executive.  Now many want Obama to do the same, just for our pet issues instead.  Congress is REALITY, however, and we're stuck with it no matter how much we whine and bitch.  So is the Pres.

          •  I am just about ready for Obama (0+ / 0-)

            to pull the power trip. That is partly how FDR got er done.

            I doubt he would though.

            •  Me too (0+ / 0-)

              usually I defend Obama when people like Ed Schultz say he's not 'getting after it' enough. I usually prefer calm reasoning over bellicosity. Mainly because I don't think slamming the hammer down on people works, especially when you need their votes on other issues and since the senate is the most undemocratic body in the country with that 60-vote nonsense.

              BUT, I'm tired - of the media with its unbalanced framing of the issues, with Republicans for their obstructionist ways and having the audacity to take up a faux populist message when we their fingerprints are all over this economic mess, conservadems for their hostage-taking of progressive policy on health care, financial reform and climate change, Rahm E for unnecessarily alienating the left and allies on the hill, Congressional and senate leadership (mainly Reid, Pelosi has held her own) for not wrapping up HRC before last year's August recess,

              And Obama for not realizing how disenfranchised and distrustful some on the left feel because of things like the PHRMA deal and for making unnecessary, silly comments like "I didn't campaign on the PO."  (Don't get me wrong, I'm a solid supporter of the president still and I believe last year was a successful year in many ways. For instance, if we're able to create a green economy, I think years from now people will look back at the investments and incentives in the stimulus bill and say that it laid the foundation.) However, I don't feel fired up. All the negativity, from the media, republicans and within our own ranks, the inability of the administration and congress to frame a positive message and the prospect that a conservative could win Teddy's seat, has really left me feeling deflated. I need a little red meat, a few punches to the gut followed up by a few jabs and uppercuts against the "economic royalists." Congress needs to follow through on this plan and go even further without throwing in the towel with their usual dysfunction...

              Enough of my rant. The Haiti situation (Obama's and the American people's response has been impressive. I gave to the Red Cross and signed up for ongoing donations with Yele) and the Coakley situation with Repubs salivating over that seat has really got me down. So, I'm going to try and be productive and make a few calls for Coakley this afternoon...

              Obama to his opponents: If you even dream of beating me you'd better wake up and apologize - Muhammad Ali

              by MB32 on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 10:33:27 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  He's surpassed LBJ (0+ / 0-)

            according to congressional Quarterly, by giving up everything he promised in compromises with conservadems. One of the legislative achievements they count is the health care bill, without the public option and with the Cadillac tax. LBJ delivered real legislative accomplishments, Obama makes deals.

            "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

            by johnmorris on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 09:52:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  really? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pometacom

        well he can come down on those that don't want the excise tax, or those that want to redo the medication part.
        You can't have it both ways

        Disgusting that the people we most count on to represent us, represent big money. RIP America.

        by snoopydawg on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:08:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  How many of their votes does he get to cast? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Robinswing

          Read.... it helps you to avoid making nonsensical responses.

          Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

          by lockewasright on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:09:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  bad response (0+ / 0-)

            you don't have to be rude. You are right, he can't cast votes.. but he has the power to persuade. Open you eyes and look at what is really happening. And speaking of reading, look at other progressive sights that speak the truth about this administration. Do you honestly think Candidate Obama would vote for this president? Or was that just hype to get elected. He didn't fight for what we wanted and what we ran on. No openness, back door deals, this 90 billion over 10 years bull an so many other things.

            Disgusting that the people we most count on to represent us, represent big money. RIP America.

            by snoopydawg on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 01:10:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Your response is flat out false. He has (0+ / 0-)

              delivered on TONS of promises. He has had to make compromises in order to get anything accomplished.  To blame anyone but the people who get to vote for their votes is just plain bullshit.  Those people are the reason that he has had to compromise.  To refuse to credit him for what he HAS accomplished in beyond bullshit, it's dishonest. It creates a self defeating narrative and demotivates everyone else.

              Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

              by lockewasright on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 01:21:13 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Let's call it what it is. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        one of 8

        Health Insurance Reform - HIR.

        The "Care" is still up to the discretion of the insurance companies.

      •  Look (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        one of 8

        when Lieberman was being successfully primaried in Mass, Obama came to his state and campaigned for him. If he had called the favor in for health care and Lieberman had welshed on it, we would know about it by now, Rahm would have made sure of that, its why they call him dirty. Obama is getting what he wants, a free ride for the oligarchy and fuck all for the folks. Sorry you still believe in "CHANGE" cause it ain't gonna happen. He doesn't want it.

        "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

        by johnmorris on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 09:40:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Us common folks are impressed. This one (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina, island in alabama

    doesn't expect anything to come from this grandstanding, but I are realy impresed...

    I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

    by shann on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:49:46 AM PST

  •  Uh, Barack. When the banks negotiate a deal w. US (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Badabing

    they make specific provision to recoup on the FRONT END. House-buyers get no wiggle room from Congress.

  •  Throw them a fish and watch them slap their fins (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Badabing, methinshaw

    As we discussed at greater length earlier this week, this new "get our money back" idea is pure three card Monte. Put the spotlight on the TARP so everyone will ignore all the other massive subsidies that the banks have gotten, continue to receive, and are abusing. Those who claim many banks have "paid back the TARP" are missing (more likely choosing to obfuscate) the point: the TARP calculus grossly understates of the gives and the gets here (although as we have said before and will say again, Obama’s focus on the TARP is pure political expediency). ...

    More important, despite the firms’ claims otherwise, they are now effectively backstopped by the government, and they know it. They should be paying insurance premiums, NOW, hefty ones, for being beneficiaries of the "No more Lehmans" policy. But there is no desire for anything remotely resembling a full accounting from the crew in the Administration.

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/...

    •  Don't uprate the troll fishing for mojo (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Christin, Ahianne

      to escape the ban.  Now he's just ripping off other bloggers' applause lines so he can have MORE posts asking that Coakley lose and more troll diaries.

      Subsidies without cost controls, regulatory reform means that citizens get a little more awful insurance at a huge cost to taxpayers. Like Part D but worse.

      by Inland on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 09:07:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Distraction (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    srkp23, snoopydawg, bigchin, methinshaw

    I'm wondering if this is the distraction so we don't notice they are giving up on the Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

    Using my free speech while I still have it. http://www.ellenofthetenth.blogspot.com/

    by ebgill on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:52:21 AM PST

  •  Smells like mid-term desperation to me. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bigchin, methinshaw

    Jacking up the populism.

    But no quantifiable promise of anything.

    "I will work with Congress ..."

    Oh Jeebus.

    My name is Douglas Watts.

    by Pometacom on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:53:52 AM PST

    •  reading your posts (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell

      is like riding a see-saw

      NPR: The opiate voice of the illusory middle way.

      by Gooch on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:04:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  you sound like limbaugh (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kitty, SamCDC

      doesn't matter what he says, either way

      US social and political reality is largely determined by 1000 radio stations blasting coordinated UNCONTESTED repetition all day long.

      by certainot on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:07:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not true. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PhilK, bigchin, methinshaw

        This speech is incongruous with that BHO has actually done in the past 12 months. Like promising to catch the horse after you let it out of the barn.

        It's very odd messaging.

        My name is Douglas Watts.

        by Pometacom on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:11:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •   he inherited bush's economic disaster (4+ / 0-)

          and had to scramble to keep the economy from collapsing along with the 'solutions' bush's people pushed through before they left, he got people who knew how the games were played so they could ease out, and now they want to get some back.

          makes sense to me

          US social and political reality is largely determined by 1000 radio stations blasting coordinated UNCONTESTED repetition all day long.

          by certainot on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:25:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Who calls (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            certainot

            The President BHO?

            This P person is not our friend.

            (I totally agree with your sig line. It's the propganda stupid.)

          •  Bush's economic disaster (0+ / 0-)

            is no excuse for the many good things he talked about doing on the campaign trail and now refuses to do. It is almost certainly the case that adopting the Bush position on the Wall Street bail out will be seen by history as the last hurrah of the Democratic party. He is an ongoing disaster. Sounding tough while proposing a 0.15% tax on an industry that is contributing exactly nothing to our economy is just silly.

            "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

            by johnmorris on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 09:33:02 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  i never believed there were going to be any giant (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ravenwind, Cynic in seattle

              leaps.

              he's african american and the left allows what is essentially the modern KKK to have 1000 uncontested radio station to drive political news and attack him all day and enable total obstruction.

              anyone who thinks a progressive president can go into the white house and get major change has not been paying attention the lat 20 yrs.

              i believe in what he WANTS  to do and just having a decent president who believes in global warming is a major improvement.

              US social and political reality is largely determined by 1000 radio stations blasting coordinated UNCONTESTED repetition all day long.

              by certainot on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 10:06:48 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  We are way past the "get Psyched Up " speeches.... (8+ / 0-)
    Will any of this really happen - Probably not but it does sound good.  

    With the Congress that we have in office, and the amount of monies that have been spent on our elected officials, it would be amazing if anything with teeth came of this.

    Feel good, and hope for the best, but don't get your hopes up high.  Soory, but that's my take on it as I have read and seen lately (as you have as well) just how money can influence even the best legislative intentions.

    It's time for some serious election reform, and lobbyng laws.....

    "Try not to become a man of success, but rather to become a man of value." ~ Albert Einstein

    by LamontCranston on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:54:42 AM PST

  •  Fabulous full-text populist experience... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Helena Handbag

    and may it be more than text!

    •  It might be (0+ / 0-)

      but I will wait and see. Reforms and reregulations should have been first thing done. They bailout these companies 100 % when the share prices were only 40. That makes no sense at all. And when it is still a big fing secret about what was done, and they email scandal, let alone that Obama put the people in charge of the crisis in charge of the recovery, everything stinks.
      I will believe him when I see it.
      I think Candidate Obama would have quite a few disagreements with President Obama.
      Like Candidate Obama said he would not tax health care plans. ect, ad naseum.

      Disgusting that the people we most count on to represent us, represent big money. RIP America.

      by snoopydawg on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 10:40:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Geithner's going to go (5+ / 0-)

    Surely.
    Surely they'll start clearing house.
    Surely if they've started to ramp up the populist rhetoric, they're going to back it up with some staff changes.

    maybe?
    small chance?

  •  He found his compass again. You go Prez. n/t (3+ / 0-)

    Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers.- George C.

    by gereiztkind on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:59:26 AM PST

  •  Well of course they can afford it. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooch, Crazy like a fox, Betty Pinson

    But what's to keep them from passing the expense on to consumers?  They'll always find a way to do it.

    During the bail out, two of my credit card companies raised my interest to over 20%, and I have excellent credit.

    "Life is short, drink the good wine!" - OQ

    by OtterQueen on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:00:44 AM PST

    •  Citibank did the same to me - (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OtterQueen

      But I just got a new credit card from my local credit union with 6.5% interest rate.  I didn't even know credit unions had credit cards.  Since Arianna came out with the move your money theme, I started looking around.  I am now moved.

      I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

      by fayea on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 10:26:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Now if he could just get a law passed allowing (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooch, SamCDC, ravenwind, Hawkjt, Robinswing

    him to cast 60 votes by himself in the Senate...

    Maybe it'd be easier for me to just go intellectually bankrupt, forget that I've never read the constitution, pretend like he can legislate from the executive branch, and blame him for everything instead.  

    Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

    by lockewasright on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:03:26 AM PST

  •  Populism 101 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Sybil Liberty

    That's how you get it done.

    "I don't want a line in the Sand lines can be moved. They can be blown away. I want a six foot trench carved into granite."

    by theone718 on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:03:27 AM PST

  •  I'll believe it (7+ / 0-)

    When I see it. Obama's modus operandi seems to be to talk tough and then give a wink and a nod to the elitists and corporatists in private.

  •  Rahm! RahmRahmRahm! RAHM! (Geithner!!!!) (5+ / 0-)

    I've never posted a rant about these quasi-Lucifers, so I thought I'd see how it felt.
    .....

    .....

    .....

    .....

    Well it felt OK.
    But it somehow felt like, um, juvenile?

    "So, am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:08:45 AM PST

  •  "when you're rich they think you really know" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell

    "Republican 'truth' is undisturbed by actual Reality"

    by KnotIookin on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:09:19 AM PST

  •  is THIS where wall street greed comes from? (0+ / 0-)

    US social and political reality is largely determined by 1000 radio stations blasting coordinated UNCONTESTED repetition all day long.

    by certainot on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:09:54 AM PST

  •  Well after Deeds and maybe Coakley (3+ / 0-)

    the lesson has been learnt.

    Oh no, the dead have risen and they're voting Republican. - Lisa Simpson

    by LaFeminista on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:14:18 AM PST

    •  The second you turn your head... (0+ / 0-)

      Their lying eyes will be wandering back to the bankster in campaign contribution hot pants. And while I'd like to believe what you're saying, so far this is in line with the steadily growing pile of discarded lip service his administration has substituted for competence and principle.

      Slap happy is a platform.

      by averageyoungman on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 09:16:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We've always said that teabaggers are astroturf (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Helena Handbag

    There will be a graphic demonstration of this as teabaggers and Fox News campaign aganst the American People getting their money back from the big banks.

    The banks threaten to pass on their fees.  Let them, and business will flow to the small banks.

    "The only thing we have to fear - is fear itself." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    by orrg1 on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:15:57 AM PST

  •  Let's see the Republicans fight this ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell

    How do you say ...

    POLITICAL SUICIDE.

  •  Glad to see that frontpaged (0+ / 0-)

    But, he originally said that on Friday (or else I have become incredibly clairvoyant).

  •  If They are powerful now... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell

    They will be more powerful with 1 more GOP in Senate.

    We are disappointed with Dems.  But they are infinitesmally better than the GOP.

    Dont let the GOP take away the success and heritage of Edward Kennedy.

  •  Obama should have been doing this one year ago. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bigchin, Pometacom, methinshaw

    Now litte timmy and his other wall street advisors will have to wait for bought-and-paid-for Congress to kill this proposal.

  •  Good populist politics here (0+ / 0-)

    and it's good to see some leverage being used against the banks.  But it would be cool if they could find some lever to get them to start lending money to people again.  

    2010. Time to win some more.

    by Sun dog on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:20:49 AM PST

  •  I'll believe it when I see it. (6+ / 0-)

    I'm glad Obama is finally saying something about all this but with people like Geithner and Summers in his adminstration, I'm not holding my breath.

    "How many times do you have to be hit over the head before you figure out who's hitting you?" - Harry S. Truman

    by methinshaw on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:21:21 AM PST

  •  Love waking up to a righteous rant like this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fayea, sherijr
    Barack You Rock. Go get em !!
  •  It's good to hear, but... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Cynic in seattle

    If it requires 60 votes, good luck.

    If Coakley loses this changes everything.

    I am hoping the MA election is a wake up call to Dems and the WH. They need to get more populist.

    They need to trot out Warren Buffett and have him say, again, "The rich have never had it so good." Then propose to raise taxes on those rich folks with the next budget. It worked great for Clinton (even after his health care debacle). Revenues went up, the deficit went down, mortgage rates went down and a big recovery happened.

    He also needs to get his foreclosure plan going by kicking Treasury in the ass. If that means firing Geitner, good.

  •  Go get 'em Mr. President! nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, exconservative

    Because our individual salvation depends on our collective salvation.. Barack Obama, 5-25-08

    by sherijr on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:28:33 AM PST

  •  Too little, too late. The banksters already won (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NealB, corvo, methinshaw

    and we, alas, already lost. So did Obama.  He needed to come out of the gate swinging at these bastards but instead he gave them the money.  Today's righteous rant notwithstanding, it's pathetic.  Add to this the crap/punitive HCR legislation, a giveaway to the insurers (i.e. wall street over main street AGAIN) which he calls health care reform... and then tell me why I should believe another word he says...

    Too little, too late.

    Pathetic.

    "History is a tragedy, not a melodrama." - I.F.Stone

    by bigchin on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:28:59 AM PST

  •  Another Obama fail: It's 23.7 trillion (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Badabing, methinshaw

    not 700 billion.

    This guy's going after small change and what about the trillions taxpayers lost with their homes and pensions and so forth?  How the f do they get that back, Barack?

    Obama's Latest Ruse
    http://www.counterpunch.org/...

    Gary Wills on Obama's Afghan occupation: "What really matters are the lives of the young men and women he is sending off to senseless deaths."

    by formernadervoter on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:30:45 AM PST

    •  Ok, show me (0+ / 0-)

      how the debt has risen from 11 trillion last january to over 37 trillion today?

      I mean, we just wrote a check to the banks for 23.7 trillion so the national debt would rise by that much at least since we also had over a 1 trillion deficit.

      Define loan guarantees.
      When your parents guaranteed your school loan, did they write a check that day? did they ever write a check?...well, maybe they did.

  •  Sounds good (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, jay23, methinshaw

    But it has to be followed up.  Obama usually has a tendency to sound good, yet too often acted another way.

    I look forward to seeing him perform on this and other matters that align with the rhetoric he offers.

  •  Thats my President !!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell

    If you strike a match and light a fuse , don't be surprised when something goes boom .

    by indycam on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:31:29 AM PST

  •  Surf The Wave Of Populism Or Be Drowned By It (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thinkdouble, wishingwell

    You do know how to surf, Mr. I-really-was-born-in-Hawaii, don't you?  /snark

    Seriously, the populist feeling in this country are exactly the combination of middle class anxiety and populist (what Hitler called Volkish) feelings that could lead to the rise of a violent Fascist movement that would use the teabaggers as their Brownshirts.

  •  Vee no longer trust zee rhetoric. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pometacom, Badabing

    Vee vant to see zee action.

    Have pitchfork, will travel.

    by thinkdouble on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:34:48 AM PST

  •  Principles and risks (0+ / 0-)

    Sometimes it's important to stand for a principle even if one risks failure. Obama may not get this tax through our dysfunctional Senate but goddamn it, it's good to hear a Democrat stand up for the Democratic principle of fairness. That Obama's statement on this is even remarkable is kind of tragic. This should be the automatic, default position for all Democrats. Sadly, it's not.

  •  I'm shocked , Shocked to find gambling going on (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    one of 8, methinshaw

    U get the picture. Round up he usual suspects!

    "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees" E. Zapata

    by Blutodog on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:39:36 AM PST

  •  Why, it's a sternly-worded letter! (6+ / 0-)

    That should help.

    We guarantee 40 million more customers to the insurance companies, then claim it's a good thing because the poor get a cup of coffee and a doughnut. - Jane

    by itswhatson on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:40:32 AM PST

  •  Love ya' but ...... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    methinshaw

    What started all this was gas prices. Gas prices hitting $4 a gallon was the start of people stopping stupid spending. THAT was the start.
    We make nothing anymore, aside from wooden toys and useless cars. Sure, we make snow blowers - spend $20 more on a Honda snow Blower and you have one for life, save the $20 and you'll be making another purchase in 12 months.

    The ingenuity has left . The belief that hiring more cashiers will rescue our future is building a house on sand inside the tide zone.
    Exxon purchased a HUGE natural gas company, putting further clamps on necessary energy. We can debate all day about using natural gas for home heating and getting off gasoline, but it isn't going to happen the larger the most profitable corporation in THE ENTIRE WORLD gets.
    Regulations have to hit EVERY industry, even water treatment. We are contracting out our needs to vultures, we are mining the resources of the working class to feed the overfed and focusing on Wall Street  fuels the belief they serve a purpose other than mining our resources.
    RESPONSIBILITY ! It is a word republicans use all to often, and we can turn it on them.
    BEFORE pensions became evil, there was responsibility. But the American people bought into populous stupidity . We convinced ourselves that management couldn't manage our pension, the invention of the IRA /401K .
    Now the same people we couldn't trust to manage our pensions get unsecured loans to play with our money and there is no safety net ? Who bought the idea ? Not the state and federal employees - hippies, safe from the draft and trying to capitalize on their greed to get even more for nothing did, thats who bought it.
    Fundamental HONESTY and change has to occur to fix this, not just 'common sense' baby regulations. ALL should share in the downturn, not just the usual suspects. Capital Gains, non pension taxes and so on have to be placed on companies so EVERYONE has a secure future.

  •  Instead of complaining that it is all (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hawkjt, fayea, MB32

    talk and will never happen, why dont we call our Reps and Senators, and ask them to support it, since, yes, this, like many things, has to pass Congress first. Or better yet, make calls for Martha Coakley, since she supports the President's plan and Scott Brown doesnt? That's why I'll be doing.  

  •  I want all the taxpayer bailout funds back... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Badabing

    from the bankers, from the auto makers, from Fannie and Freddie, insurance agencies... I want it all back.. Why we continue to bail out failed managements is beyond me.

  •  It's not too late to get serious.. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    one of 8, redstar, methinshaw, Wom Bat

    but he's got to start backing up his pretty speeches with some deeds. In my neck of the woods, they call these people good deed doers.

    They wasted an entire year giving lip service to the bipartisan bullshit that was never, ever going to happen. That everybody here KNEW would never happen.

    Maybe a little desperation is what this administration needed. They see their support eroding already, so finally they are going to get serious about grabbing the populist mantle.

    They better get busy, because it's gettin' ugly fast.

    "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

    by jkay on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:51:38 AM PST

    •  but remember (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dkmich, Pometacom

      Always read the fine print.  "We're going to restore fairness to the system and protect hardworking Americans" etc. is great sentiment, but remember the fine things Candidate Obama said about renegotiating NAFTA.

      Read the fine print, suckers.  Another pleasing speech won't cut it.  And I have little hope that we will get anything of substance from our government anytime soon.  Of course, I would love to be proven wrong.

      Only if we dramatically step up our efforts to primary the conservative Dems will things change.

      •  Don't forget his health care promises and (0+ / 0-)

        his no tax on the middle class promises, and closing Gitmo promises.  You can count what he did do on one hand.  To count what he didn't do, we all have to take off our socks and shoes.

        Obama has taught me not to believe a damned thing he says.  

        They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20. ~~ Dennis Kucinich

        by dkmich on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 09:40:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have the audacity to hope (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    redstar, Pometacom

    that this is true.

    But I won't be holding my breath.  

    They are unanimous in their hate for me--and I welcome their hatred.

    by bdtlaw on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:53:48 AM PST

  •  the Banks (0+ / 0-)

    Seem to have returned to 'business as usual' and the administration seems powerless to stop them.  The banks own the legislative branch.  

    Unfortunately, past experience shows us that Obama will turn to the legislative branch to write these reforms. Given the disaster that Health Care Reform has become with lobbies that have less money than the banks, I am doubtful that anything meaningful will happen.  

    Oh, for the good ole' days of GW issuing executive orders and progressing his agenda, too bad we're not learning from this.

    ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

    by NevDem on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:54:21 AM PST

  •  This has got to be just the start. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fayea

    The way for the Democrats to change the nature of the game before the midterms is to use financial reform and the bank fee as a political cudgel against the Republicans.  It is a way in which we can harness the anger which is out there and turn it inside-out.  This is good policy AND good politics.  

    Follow up, Mr. President.  A good start would be tomorrow in Massachusetts.  Hang opposition to financial reform around the neck of Scott Brown and make sure you do it in a manner that everyone knows that it is Brown and the Republicans who are doing the bidding of Wall Street and that the only way to stop them is to elect Martha Coakley

    Wurzelbacher/Prejean in 2012 -- No wonder the Mayans were scared!

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:54:33 AM PST

  •  Before all this Big Bank nonsense... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fayea

    I used a Savings and Loan. THEN the Big Bank (BB - Big Brother?) along with Neil Bush and his cronies scammed and screwed the S&Ls. Then, I went to a community/local Bank. During the 80s and 90s, we were offered this, that and every other Visa/Mastercard via big box stores, gas cards, etc. I never used them very much, and instead I stuck to paying cash, paying 30-60-90 days same as cash, and my community/local Bank Visa and accounts.

    So NOW the Worm Turns, and again the BB's all want pity and forgiveness. They want to act as if they are the victims and instead they are blaming the victim (US), by canceling the big box credit cards and by using Betty Davis X-ray eyes on my creditworthiness in order to deny credit.

    So, here is my plan. I am going to cut my umbilical to every BB cronie/partner/investor I can. I already use a rather "local" Visa Bank card, not one of the BB's. I am going to switch my vast fortunes (ha!) to a community bank. I am going to pay cash. I am going to do without. I am going to bike. I am going to walk. I guess we are going to be poor again like we were in the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s.

    And Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion can kiss my grits.

    Ugh. --UB.

    PS. Anyone thinking of immigrating legally or illegally to the US. Watch out. A lot more poor people now than even 2 years ago. Stay away. You can get better jobs now in Mexico City and the European Union. Maybe...

  •  Sorry (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, one of 8, redstar, Pometacom, nase48

    I just don't believe it anymore.  He is President of the United States.  I don't want to hear another freaking speech.

    The reports of this "fee" that will collect "100 billion dollars" usually leave out that this is the projected amount it will raise in TEN YEARS.

    This is faux populism.  Bleh.

  •  Four stars for the Populism (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    one of 8, redstar

    One star for the same old rhetoric

    LETS SEE ACTION

    "John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell - but he won't even go to the cave where he lives."

    by nase48 on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:55:52 AM PST

  •  A day late and a couple trillion dollars short. (4+ / 0-)

    Obama needs to do more than make nice speeches on this issue, because it is getting away from the Democrats. People polled by wide margins identify the plutocrats as beneficiaries of Obama's economic policies to date...it's hard to see how he turns that around.

    Real fair taxation. Real reform. Real cram-down and bankruptcy bill repeal support for regular people. Enough talk.

    Nice speech, as usual, but also as usual, short on concrete, real proposals to do something about it...a verbal sternly worded letter than Dems have come to be known for....

    •  A day late, and too little, too late... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, one of 8, redstar, Jazzenterprises

      I am afraid.

      This follows the pattern to date:

      1. Industry first
      1. Industry second
      1. Industry third
      1. Make a speech for the rabble

      Except much of the trust that came with the campaign rhetoric has been lost, so in order for any of this to make a difference, not only does he have to continue, he has to produce consistent, lasting results that Americans can tangibly associate with his policy.

      Things are not looking good for this Presidency currently.

      Slap happy is a platform.

      by averageyoungman on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 09:12:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good on you, Mr. President (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hawkjt, fayea

    I think he was wise to give the financial industry time to show that they could be responsible and not that they are showing their true pinstripes, to hold them accountable for actions that everyone can see quite plainly.  

    The Bush Administration was afraid of Wall Street, clearly.  Or, too in awe of rich people to do anything but suck up.  

    The problem that has been growing over the years has been that Wall Street has been getting more and more arrogant and unwilling to pay attention to anything other than greed.  

    I hope this situation leads to a succession of oversight bills in Congress, as this plays out.  

    Thank God the Republicans aren't in the White House.  

    What most people don't realize is that the guy that walks into the Oval Office after an inauguration is not necessarily going to get the full cooperation he deserves from all of the power players.  It takes time to become the master of the paradigm.  Having watched Presidents since Kennedy, it seems like it usually takes most of the first term.  Obama was hit with a huge train wreck
    left over, created by Bush.

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:56:54 AM PST

    •  I'm not so sure (0+ / 0-)

      It is possible to go too fast in pursuing a political agenda, I suppose, but your notion that Obama has to psychologically soften up the power brokers before getting to real Change is a bit too optimistic.  These people are grown-ups too, and quite smart, albeit in a self-serving, amoral way.  They can read the papers, too.  

      Obama can wait until the cows come home to become "master of the paradigm" but the instant he starts to REALLY DO something that threatens the power or profits of the corporate establishment, they will flip out and the cable news coverage will be total hysteria, 24/7.

      That Obama will become more appreciably progressive in actual deeds is highly unlikely at this point.  In other words, no eleven-dimensional chess.  This is it.  We will get the rhetoric of progressivism, but little of its substance, and Obama won't do much to shift the frame for future actions.  Whatever he and this Congress do, it will be hailed as The Big Accomplishment, and complaints that it does little to solve the problem will be dismissed as whining from the leftist fringe.

      •  I agree (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, Pometacom, Cynic in seattle

        And I would look at how Big PhRMA is now threatening (if they haven't already begun) to pull the rug out from under Obama on HCR despite the secret deals.  Trusting bankers is akin to trusting the proverbial fox to guard the proverbial chicken house.  It will never work out the way he hopes it will.  Our plutocracy has been set up for over 200 years to ensure that things remain beneficial for them at all costs.

  •  Where Is The Kos Poll On Mass. Senate Race? (0+ / 0-)

    Am I missing it?

  •  About time to end legality of US citizens - and (0+ / 0-)

    Federal government - depositing money in overseas secret acccounts. Keep it here and tax one ; make the other much more difficult to use financing Empire skullduggery.

    •  asdf... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Abra Crabcakeya

      AC! I saw your comment in that other diary tonight. I don't want to comment in there. But I just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you, and sending you this big, big hug:

      {{{{{{{{{{{Abra Crabcakeya}}}}}}}}}}}

      XOXO,
      ear

      "Women shouldn't be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of women." droogie6655321

      by earicicle on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:09:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  He Needs To Follow It Up By Firing Geithner (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Badabing

    Either that or make Geithner get tougher on banks.

  •  We will deal sternly with Mrs. O'Leary's Cow ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capitol, averageyoungman, corvo

    Not a word how any of this will be accomplished.

    Great words but ... so what ... they're just words.

    Will the real BHO please stand up?

    My name is Douglas Watts.

    by Pometacom on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 09:06:09 AM PST

  •  Considering what government has evolved into.. (0+ / 0-)

    ... and how  IT  has handled the public trust, and the public money  (especially what's been done with the trillions collected in the name of Social Security)  over the decades..  It's laughable to hear the current leader of it all (this is a bi-partisan rant), take a moral stand on behalf of tax-payers. The government pointing finger now, is like a cop directing a raid against a cat-house, from atop one of the cats.

  •  Good point of attack here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cynic in seattle

    This is a winner for 2010 for the Dems if they can stay on this message AND force the Republipukes to vote against it and then tie them to the obnoxious Wall Street greed and bonuses.....

    But as we all know, the Dems can screw up a wet dream, so I am not holding my breath!

  •  30% interest if not paid back in 30 days (0+ / 0-)

    Yeah!

  •  But of course to many Kossacks... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JC from IA

    President Obama still sucks and can do no right...hmmm

    Obama - Change I still believe in

    by dvogel001 on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 09:19:38 AM PST

  •  Talk is cheap (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pometacom, Badabing

    When Obama actually does something to collect every dime of taxpayer money, like raise their taxes or push Congress to create a consumer protection agency with teeth, then it will be frontpage news. Until then, it's just a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    Obama called them "fatcats" before, remember? And the bankers responded by not even showing up to his one-hour coffee klatch. You'd think Obama would show just a teeny bit of anger over that snub, but he knows which side his bread is buttered on.

  •  Reminds me of the scorpion&frog n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson

    Hell hath no fury like the vast robot armies of a woman scorned

    by Mike E on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 09:34:45 AM PST

  •  Talk is cheap is right. (0+ / 0-)

    Let me count the broken promises and examine his tin ear.  This guy has been the most blatant of campaign liars that I've seen in my life time.  

    They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20. ~~ Dennis Kucinich

    by dkmich on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 09:37:27 AM PST

  •  chump change (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, one of 8, Jazzenterprises

    This "fee" placed on banks (pretty good framing there I must admit, defining it as a fee.  Plays into voter outrage over bank fees) is chump change.

    It will amount to about 90 billion over ten years.

    We've given trillions to the banks in upfront and backdoor bailouts.  And we did it within a single year.  Sometimes over a single weekend.

    This is political posturing on the part of the Obama administration.  Nothing more.  They have no interest in truly holding the banks accountable.  If they did, Geithner and Summers wouldn't be running things.  If they did, they'd have nationalized and broken up banks into smaller institutions.  They'd not just of outlawed "too big to fail", they'd made it a reality.

    Instead they've protected them.  They've coddled them.  They've asked them to behave.  They've pleaded with them to play nice.

    But any sort of move towards actual regulation and enforcement of that regulation (Geithner lol) has been absolutely non-existant.

    Don't be suckered in by this posturing.  It amounts to 90 billion over ten years, which is a small fraction of the amount we've already given the banks who gutted our economy.

    Demand real regulation and controls from the President and Congress.  Don't settle for their kabuki show.

    Yes We Can take the path of least resistance.

    by gila on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 09:41:20 AM PST

  •  There should be a special tax on mortgage brokers (0+ / 0-)

    Remember where the financial mess started?

    There should be a 1% tax when a mortgage or mortgage backed security changes hands - to help recover the massive losses taxpayers have suffered from bad mortgages - and to encourage those who originate the mortgage to keep and service that mortgage.

    This tax would be not charged to the original mortgage owner, but each and every time the owner of the mortgage or mortgage backed security changes.

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 09:42:53 AM PST

  •  It's a good start (0+ / 0-)

    but the new tax on financial institutions is window dressing at this point. From the figures I saw, the new tax will collect $90 billion over the course of 10 years, while bonuses just this year will exceed $145 billion. That's chump change.

  •  Time to deal with Senate filibuster abuse (0+ / 0-)

    Wall Street and the mega-banks and corporations don't compromise, ever.

    Any president who hopes to have some semblance of control over our economy has to stand up to them and set the rules.  They don't compromise, they draw you in and give the illusion of cooperation so they can pull your strings.

    Obama just found out how they really plan to negotiate.  I hope he remembers they betrayed his trust and have a high rate of recidivism when it comes to dirty tactics to protect their interests. Giving in to them this time will only make them stronger.

    Geithner, Summers, et al are now in a very uncomfortable situation. Where are their loyalties? What about the long list of Treasury nominees freshly culled from Wall St.?  

    Obama is a smart guy and I'm glad he's had the requisite epiphany about the lack of honesty and good faith from Wall Street and the banking sector.

    I'm from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party...

    by Betty Pinson on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 10:35:33 AM PST

    •  You think the POTUS didn't already know this? (0+ / 0-)

      His job is to make the politics of reining them in work.

      I don't think for a minute that Barack Obama hasn't known exactly what he would be up against since before he decided to run for president.  Which is precisely why he brought in a few insiders to start with, because they will be useful not only in spotting the scams, but because the scammers will not be able to bitch about "unfair treatment from outsiders who don't understand the business."

      Epiphany my ass.

      •  I think he really believed (0+ / 0-)

        he had some leeway in dealing with the bankers & Wall Street.  The DLC has always sold that line to its members - that you can find a "third way" to work with these industries - but most will eat your lunch anyway.

        Obama took massive amounts of money from them for his campaign. He wouldn't have compromised control of his policies if he thought he couldn't trust the industry on some level. He's always been comfortable and trusting of Wall Street and bankers, but this is a new era.  There is no third way - its their way or fight.

        I'm from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party...

        by Betty Pinson on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 11:24:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  What don't you get about Obama dealing with the (0+ / 0-)

          politics of the situation?  If the POTUS starts the fight with the bankers, then the bankers can drum up some sympathy about being "unfairly attacked by the President."  If he makes a public effort to allow the bankers to reign themselves in before firing off the first shot, they either have to respond as he hopes, or give up any hope of public support they may have had.

          Obama knows what he's about: Inspiring populism is not likely to be as effective as it was for Roosevelt for a variety of reasons, against an adversary who owns Congress outright and has thirty+ years of Republican "business can do no wrong" preaching behind it.  The POTUS has to convince Congress to take action that may annoy its patrons.  To do that, he is going to have to have the help of the voters.  To get that help, he is going to have to convince those voters that the bankers have been getting away with something, and there is no better way to do that than by having the bankers demonstrate that to the voters themselves.  As they seem to be more than willing to do.

          But, I seem to hear that the bulk of your complaint is some anti-DLC sentiment based on who-knows-what.  While I'm sure that sentiment is very popular here, I fail to see where you have made your case about Obama.

          At all.

          •  I understand the politics of it very well (0+ / 0-)

            hence my comment questioning whether the old "triangulation" strategies are as effective today (as if they ever were).

            Before Obama started his latest triangulation strategy with banks, he took a millions from them in campaign donations. That speaks volumes about his overall strategy.

            We're in the worst recession since the Great Depression in part because of these bankers and Wall Street.

            Voters already know they're being screwed by banks and Wall Street.  Voters already know the banks have been robbing the public with impunity.

            Congress already knows it has to act or face voters' anger at the voting booth. Obama knows that, too. Everyone does.  

            Fix the economy and they'll vote for you. Tell them you're going to fix the economy, but don't produce results, they're not going to vote for you.

            Diplomacy and strategy are required, but there are few options left now that the banks have jumped ship and are threatening Obama by supporting Brown. They haven't left him much room to maneuver.

            It really has become much more polarized now, thanks to the big banks' refusal to negotiate. The risks are high for Obama. Do the right thing or do the wrong thing - there's not much in between.  Tap dancing helps, I suppose.

            I'm from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party...

            by Betty Pinson on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 01:54:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Also (0+ / 0-)

            The banks can threaten Obama by backing Brown and making it harder for Senate Dems to deal with GOP filibustering.

            But they also likely know that giving their money to a GOP candidate to run against Obama in 2012 won't work, since the GOP isn't likely to have a good candidate or good enough approval to win the WH again.  

            So Obama should keep applying pressure to the banks because they're working from a position of weakness - only able to pressure Dems marginally by trying to influence their Congressional majority.  Voters will support him.  Turn off the money spigot to them and stop giving them the tools (money or the illegal/unethical opportunities to earn it) to defeat Dems in 2012.  

            Obama should also have a "come to Jesus" talk with his own in-house team of banksters and begin strategizing for real reform.  Perhaps they should reconsider some of the bankster appointees awaiting approval and bring in a better, more diverse talent pool.

            Bottom line, use pressure on the banks to deliver what the voters want, not the reverse.  There isn't really a middle ground anymore.

            I'm from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party...

            by Betty Pinson on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 02:09:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I will believe it when I see it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo

    War cannot be waged to instill any virtue, including democracy or the liberation of women. - Chris Hedges

    by dancewater on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 10:38:57 AM PST

  •  More Speeches (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo

    & no action. Yawn. The song remains the same...

    Who wants to bet that financial reform will as well be so watered-down, that it will be unrecognizable?

    Hope has left this train station.

    When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross. Sinclair Lewis

    by Jazzenterprises on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 10:39:44 AM PST

  •  Re: banks paying fees (0+ / 0-)

    "The larger the debt, the greater the fee"

    HOW'S IT FEEL TO BE ON THE OTHER END OF THAT MOFOS?!!!!!1111

    "All this marching up and down and cheering and waving flags is simply sex gone sour." -Julia, 1984

    by pullbackthecurtain on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 10:40:12 AM PST

  •  Assuming the banks owe the taxpayers $90 billion (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, stewarjt

    Giving them ten years to pay it back essentially means they can do it out of interest.  Not really what I would call coming down hard on the banks.

    Hope there's more coming than the rant.

  •  Shadow Puppet Show (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, stewarjt, Betty Pinson

    Prince Barack versus the Wall Street Dream Demons.  This tax is the kind of "reform" you add on to the real reform, which they haven't gotten around to doing yet.  

    "Only poets know how many poems end up as pies."

    by DJ Rix on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 11:16:06 AM PST

  •  Not Holding Breath (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo

    I'll believe it when it happens given this president's record of not fighting for working people.

  •  I'll give Obama this: He's a lot better than W. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stewarjt

    overall.

    But this tax is just populist bull.  Barack's an oligarch.  I found that out when he didn't fight, or even care, about the public option.

  •  More lip flapping (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    darkmatter

    Why do you all even bother listening to his words, just words.
    He's been conning you since day one. And most of you continue to defend this total fraud. A republican could never get away with the sh*t Obama does but you guys find ways to rationalize it. You've surrendered all of your powers of judgement.

    Yes, that means you're in a cult.

    Better the occasional fault of a gov't that lives in a spirit of charity than one that remains frozen in the ice of its own indifference. FDR

    by scoutt on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 12:15:46 PM PST

  •  Mr All Talk No Action (0+ / 0-)

    I think the narrative is pretty clear now with Mr Obama.

    He gets involved only when his poll numbers are down or when he's about to lose the battle.  He then gives us a fiery impassioned speech that has worked in the past to save the day.

    Unfortunately I think those days are gone.  His famed rhetoric needs to be front and center at the beginning of the issue, not after he's already been pummeled and bloodied.

     

    •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

      WTF are you even talking about.

      Here's a newsflash, Sparky--he's our only shot for the next three years. It's so easy to criticize from the cheap seats. WTF have you done?

      "Jane, you ignorant slut." --Dan Aykroyd, Saturday Night Live

      by homogenius on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 06:16:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I support the fee but .... (0+ / 0-)

    How can there be 348 comments without anyone noting that most of the big banks that will pay the fee have already paid back their TARP money with interest.  Certainly AIG (not a bank) has not; a big loss is likely.  However, Chrysler will never pay it all back and GM may not.

  •  DAMN!!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Essene

    That's an amazing address. This should be front-page news.

    How many of the ankle-biters around here who are attacking Obama have any clue what this President is trying to do?

    I sit here and watch this video, and I'm astounded. In all my 54 years, this is the most powerful stuff I have ever seen from a President.

    So to all the little people trying to take Obama down and especially the professed Democrats/liberals/progressives working at cross purposes to him--would you get a fucking clue?

    What does it take to get these whiners to wake up and listen? He's the best shot we have for the next three years (and I hope more). If he can't pull off some significant repairs to our damaged country, I'm not sure we'll get the chance in my lifetime.

    Any arguments I have with the President are dwarfed by my belief that we need to give him a decent shot at this.

    OK, look. NBC screwed Conan--I'm not a huge Conan fan and I like Leno. But NBC set up Conan, they put him in the job and then they were afraid of losing Leno so they made a stupid move and gave him a prime-time show that undercut the lead-in to the local news which undercut the lead-in to Conan and they only gave him seven months.

    So we're gonna cut Obama off after only a year and declare him a failure?

    NBC is going to pay millions of dollars ($30 million is the latest guess) to correct their stupidity and the corporate assholes that perpetrated it will get bonuses.

    Are we going to be that stupid?

    I believe President Obama is our best shot for a long time to come. He's not doing everything I want exactly the way I want it. But I'm willing to cut him a little more slack.

    Sure, let's keep the heat on. Tell him what we expect. But don't cut him off at the knees. Remember, most of the pressure needs to go on congress.

    Priorities and Perspective, People!

    "Jane, you ignorant slut." --Dan Aykroyd, Saturday Night Live

    by homogenius on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 06:14:55 PM PST

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