Archive for Barney Frank

VIDEO: David Gregory changes subject to save guest from Barney Frank's question on wealthy bankers' huge salaries


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Happy fifth anniversary of the Wall Street Meltdown! Weeee! Could a financial crisis happen again? You bet.

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Meet the Press host David Gregory came to the rescue of his own personal NBC damsel in distress, CNBC host Maria Bartiromo, who thinks Americans need to come down with collective amnesia and get past all the silly little antics of Wall Street.

Never mind the pain and suffering, the poverty, the GOP cutting programs that would keep people alive who can barely make ends meet and who were cut off at the wallet by those poor, put-upon Big Banks.

Instead, Gregory's priority was to swoop in and end the awkward silence and nervous giggling that followed Barney Frank's question, "Why are bankers paying themselves so much money?" The panelists who are oh so into Wall Street were suddenly oh so silent:

Maria Bartiromo: We need to get beyond the conversation of, Is Wall Street evil?" Are the bankers evil and causing pain? And toward the conversation of, how do you create sustainable economic growth? That will answer the issue of inequality. Because with growth comes jobs. [...]

Barney Frank: I do want to add one thing, though, to your question about those poor beleaguered bankers who have been forced to do so much to keep from not being able to pay their debts they can’t lend money. If they really are running businesses that are so stressed that they can’t do their basic work, why are they paying themselves so much money? Where did these enormous salaries come from if they were in fact in such serious trouble?

pregnant pause

Maria Bartiromo: (laughing) Thank you for giving me that one. Okay.

David Gregory: But your point is to get beyond — to get beyond some of the resentment of the bankers and get to a place where we actually have more hiring going on, more investment going on and Washington plays a more constructive role beyond whether it was the bailout of the banks which changed our politics.

Think Progress:

(Nevermind that the deregulation of the financial sector is a primary driver of inequality in the U.S.) [...]

It would have been interesting to hear Bartiromo’s response had Gregory not intervened to prevent anyone answering Frank’s question. Wall Street executive pay seems difficult to defend five years on from the crisis. It isn’t just that banker bonuses and bank profits have returned to or even surpassed pre-crisis highs. It’s that a third of the highest-paid executives of the past 20 years have been failures or frauds. It’s that companies routinely manipulate performance-based compensation schemes to effectively guarantee executive payouts. It’s that taxpayers subsidize payments in the form of stock, which also give executives incentive to the sorts of fraud and risk-taking that created the financial crisis.

Here is the entire segment:

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Video- Bill Maher: Jay Z Barney Frank Battle Over Stop and Frisk, Maher Rips Fox's Trolling On Black Crime



VIDEO: Notes from a Netroots Nation (former) virgin


no longer a virgin

Above is the first podcast of Nicole Sandler's radio show from NN13. I'm in it a little at the beginning, but check out her interviews with Christine Pelosi, Markos Moulitsas, Julianna Forlano, Matthew Filipowicz and others on the same video.

Here is the second one she did with Congressman Alan Grayson, NJ gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono, Peter B. Collins, Brad Friedman, Joel Silberman, and more:

I've wanted to go to Netroots Nations for years but was unable to... until this year, because it was in San Jose, only a few hours away by car. So Mr. Laffy and I made the drive and, despite feeling very intimidated at the thought of meeting so many accomplished, knowledgeable, notable Progressives, I jumped headlong into a sea of like-minded liberals at a convention center the size of Wyoming.

GOD that place was huge. And just making my way from one room to another, or even across enormous rooms like the "Town Square" (the room filled with booths manned by organization members, radio hosts, etc.) was exhausting. It was a little like going back to UCLA where one class would end and I'd have 10 minutes to schlep across campus to the next one. So, physically, it was demanding.

Emotionally, it was surprisingly rewarding. I expected to feel like the odd person out, knowing how cliquish these events can be, and this one was no exception. However, despite the familiarity among the various groups, it wasn't all that difficult to make my way in, introduce myself, and I invariably got a warm response in return. Not always a lengthy one, but most often a "Oh I know you! Hi!" kind of response.

Note: I was consistently surprised by that response. I had no idea that people like Rep. Keith Ellison (!) would know who the heck I was. Nor did I expect that some of the more recognizable participants would take the time to chat. Most of the time when you meet a well-known personality, they give you an obligatory hello and phony smile, and then on to the next person.  But Rep. Ellison, Howard Dean (I tell that story in the video above), Barney Frank, Christine Pelosi, Chris Christie opponent Barbara Buono, Rep. Mike Honda, Rep. Barbara Lee, Daily Kos's Markos Moulitsas, and so many others stopped, chatted, asked questions back, and didn't act as if they had something better to do.

Sad to say, many of us aren't used to that kind of reciprocity, meaning--yay!-- at Netroots, actual conversation (or at least short chats) is the norm, not the exception. I got to reunite with old pals like Cliff Schecter and Lizz Winstead, and I was finally able to meet and chat with Ari Berman (so nice, so brilliant), Jacki Schechner (of Current TV and the Stephanie Miller Show... a doll!), Sally Kohn (with whom I've had phone chats, but this was so much better... lerve!), Shannyn Moore (we've also spoken on the phone, it was so good to meet, hug, talk face to face!), Tina DuPuy (a riot!); my fellow bloggers (Brad Friedman, an absolute hoot and sharp as a tack, and Hullabaloo's amazing Digby, immediately likable... to name two); and tweeters whose Twitter names and avatars finally morphed into three-dimensional human beings (talkin' to you @WillDurst, @ZerlinaMaxwell, and @AndyCobb); plus so many other amazing, accomplished types (Sam Seder and Elon James White come to mind), and that is what made the trip worthwhile. I'm sure I'm forgetting some of those I met; I'll add them in as my sieve-brain kicks in.

It was also a thrill to see Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Barbara Boxer, Sandra Fluke, Barney Frank, Howard Dean, Rep. Mike Honda, and so many others speak live and in person. It makes a difference, as opposed to seeing them on the Tee Vee Machine.

A huge thank you goes to Nicole Sandler for taking me under her wing and making a point of introducing me to people I never would have met had it not been for her. She's a blast to hang out with and a good friend with a ton of moxie. And yes, I just wanted to use the word "moxie."

The panels were informative and fascinating, the entire experience was a positive one, but boy am I pooped!

And I am no longer a NN virgin.

Here are a few photos:

NN13 Howard Dean, me Parts 1, 2

I cracked Howard Dean up by telling him how often I post this photo at TPC (the rest is explained in the video):

Howard Dean

NN13 Barbara Lee, Christine Pelosi panel

Christine Pelosi (right) made a point of recommending my work to Rep. Barbara Lee. I was floored, no kidding.

NN13 Nicole Sandler Mike Honda

Right after this interview I had a few minutes with Rep. Mike Honda. What a genuinely nice man he is.

NN13 Nicole Sandler, Sam Seder, Tina DuPuy, Markos, Digby

 Nicole Sandler, Sam Seder (seated at table upper left), Tina DuPuy, Markos, Digby on Radio Row

NN13 Barney Frank, me

Barney Frank. What. A. Thrill! 'Nuff said.

NN13 Nicole Sandler, Barbara Buono

Barbara Buono couldn't have been nicer. PLEASE show her your support. Chris Christie's gotta go.

NN13 Keith Ellison

I love Rep. Keith Ellison. Personable, smart, Progressive, and sweet as can be. No B.S. and plenty of heart.

NN13 christine pelosi, Mike Honda

Christine Pelosi and Rep. Mike Honda were a joy, and yes, I hugged them both.


Massachusetts Deval Patrick Picks ‘Mo’ Cowan as Interim US Senator


Poor Barney. Cowan sounds like a good candidate, and I'm sure Patrick wants him to run in the special. Cartoon via.

William “Mo” Cowan is Governor Deval Patrick’s choice to serve as the interim US senator until the successor to John F. Kerry is chosen by the voters June 25, according to a source in the governor’s office.

This week, Kerry formally resigned from the US Senate seat he held for 29 years and was also confirmed as the nation’s secretary of state by his Senate colleagues in an 94 to 3 vote.

Cowan is a North Carolina native and Duke University graduate who came to Boston to attend Northeastern University Law School in the early 1990s - and never left the region. One of the city’s leading African-American lawyers, Cowan is a former partner in the politically connected law firm of Mintz Levin.

Cowan will become the first African-American to represent Massachusetts in the Senate since Edward Brooke held the seat as a Republican from 1966 to 1978.