Delaying Tactics On Display

By Simon Johnson

Senator Richard Shelby, ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, today issued the following statement,

“Republicans remain open to finding common ground with Chairman Dodd.  If my Democrat colleagues are interested in enacting reforms that protect American taxpayers, promote economic growth, and preserve the competitiveness of our financial markets, there is no reason that we cannot reach an agreement.  As long as we remain focused on policy and not politics, an agreement is still very possible.  The Republican members of the Committee stand united and ready to work with Chairman Dodd toward that goal.”

This is not a correct or accurate statement with regard to Republican intentions and their work behind the scenes.  At this point, leading Senate Republicans are trying hard to prevent any kind of bill from moving forward.  Their thinking is that there is not a lot of legislative time remaining in 2010 – a week or two lost now can derail completely opportunity for reform along any dimension.

No doubt we will see an increase in contributions by the financial sector in return for actions and statements that prevent effective consumer protection and that push derivatives regulation towards being even less effective.

47 thoughts on “Delaying Tactics On Display

  1. No doubt we will see an increase in contributions by the financial sector in return for actions and statements that prevent effective consumer protection and that push derivatives regulation towards being even less effective.

    I have a pet theory that Congressional Democrats will receive more campaign donations this year from financial firms than Congressional Republicans.

    Anybody know where I can obtain hard data to confirm or to refute my theory?

  2. Financial firms donating MORE money to the party who is in the majority during an important debate about future reforms? Why even look for data? I’d like data showing when this hasn’t happened.

  3. What if Dodd proposes to relocate all bank headquarters to Alabama? Would this be a principled stance that Shelby might get behind?

  4. “…preserve the competitiveness of our financial markets…” Does Shelby mean to say that he wants markets that allow equal competition by all players on an even field (something that can’t be “preserved” if it doesn’t exists today); or does he mean that he wants to preserve the privileged position in the markets of the United States’ largest financial players (allowing them to continue to charge exorbitant rents, the exact opposite of competitiveness)??

  5. Shelby is deep into the pockets of the bankers in Alabama. He is a liar when he says he is serving the needs of the working class in the state. He is a thief in that he stole Democratic votes to get elected and then changed parties, and he kept the Democratic campaign contributions as well. Do not believe anything this man says. If his lips are moving a lie is coming!

  6. This is good! This is good! The best way to “promote economic growth,” Shelby’s commitment, is to spend a lot to get our public school systems from falling into utter ruin. City after city is firing teachers, closing schools. I am wondering who will be smart enough to operate the machinery in the hospital to keep me breathing in my old age. Forget about death panels. And anyway, that average American is not economic literate so it won’t matter whether he can read this blog when he graduates ten years from now. I’m glad Shelby is for an economic stimulus for our public schools. — Oh, only in Alabama?

  7. It’s apparent Congress–especially the Republicans–do not work for the people. Instead, they’re in Washington working for corporate America, maintaining the status quo, and on the take for the payback donations that refuel their re-elections and big egos. This vicious circle perpetuate a broken system. What we need is public financing of campaigns, and then transparency for lobbyists should follow. Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), I don’t know what you’re thinking. You’re not running for re-election again, so tell Wall Street and the Republicans the gig is up, and do what the people want. Well over 80% of the people you work for want the strictest regulations slapped on Wall Steet! Get it?

  8. You’re right about this facist being a liar. He’s not deep into the Alabama banks though. All the Alabama bankers are facing indictments or soon will be. This con takes all his money from Wall Street and “champions” the working man with cheap sound bites. As a citizen of Alabama, he is nothing more than a person who shames our state and plays upon emotion, not facts to be re-elected. He should be arrested and sent to Leavenworth!

  9. It is indicative of Shelby’s intransigence that he cannot bring himself to call his “Democrat (sic) colleagues” by their proper name. This mean-spirited cussedness is on a par with the type of jerk who thinks it is funny to belittle someone by consistently mis-pronouncing his name. Until Shelby can learn to say “Democratic” when speaking of his colleagues, his deeper intentions are clear.

  10. I think his aim is to issue statements that sound like an earnest attempt to act the part of a consensus-seeking legislator while remaining utterly meaningless.

    But the truth could be much more sinister.

  11. A legislator said something disingenuous? Stop the presses!

    Did you just start following politics this year, Simon?

  12. Shelby is the kind of politician this country has never needed. He makes my skin crawl.

  13. I’m gonna split the difference and say that the money is being tossed to the easiest to sway people first on either side, second to the Dems, and finally to Republicans to fill in any gaps. Or the short version: they’re buying any and everyone they need, regardless of party.

  14. Never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity. He could genuinely think he’s helping.


    Republicans ARE practicing seditious DEMAGOGUERY and anti-democracy OBSTRUCTIONISM intended to destabilize our economy for purposes of political exploitation.

    Republicans AREN’T making a sincere effort to STOP the bleeding THEIR incompetent leadership and failed policies created. Instead, they’re using inflammatory lies and accusations as a smokescreen to conceal their subversive agenda, which is to cause President Obama and America to fail so they can blame Democrats for the consequences of THEIR calamitous mismanagement.

    Republicans ARE preposterously professing that THEIR disgraceful political WHORING had nothing to do with the banking, real estate, stock market and employment catastrophes that resulted.

    Republicans ARE trying to hamstring Democrats to prevent them from repairing the damage caused during a Republican presidency that was irresponsibly enabled by Republican Senators and Representatives.

    Republicans ARE offering ridiculous arguments meant solely to disrupt and prevent progressive change. They’d rather divide America and create political gridlock than endure the political consequences of effective Democratic governance.

    Republicans AREN’T the LOYAL OPPOSITION; they ARE the ENEMY WITHIN whose mercenary personal priorities have eroded their moral and ethical standards to the point that duplicity and betrayal are their preferred modus operandi.

    It’s one thing to advocate their conservative beliefs; it’s another thing entirely to willfully sabotage America’s government because a successful Democratic presidency would not be vulnerable to the greed, fears and hatreds that have produced and sustained the radical Republican anti-government corporatism and anti-Christian faux theocracies that are poisoning and crippling American society.

  16. Anyone else remember the NPR interview with Shelby soon after the collapse of Lehman Bros. where Shelby was essentially arguing the government shouldn’t be involved in any fashion with the financial markets and, when pressed by the interviewer, suggested it would be a good thing for world markets if the American financial system collapsed?

  17. No matter what we say, people like Shelby have done a good job of preventing anything from happening and setting up Democrats to take the blame. And what what seems laughable to us, makes sense to many Americans.

    Why doesn’t someone just ask Shelby to give us a single example of one thing he would propose to Dodd to prove his good intentions?

    You may remember that Shelby said we have the best healthcare system in the world and shouldn’t mess with it. I don’t think the AMA would agree. Nor would employers or the 40 thousand who don’t have it and are clogging the emergency rooms.

    Rahm Emmanuel was right. The democrats have wasted a good crisis.

  18. Senator Richard Shelby, ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee wrote:

    “…open to finding common ground… If my …. colleagues are interested in enacting reforms that protected…our financial markets…”

    How does he define “our financial markets” what are the costs verses the benefits?

  19. The bankers are hedging their bets, they give money to the Republicans to kill reform and money to Democrats to water down any bill that might pass if the Republicans fail in their bid to kill it.

  20. He doesn’t have to define anything. He can stand in front of the camera and throw out vague generalizations and his constituents will be satisfied.

  21. Thusfar, statistically at least, history has shown that the D’s receive about the same money as the R’s. To this point, each party in its own way has shown a healthy degree of obfuscation regarding meaningful reform of anything. All, regardless of party are card carrying members of the American Plutocratic Party, you know, the ruling (and effectively only) party with dogs in the fight.

  22. Alabama is a state that has a healthy agricultural economy. Environmentally, they should be proud of Mr. Shelby for being a star on the manure spreader. He’s one of the princes of fecal politics. Not that Dodd and other Democrats haven’t spread their share. If the CFPA gets gutted (likely) or placed in control of another do nothing agency (more likely), derivatives remain largely hidden from view, and there is no repeal of Gramm-Leach and reinstitution of Glass-Steagall (highly unlikely or impossible), there will be no real reform. Otherwise, they’re just working around the edges.

  23. Actually disenginuity has become political sport for our Congress. If you want straight talk on anything listen to no one but Bernie Sanders. I don’t love him, but at least I believe him. He’s more progressive than any Democrat, even in their dreams. As for Shelby, he is, politically, a throwback to machine politics early in the last century.

  24. While I agree with much of your rant (nearly all of it, actually), the democrats don’t appear to be any better. If they are, they sure aren’t showing it.

    Both parties represent the financial industry, just in slightly different ways. The US needs LEADERS who will break the political power of bankers, and these leaders need to do something NOW before its too late.

    I really don’t see any leaders on the D side, and the leaders on the R side goose step waaaaaay too much.

  25. If these Republicans were working in their natural environment, they would be wearing mini-skirts, tube tops, platform shoes and would be leaning into cars at stoplights. Interested in reform? I’m sure they want to re-form something, but they don’t want more cops on the beat.

  26. Senator Richard Shelby, like all the fascists in the gop is a pathological liar!!! Shelby, like all the fascists in the gop are not concerned with, and have absolutely ZERO concern for “enacting reforms that protect American taxpayers, promote economic growth, and preserve the competitiveness of our financial markets,..” Shelby, like all lying fascist pathological liars in the gop are concerned about and advance the best interests of the predatorclass, and the oligarchs alone, singularly, and exclusively!!! Oh…. we can’t regulate the financial or insurance, or healthcare, military, or private military industrial complexes because THAT would interfere with the sacred freemarkets. Tragically, the facts and truth, and any cursory examination of the facts in the field PROVE – there are is no such thing as freemarkets. What we hazard and endure are bandit markets, wherein the predatorclass, and predatorclass oligarchs purchase, and then own and kontrol markets, and the US government. If there were in fact any such thing as freemarkets, socalled TBTF oligarchs would be hung by the neck until dead, and their pernicious managements sentenced to law terms in prison or worse for grotesque mismanagement, or wanton criminal activity!!!

    CRIMES were and are being committed. The fascists in the gop speak with forked tongues. They have no eyes!! They have no ears!!! All these fascist freaks care about is the predatorclass, and the streams of predatorclass funding flowing into their offshore bank accounts!!!

    The gop is an arch enemy of the American people, and bane and cause of the ultimate destruction and ruin of
    America and the American people.

    The sooner the people, and the complicit parrots in the socalled MSM recognize and appreciate this terrible truth, – the better for the other 99% of America!

    A pox on the gop and fiendish shaitans like shelby. If there is a goddess and anything like justice, these fascist pathological liars will rot in the lowest realms of hell.

  27. I agree that good-sounding talk emits from Sanders.

    But as part of my anti-celebrity series I want to point out that the only Sanders action I can think of is how he caved in on his single payer amendment because the establishment bigshots whined that he was screwing up their vacation schedule.

    So either the amendment was empty talk in the first place, or else he was willing to cave in under the slightest pressure on an issue of critical importance to him.

    Either way, he’s certainly not hero material.

    I only bring that up to point out again how, if we’re looking for leadership, then almost certainly we’re looking for people we haven’t heard of yet, since all existing “names” look like failures at best, all are corrupted by the same rot, and even the best of them like Sanders are only relatively better, not really good.

  28. In defense of Bernie Sanders (I’m a Vermonter, though rather indifferent in regards to Bernie’s early 20th century rhetoric) that amendment was going nowhere — ever; DOA without a doubt. So to dump on him because he didn’t try to pull some Jimmy Stewart move on the floor of the senate is silly. Bernie seems sincere and willing to go to bat for the average person, but don’t expect him to get anything done in that staid, corrupt house of lords.

  29. Well, I was hardly “dumping” on him. But to those invested in a cult of personality I guess any criticism looks like “dumping”.

    As you ought to know, nobody has to stand around talking like Jimmy Stewart. It hasn’t been that way since the 70s.

    He didn’t need to do anything but maintain his amendment in existence. That is, he needed to do nothing.

    But nothing was still too much for him. Can’t have any unpleasantness with Reid and Baucus’ vacation schedule, can we?

    Bernie seems sincere and willing to go to bat for the average person, but don’t expect him to get anything done in that staid, corrupt house of lords.

    This sentence, of course, directly contradicts itself. You either try to get something done or you don’t. Rolling over based on Kerry’s windsurfing schedule doesn’t cut it.

    Nope, my point stands. Looking to existing celebrities for leadership is what’s silly.

    It’s funny, though, how Americans just seem to be unable get along without latching onto some famous name, cheerleading for him, and getting tribally angry on his behalf when they see anyone not being suitably reverent.

    As I’ve said before, until we reject the entire system wholesale, including its entire rotted cadre, and find our paths and our leadership growing out of ourselves, nothing will happen.

  30. The public is so frustrated they’re likely to shoot everyone in Congress up for re-election. Rep or Dem.

    They’ve been running harder, faster and longer just to keep even. Problem is they don’t understand why.

    Truth is the underlying problem is a dominant ideology that maintains government can’t zip its trousers. Only free markets? can create jobs and raise incomes.

    We need our government back. The one that is a force for good and against evil. Not until the public realizes this will they demand a more fair and balanced system.

    ‘Tis why the Republicans fight so hard against any change of the status quo. Give the 80% going nowhere even a glimmer that their government can restore some balance, and who knows what they will demand? Shoot, they might even demand a progressive tax table!

    Keep throwing spaghettie against the wall, Obama. Once some of it sticks, the game will change dramatically in favor or real reform.

  31. “The public is so frustrated they’re likely to shoot everyone in Congress up for re-election. Rep or Dem.”

    I wish you were right (figuratively speaking). However as I’m getting old I’ve noticed a trend – we bitch, we moan, and we endlessly elect the same crappy people.

    I have seen the enemy, and it is us.

    That means Democrat and Republican. Have you ever heard the saying “IT TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE”?

    I have another thought: The more they tinker with legislation the more the FOUNDATION WEAKENS.

    Tell them all to go home and do not return. We will vote them out of office and start over with FRESH PEOPLE and GO BACK TO THE ORIGINAL DOCUMENT OF OUR CONSTITUTIION.


  33. As an observer from over the pond, I have watched and listened to Sen. Shelby many times. I would use his comments as a good guide to do the reverse. He has been an obstacle to any real progress and a demagogue to boot the word ponerology springs to mind. This speech is utterly riddled with half-truths, it is positively Orwellian. God help you US of A, with this kind of representative.

  34. Carefull, there MAH. The original Constitution, unamended, included slavery and a number of other concepts, and excluded the bill of rights. The original Constitution may actually be detrimental to freedom as we know it.
    You are right about tinkering with legislation.

  35. Keep in mind that the Republican base is convinced that the only thing that went wrong with the financial sector is that the CRA forced banks to lend money to blacks, hence they think the only “reform” needed is to do away with the CRA.

  36. “Ye shall know the truth…”, Mad As Hell, “…and the truth will set you free.” Pelosi and Particularly may be week, and no one is suggesting the democratic leader or the democratic party are sinless or without faults. That said, – look into the conduct and the deeds of the gop, and ignore the flowery nationalist HOLLOW words bruted by the gop and wingnut propaganda and disinformation covens. The gop repeatedly and insistently undermines the best interests of the people, and advances, shields, cloaks, and profiteers wantonly from the best interests of the predatorclass, and predatorclass oligarchs. The gop is holds 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan, the socalled neverendingwaronterror, the massive explosion of contractors and the private military, private intelligence, and private PR industrial complexes, – the privatization of the military, intelligence, and communications systems. The gop is culpable for the economic crisis, and the rank lawlessness, nepotism, thievery, fraud, and grotesque abuses and catastrophic failures in the financial sector.

    The democrats arebadtoo defense misses the point, and belies the facts in the field and the that thing we once called the truth. Democrats are chartered to represent the people. Republican represent industry and the aristorcacy’s, predatorclass crime families and oligarch controlling various and sundry industries.

    For example, – the gop did not field and has pathologically resisted a “public option” in any discussion on healthcare reform. The TRUTH however, is that without a “public option” – THERE IS NO HEALTHCARE REFORM!!! Democrats fielded reform including a public option. We can look into these things to your cold hard hearts content, and I welcome the challenge. In virtually every circumstance, – a democratic controlled house drafts legislation that would benefit poor and middle class Americans, – only to see those hopes dashed by the democratic cowards in the senate, who side with the lockstep (100%) gop resistance of those laws.

    The gop talks about the people and thebabyjesus, and America and evildoers and freemarkets, and capitalism, and all kinds of wingnut gibberish, and fairytales – but in practical application and when measure by works and deed, – the gop repeatedly and insistently undermines and injures poor and middleclass American, and cloaks and advantages the predatorclass, and predatorclass oligarchs!!!

Comments are closed.