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Why we need politicians that can think
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pueno



Joined: 03 Mar 2007
Posts: 2766

PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

isobars wrote:
If mac is so upset about the housing/banking collapse, he has only his own party to blame. George Bush repeatedly and with increasing alarm urged the Congress to generate tougher regulations on lending -- it's all in the public record -- but the Democrat-controlled Congress adamantly refused. He can thank his sick friend Nancy Pelosi for her major part in that fiasco.

Just so I'm clear on this, you claim that Gramm (republican), Leach (republican), and Bliley (republican) had nothing to do with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act but that it was all Pelosi's fault?
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5575

PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isobars would be funny if he wasn't so wrong. In the first place, it is the Executive Branch, not the Legislative Branch that issues regulations. In the second place, no Executive regulations may be promulgated that exceed the authority Congress delegated to the Executive in the authorizing legislation. The Gramm etc. act basically put much of the financial industry beyond the reach of regulation. Third, it was Bush political appointees that were the architects of much of the mischief that created the problems in the first place. People like John Dugan, who worked long as a lobbyist for banks, and proposed, in "Modernizing the Financial System: Recommendations for Safer, More Competitive Banks" many of the neo con ideas that led to the collapse. Ideas like allowing commercial banks to merge with much riskier investment banks and insurance companies, and allowed entities like Sears and General Electric to buy banks. Then there was Bush's pick to head up the SEC, Christopher Cox, about whom the NY times said:
Quote:
Mr. Cox - a devoted student of Ayn Rand, the high priestess of unfettered capitalism - has a long record in the House of promoting the agenda of business interests that are a cornerstone of the Republican Party's political and financial support.


In California we know about Cox, a right winger from Southern California. Hardly one to cross the banking industry and try to regulate tranches, or even chase Bernie Madoff in response to complaints about his Ponzi scheme. To be fair, Paulson and Bush did have some inkling of the gathering storm, and were contemplating some reregulation of the financial industry.

I have not argued that the financial industry should have continued to be regulated by the Glass-Steagal act 80 years later. But I have watched Wall Street and the Republicans refuse to cooperate on any financial reforms. Neither Obama nor Congress get high marks for distancing themselves from Wall Street. The "supercommittee" assigned to find cuts in the Federal budget is made up of Republicans and Democrats that have taken more than $30 million in campaign contributions from Wall Street firms, and lobbyists for Big Oil, and Wall Street, usually former staffers of the Congressmen, are swarming around seeking to protect their subsidies and favorable regulation.
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jpbassking



Joined: 19 May 1998
Posts: 2389
Location: Leo

PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am trying to find that single point of failure, the one thing that led to the chain of events that brought us to the verge of financial ruin. I think Gramm-Leach-Bliley may be that single point of failure. Although authored by republicans it was signed into law by then president Clinton. I'm sure he'd say it seemed like a good idea at the time.
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stevenbard



Joined: 11 Nov 1993
Posts: 4341

PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schwartzenegger: At his core he thought government had become more problem than solution: an institution run less for the benefit of the people than for the benefit of politicians and other public employees.

I've met Arnold many times. I didn't like him when he was a body builder and I still don't like him, but this is true. This is the problem JP, in my opinion. Just like the city of Bell, they all do it. It isn't one tipping point, but many straws that finally broke the camels back.

"A prison guard who started his career at the age of 45 could retire after five years with a pension that very nearly equaled his former salary. The head parole psychiatrist for the California prison system was the state’s highest-paid public employee; in 2010 he’d made $838,706. The same fiscal year that the state spent $6 billion on prisons, it had invested just $4.7 billion in its higher education—that is, 33 campuses with 670,000 students."
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 6031

PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks mac for posting the link to the Vanity Fair article. Indeed, it was a lengthy piece. Nevertheless, it was both very interesting and well written, to say the least. It even gave some fodder to Bard to leverage off of. Despite the huge focus these days on politics at the federal level, there are many fundamental problems today at the state and local levels that are incredibly challenging. At the root of things is the fact that all parties involved share responsibility, not just for how we got to where we're at, but also, for climbing out of everything and growing strong again.

I have to admit to never meeting Schwarzenegger, but its been clear in everything that he does, that his personality and actions reflect a very bold nature. However, it was during his tenure as California governor that we saw how he changed over time. In the beginning, he sounded like many on the right that are so disdainful of government, and determined to turn things around to make them "right" again. Over time though, he learned quite a bit, and ultimately began to change his tune and actions. Certainly, he's a good example why California's term limits requirements are inappropriate for good government and management. I originally voted against them, and I'm now more than convinced that term limits have proven to be the wrong course for dealing with the state's problems. With ever increasing money being used to warp the election and governing processes, there's always the danger of undue influence bending things in untoward directions.

No doubt, we have our hands full.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5575

PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chandler--I found it interesting, but certainly didn't agree with all of it. The thing that many people don't understand is that there are many more State employees than Federal employees--about 10 times as many--and 10 times as many local government employees. In California, the legislature gave local governments the ability to increase pensions at a time when pension investments were returning great profits. Most local governments got too generous with pensions; they run at least 50% higher than State pensions. That certainly needs to be reformed--but not be eliminating pensions, as many corporations have done. I find it ironic that most of the mess is at local government, which is the most directly responsible to voters, but most of the attention is at the Federal level. But then many who pontificate on forums know little of how government works.

As we learned from Pogo, the enemy is at least partially us. Greed and overeating appear to be two sides of the same coin.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 6031

PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Believe me mac, your past comments on the subject are not lost, at least from my perspective on things. In many ways, that's why the Vanity Fair article is quite insightful, and again thanks. Your focus on this shows us a bit more about our need to really look locally about community, and sometimes about ourselves, to include those less successful in life. Often it's about dealing with the big issues many today don't like, and would rather brush-off. I see that a lot from the right's increasing negative commentary, but in reality, they offer no real viable solutions in my view. Their call is becoming ever more shrill and non-productive. Frankly, I'm looking for more.
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stevenbard



Joined: 11 Nov 1993
Posts: 4341

PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today the mayor of Grand Rivers Ky told the epa they've been dumping raw sewage into the river for over a year because they had been blocked from building a new sewage treatment plant for their town by the epa.

Why? The epa wants them to do environmental impact studies to determine if the plant will harm the environment, even though the old plant sits on the site already. In addition they want them to search for any evidence of native American burials in the vicinity.

So the mayor said they have no choice but to continue to dump raw sewage into the river for the next few years while they raise the additional money for the studies, one of which is the impact pouring the newly purified water will have on river life.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5575

PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bard--you are really silly. EIR's for new plans have been standard for over 30 years. Smart, competent people plan for it. Informed people know about it. Liars from the right spin nonsense about it that other gullible people from the right repeat. But I would be willing to bet that you've been busted or fined for violating some type of environmental laws. Probably filled wetlands without a permit. What a chump.
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stevenbard



Joined: 11 Nov 1993
Posts: 4341

PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So let the turds fly into infinity. They are no longer interested in logic or the environment, but only paperwork and their own jobs.

Yes, my brothere was arrested because one of his employees inadvertantly drove accross a dry creek bed on his own property. It cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend himself. He won, but this is the terrorism of our govt.

A black business partner of mine was sued by HUD for discrimination against blacks. When he showed up to court and explained to them that he was black, they continued the suit. Thousands of dollars later, he also won. This is also the terrorism of our govt.

Mac, since you don't create jobs, you don't understand, nor ever will. Only big business can compete today, so you get the oligarchy you ask for, and the small businessmen get the shaft.
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