Archive for deal

Snarky analysis of the worst news anchor question o' the day

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omg obama

Today Alex Witt asked this (slightly paraphrased) question of her guest regarding the Iran nuclear deal:

So if the Iran deal fails, does that mean failure for President Obama?

Let's dissect that, mmkay?

  • So what I'm asking is, if something fails, does it fail? And if Obama was involved, isn't he an epic fail, too? Well, isn't he? OMG!
  • So whaddya say, can I coax you to use the words "blame Obama"?
  • So if the deal doesn't go as well as the president hopes, is he the big fat failure we all know he is and always has been and always will be? OMG!
  • Can you please assume and/or predict a negative outcome of a deal that was finalized only hours ago, has six months to go, and hasn't even had a nano-chance to start working yet?
  • OMG! Is one potentially bad deal going to obliterate any and all successes he's had after 8 years of his presidency?
  • If making a peaceful, diplomatic attempt to avoid another insane, deadly war that would be terrible for the region, the United States, and the world doesn't produce an ideal result, don't you think it's time to prematurely condemn this president?
  • If things go the way President Obama's detractors want it to go, can we conclude that, OMG! his entire presidency sucks?
  • If the president doesn't succeed at this international effort that includes several other countries-- never mind that silly Osama bin Laden thing and avoiding war with Syria-- can we finally all agree that we should be dismissive of his entire foreign policy?
  • Can I garner higher ratings for my show by asking a meaningless-yet-annoyingly goading question that will-- OMG!-- incite more Obama bashing, blame, and disapproval?
  • OMG! OBAMA IS A BLACKTASTIC LOSER!
  • Is this a particularly terrible interview?

blame Obama 2

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Video- CBS's Bob Schieffer to GOP Rep.: Is Iran Deal ‘Diversionary Tactic’ for Obama Admin?

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Got those RNC talking points right up there in the teleprompter eh Bob? Via.

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Court docs: Enron convict Jeffrey Skilling reaches deal to be released early from prison

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Jeffrey Skilling

Remember former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling (aka inmate #29296-179)? I wish I didn't. He was supposed to spend 24 years in prison for the Enron mess, but under a deal he's reached, that could be cut by ten years, according to court documents. He had 15 years left to serve. But apparently, not any more.

He was convicted in December 2006 for fraud, conspiracy, insider trading and lying to auditors in the largest corporate fraud in history.

CNN:

"The agreement brings certainty and finality to a long painful process," said Skilling lawyer Daniel Petrocelli of O'Melveny & Myers. "Although the recommended sentence for Jeff would still be more than double any other Enron defendant, all of whom have long been out of prison, Jeff would at least have the chance of getting back a meaningful part of his life."

What, his life wasn't meaningful when he committed those many crimes? What about all the people who were affected by his fraudulent acts and lies? Will they get a meaningful part of their lives back? Their jobs? Their life savings?

More than 4,000 Enron employees lost their jobs, and many also lost their life savings, when the Texas-based energy company declared bankruptcy in 2001. Investors lost billions of dollars.

Part of the deal is that Skilling has to drop any further legal challenges to his conviction.

How about dropping off the edge of a cliff instead?

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Shhh! FDIC made settlement deals with banks rather than sue-- and promised not to tell.

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banks too big to jailwhat's the big secret

Elizabeth Warren said, “When banks are too big to fail, too big to jail, too big for trial, too big to regulate, too big to shrink… they are just too big.”

Gee, ya think she's on to something? She also said:

This is wrong — just plain wrong. We are a country that believes in equal justice under the law — not special deals for the big guys. And that’s not all the special deals that the big banks get.

Which brings us to a rather lengthy L.A. Times above-the-fold front-pager that could have been subtitled:

shhh

[T]he government cut a deal with the bank's lawyers to keep it quiet: a "no press release" clause that required the FDIC never to mention the deal "except in response to a specific inquiry." [...]

Under the Freedom of Information Act, The Times obtained more than 1,600 pages of FDIC settlements, made from 2007 through this year with former bank insiders and others accused of wrongdoing. The agreements constitute a catalog of fraud and negligence: reckless loans to homeowners and builders; falsified documents; inflated appraisals; lender refusals to buy back bad loans.

Defendants benefit by settling because they can avoid admitting guilt and limit the damages they might face in court. The FDIC benefits by collecting money without the hassle and expense of litigation. The no-press-release arrangements help close those deals.

Here's what Quicken Loans spokeswoman Paula Silver had to say:

"Quicken Loans and the FDIC entered into a 'confidential' agreement nearly three and a half years ago which clearly states that no party admits liability nor wrongdoing."

Former bank examiner Richard Newsom, who specialized in insider-abuse cases for the FDIC in the aftermath of the S&L debacle, said he couldn't understand the shift, unless the agency doesn't "want people to know how little they are settling for."

And coincidentally, as I was writing this up, I spotted this tweet:

tweet fdic deals banks

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Sen. Dick Durbin: "We need to revisit" the filibuster rules

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filibuster reform

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill), don't tease us, please don't tease us... unless you mean it. After my previous post, many of us got a Chris Matthews thrill up our collective leg: Senate Dems think Harry Reid should revisit filibuster reform if GOP continues to block Chuck Hagel.

Of course, Harry Reid never really wanted to change the filibuster. Dick Durbin said that he was uncertain whether the filibuster deal that Reid made with McConnell would make it easier to pass bills, saying, “It requires good will [and] good faith.” Well, at least he has a sense of humor.

But we've had enough. As Rachel Maddow put it, “How’s that ‘gentleman’s agreement’ going now that we’ve just had a filibuster of a cabinet nominee for the first time in American history?”  And it appears that Durbin is asking himself and Harry Reid the same question.

Durbin, via Roll Call:

“We have tried at the beginning of this Senate session to avoid this kind of filibuster confrontation. The last several years we have had over 400 filibusters — a record number of filibusters in the Senate... I hate to suggest this, but if this is an indication of where we’re headed, we need to revisit the rules again... We need to go back to it again. I’m sorry to say it because I was hopeful that a bipartisan approach to dealing with these issues would work.”  [...]

“We had the first filibuster in history of a secretary of Defense nominee, the first... And now we follow with this filibuster of this D.C. Circuit nominee. I don’t think we’ve achieved much in our rules reform. I don’t think our spirit of bipartisanship has shown much in terms of results.”

Bingo. He's referring to the fact that Senate Republicans just filibustered the nomination of Caitlin J. Halligan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. She got 51 votes.

And GOP Sen. Rand Paul did actually take the floor to “actively filibuster” the nomination of John O. Brennan to be the next CIA director. He talked his fool head off. For hours.

Ironically, that's exactly the kind of filibuster that has been proposed. Under Jeff Merkley’s plan for reform, the filibuster wouldn’t have ended and the Dems would still be able to use the option to filibuster when they are the minority party. It would have taken more effort and transparency to voice opposition, but the filibuster would have remained intact.

Senators Durbin and Reid? Your move.

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Senate Dems think Harry Reid should revisit filibuster reform if GOP continues to block Chuck Hagel

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filibuster reform

“How’s that ‘gentleman’s agreement’ going now that we’ve just had a filibuster of a cabinet nominee for the first time in American history?”

Rachel Maddow: “Harry Reid decided he would… make a handshake deal with the Republican’s top senator, Mitch McConnell. He said he was ‘satisfied’ with the Republicans just ‘agreeing’ to be more reasonable… Remember? …  They would just agree as ‘gentlemen’ that the Republicans would ‘curtail the excesses’ of filibustering everything, and effectively ruling from the minority. … They said, you know, at a minimum this will at least improve the confirmation process for the administration’s nominees. How’s that working out now?How’s that ‘gentleman’s agreement’ going now that we’ve just had a filibuster of a cabinet nominee for the first time in American history?

Apparently, some Senate Democrats are asking themselves and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid the same question.

Again, under Merkley's plan for reform, the filibuster wouldn’t have ended and the Dems would still be able to use the option to filibuster when they are the minority party. It would have taken more effort and transparency to voice opposition, but the filibuster would have remained intact.

The Hill:

Some Senate Democrats think Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) should revisit filibuster reform if Republicans continue to block Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s pick for secretary of Defense. [...]

[S]ome Democrats say Reid still has the option of changing the rules for the 113th Congress and should consider doing so if Republicans continue to hold up what in past years would have been considered routine business.

The Senate has never used a filibuster to reject a cabinet nominee-- and the GOP also threatened to filibuster Richard Cordray, the president's pick to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau-- so why shouldn't the "nuclear option" be considered? One "first" to counter another, tit for tat. As for Reid breaking his word to Mitch McConnell, it's pretty obvious that McConnell has already abused their handshake agreement.

George Kohl, senior director at Communications Workers of America, said Reid "reserved the right to reconsider the rules if they continue to obstruct. If they continue to go down that path I think he’ll have to reconsider options he would like not to exercise."

I'm not holding my breath.

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VIDEO: "How's that 'gentleman's agreement' going now that we've just had a filibuster of a cabinet nominee for the first time in American history?"

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filibuster hagel

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Rachel Maddow:

"This has never happened before. To anyone. Ever."

"Chuck Hagel does have majority support in the Senate... A minority of that body, the Republicans decided they were going to block him anyway. They filibustered a cabinet nomination."

"This is a fresh hell in American politics."

"They 'might vote no'... but they wouldn't block a vote!... They wouldn't filibuster! ...Well today... only Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski... kept their word. All the others said they would not filibuster, that that would be wrong. And then they did it anyway."

"Sen. Graham... says he does not want his filibuster today to be thought of as a filibuster, even though that's what it is. ...He wants to use it as leverage to get more information out of the administration on the president's birth certificate. I'm sorry I mean Fast and Furious. I'm sorry I mean aliens in Area 51. I'm sorry I mean his theories about what happened in Benghazi. What does nominee Chuck Hagel know about Benghazi? Precisely nothing. He has nothing to do with hit, he HAD nothing to do with it."

"Why block his nomination?... Dunno. Why not? Wrecking stuff is fun maybe?"

"Harry Reid decided he would... make a handshake deal with the Republican's top senator, Mitch McConnell. He said he was 'satisfied' with the Republicans just 'agreeing' to be more reasonable... Remember? ...  They would just agree as 'gentlemen' that the Republicans would 'curtail the excesses' of filibustering everything, and effectively ruling from the minority. ... They said, you know, at a minimum this will at least improve the confirmation process for the administration's nominees. How's that working out now?... How's that 'gentleman's agreement' going now that we've just had a filibuster of a cabinet nominee for the first time in American history?"

Via Christine Pelosi, daughter of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, a response to Nicole Sandler's tweet that the "filibuster rule can be changed any time":

tweet filibuster reform now sfpelosi

Now is good for me too, Christine (and nobody is saying get rid of the filibuster, as you may recall):

Remember, the filibuster wouldn’t have ended, and the Dems would still be able to use the option to filibuster when they are the minority party. The only difference is that it would have taken more effort and transparency to voice opposition. But because Democrats (and of course, Republicans) voted against the Merkley plan, the silent filibuster is still in place.

Christine Pelosi is an author, Campaign Boot Camp 2.0; Chair, #CADEMWOMEN; #SFGiants fan & volunteer; Yogamom

San Francisco · http://www.PelosiBootCamp.com

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