Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Arianna Loses Her Shit Again-

Sometimes I think the some of the left would be better off is they STFU.

The latest news of a deal being brokered between Chris Dodd and Tennessee Senator Bob Corker on financial reform caused Arianna Huffington this evening to go into a “hair on fire” tirade that resulted in a diary on the Huffington Post with a title whose length is reminscent of Fiona Apple’s second album.…

Arianna says that the President and the Democrats are “preemptively” surrending on an indepedent consumer financial agency…but to preemptively surrender means they never proposed it to begin with. Arianna contridicts;  

Back in June, President Obama released a proposal calling for the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency that would be “independent,” with “broad authority” and the power to “combat the worst abuses in mortgage markets.” The agency, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said, would “have an independent seat at the table in our financial regulatory system.”

Well, that was before the banking lobby went into action. A couple of hundred million dollars later, and we’re left with this punch-to-the-gut of reform, from the top-line summary of Dodd’s plan: “the independent agency proposal would be dropped.” Seven words dirtier than George Carlin ever uttered.

I don’t know about you, but I stopped reading at “Back in June”

Only in Arianna’s world can you preemptively surrender on something you proposed eight months ago. Let’s look at the definition of preemptive…or it’s root word, preempt;

to forestall or prevent (something anticipated) by acting first; preclude; head off

Another words, Arianna is saying the Democrats are proposing a watered-down bill the Republicans like before actually presenting it to the Republicans…but how is that possible if the deal she’s talking about that is “preemptively surrending” the consumer protection agency came out of eight months of negotiating? To be “preemptively surrending” would indicate the President and the party never went into negotiations with the agency in the proposal, but as we’ve seen, they did. It was proposed in June and in the Fall and in January, the President rejected compromises that would gut it. Arianna seems to have forgotten;

Maybe so. But how about at least trying before waving the white flag? Instead, Dodd, in the hope of attracting Republican votes, appears to have preemptively surrendered.

Uh, Arianna, they’ve tried for eight months. On Jan 20, the President DEMANDED a consumer protection agency when Chris Dodd signaled he was going to drop it, they tried again. Dodd did not “preemptively surrender” something in order to attract Republican votes…he sat on it for months and decided, after it became clear it wasn’t getting the votes, that it may be time to give it up. Twice he attempted to do it and the President told him to continue finding votes, twice he came up empty.

But there’s no evidence that Dodd’s concession has achieved anything other than kneecapping the bill. Democrats have mastered the art of negotiating against themselves.

Bob Corker’s support of the bill would indicate otherwise. The Democrats did not go into negotiations already gutting the consumer protection agency. They went in with it, and they held any financial reform bill up for eight months trying to find votes for it, and President Obama, to his credit (which he gets none), rejected any compromise twice in order to keep fighting for it, holding off a much needed legislative victory. This time, the President really did fight, and it should be obvious.

This brings me back to what my friend told me while driving in Long Island last Saturday about the public option…why bother fighting for a lost cause if when you lose, you’re just going to be blamed for not fighting hard enough? So many have said that they would be ok with not getting a public option if they felt the President fought for it and lost…but the President fought for a Consumer Protection Agency and lost and he isn’t getting credit for it…and neither is Chris Dodd, who could’ve told the President to go screw himself and dared him to veto the bill that he would NEVER veto six months ago. Hell, LBJ didn’t last this long before he had Everett Dirksen water down the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to pass the Senate, he “preemptively surrendered” after only 54 days. Give Obama some credit, he lasted longer than LBJ!

On top of this, no one can adequately explain to me why there would be such a big difference between an independent agency and one that works within the Treasury Department or the Fed (which is, itself, an independent agency). Ryan Grim tries to explain in a linked article, but, IMO, falls flat;

Each time the agency wanted to write a rule, it would have to consult with bank regulators. The agency would then have to respond to the objections of each and every bank regulator in the Federal Register. If the bank regulator was still unsatisfied, it could appeal to the ‘systemic regulator,’ whose mission is to protect the safety and soundness of the banking industry.

Anytime a new rule is proposed, bank lobbyists argue that it will be burdensome and make the system less safe and sound. If the systemic regulator agreed with the banks — as they often do — then the consumer protection rule would be voided.

Notably, the consumer protection agency has no veto power over any rules issued by bank regulators, which demonstrates which regulator will be superior. The first concern is the banks.

What Gtim does here is quite interesting. He explains that the agency would have to get approval by bank regulators in the Fed…not an issue as bank regulators jobs are to…regulate the banks. If the bank regulators say no, it would have to go to a system regulator that would favor the banks. The only problem here is that if a rule gets a bank regulator to say no, it is probably already way too strict to begin with and is probably unconstitutional or unfairly impedes the private marketplace, at which point, yeah, it makes sense for a pro-industry system regulator to have some say. I don’t see a problem here. Then Grim says this;

Notably, the consumer protection agency has no veto power over any rules issued by bank regulators, which demonstrates which regulator will be superior. The first concern is the banks.

Earlier Grim says the system regulators are the ones who favor the banks and would get say on the rule only if bank regulators, who he doesn’t say would favor the banks or regulation (they’d favor regulation) pass on a rule, but then says that it is the BANK regulators (not the system regulators) that will look out for the banks…hence “The first concern is the banks.” Bait and Switch WIN!

This is a false conclusion and downright ugly misrepresntation and manipulation worthy of a left-wing Fox news.

It would seem to me that have three sets of eyes on a regulation instead of one set might be a better idea. After all, bank regulation existed under the Fed in the Glass-Steagall Act. Why not go back to that? Wouldn’t it be at least as likely, if not more likely, that bankers can corrupt a stand-alone agency rather than a series of regulators?

Or maybe we should just go down the Paul Krugman route of not doing this at all since it isn’t perfect…and seemingly never will be.

Could you imagine the Huffington Post during the Civil Rights debate…they would’ve skinned LBJ alive!

But what do I know? I’m just an Obamabot apologist for conservadem DC bubble talking points or whatever incoherent train wreck of words haphazardly strung together bruh used to call me. By the way, whatever happened to that douche?  


  1. Shaun Appleby

    I tend to ignore Ariana.  She makes my head hurt.  I think she likes controversy more than substance, if you know what I mean.

  2. HappyinVT

    but the headlines frequently turn me off.  Last week’s ginormous “LOSER MENTALITY” re: the president’s plan not having a public option was the latest example of being too close to Drudge for my taste.

  3. creamer

    People in the center dismiss Ariana. They listen to her and think of all the things that make them uncomftrable with liberals. She would serve us all better by being quiet.

  4. HappyinVT

    Was that you who reminded the TPM commenter that in order for Obama to “recess appoint all the nominees being held up” that the Senate would actually have to recess first?


  5. arianna huffington.

    i will say that huffpo has in some ways helped to shape and change the internet and the role of politics therein. but to scratch at that old scab – lost all credibility as a news outlier during the primaries.

  6. lojasmo

    Way back during the Clinton administration.  It’s not so much that I was a huge fan/defender of Clinton…it’s just that she’s completely unglued.

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