According to AP “Obama Steps Up His Campaign Against Wall Street Banks”.

It seems like the first part of President Obama retooling his efforts is to reach out to the people and reign in the institutions people are rightfully directing their anger towards.

President Barack Obama stepped up his campaign against Wall Street on Thursday with a far-reaching proposal for tougher regulation of the biggest banks.

“We have to get this done,” Obama said at the White House. “If these folks want a fight, it’s a fight I’m ready to have.”

It was a stern, populist lecture from the president to Wall Street for what he perceives as its abandonment of Main Street. Obama said the government should have the power to limit the size and complexity of large financial institutions as well as their ability to make high-risk trades.

He said it wasn’t appropriate that banks have been able to run these trading operations with the protections afforded to regular banking services.

“We have to enact commonsense reforms that will protect American taxpayers and the American economy from future crises,” Obama said. “For, while the financial system is far stronger today than it was one year ago, it’s still operating under the same rules that led to its near-collapse.”

I understand people’s anger but it’s all reaction from people that want pay back and only care about punishment.  These changes will be cheered on by the Huffy crowd and many progressives but it never really was my issue.  I think allot of it is grandstanding and there will be little change in the long run that positively affects people’s lives.   I would much rather have HCR which looks like it’s not happening.  Sorry but the system rarely repeats the exact same mistakes again the underlying reason for the banking crisis has been corrected by the banks themselves last year when they stopped making loans to people that could not pay them back.  Sure there were contributing mitigating factors that made the collapse worse like derivatives trading and a bloated housing market but even if the trading was based on predominantly safe loans and the unsustainable loans were not granted to artificially increase real estate values the financial crisis would have been much less intense.

I also do not see how this is going to help out main street save for making some people feel better.  The economy is out of governments control in most aspects.  No matter what FDR did it took WWII to really end the Great Depression.   Sure we can have another stimulus like the last 2 stimulus’s we had the previous two years but if big business keeps on laying off people it really does not matter.  People need to wake up and understand that big business is in the final phase of creating the kind of work environment that only favors them.  They have Americans so afraid of being fired, especially when they are going to lose benefits like healthcare insurance, that they will work harder for less.  Conservatives in big business will continue to reap more profits but they will not be hiring until at least after the midterms so they can help their party get back into power again.  That’s the real conspiracy American workers should know.

Sure it’s good political move for our short term thinking country but it could be another set up for failure with the bought and paid for Congress anyway who will take the teeth out of any legislation he proposes.  Obama be should responding to the people more but in a way to show how the future needs long term fixes like healthcare reform.   These short term populist efforts will do little to make the future better so the reactionaries win out again in round one.

UPDATE Wall Street does not seem to like this new populist president.

The Dow Jones industrial average tumbled 210 points after dropping 122 on Wednesday. The index has seen four straight triple-digit moves and the latest slide erased the Dow’s gains for 2010. Bond prices rose as the stock market became more volatile.

Yeah again it will make people feel better but I still don’t see how this helps main street.

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I don’t blame President Obama for the failure of healthcare. I blame the liberal, progressive movement, that refused to move. We all knew that HCR was going to be an uphill battle and we sat. We sat, blogged, signed petitions and waited on congress. Where was the pressure ? When did we take to the streets in mass organized, fired -up ? We sat, watched and derided the “silly teabaggers” as they grew stronger in getting what they wanted. Never mind that they were ignorant to what socialized medicine actually was or that they were being used by their own party, they fought and are winning. We still sit in all our intelligence, knowing that we deserve better, yet we are losing the battle. I still think it’s a battle, because the war isn’t over. I, too am one that sat and waited so I like the rest bear the burden of not DEMANDING that change MUST come. My problem is how do we effect change ? We in the middle class can no longer sit and watch all that we have worked so hard for erode, because of a handful of people. We have fought since the inception of this county from the American Revolution, Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, Equality in the workplace, to Children’s Rights. So there is a way we just have to find it and I think we are smart enough to do that, but are we hungry enough to do it?


Again, it is much harder to change things than to get them done.

It was no trick to get a bunch of racists and assorted reactionaries to call themselves teabaggers (especially with a 24/7 cable channel in place to proselytize for the effort), but to herd all the cats called “liberals” into a united and concerted effort is vastly more difficult.

Add the inertia inherent in the concept of a Senate that grants the same representation to Podunk states as to states that would be significant nations if they were in Europe, leavened with the filibuster, and you have a recipe for perfect gridlock.


Welcome to The Planet, darleneslee!

There are many factors, what you point out is huge.

Out of everything though, here are the two factors that seem most pivotal to me.

1. Pres. Obama did not introduce a bill, specifics a wish list or give any substantive list of provisions for a health care bill to Congress. This left it to become a murky mess with no strategy for passage. He didn’t become a passionate advocate nor use his popularity or power as president since he thought it best to stand back and let The Congress work alone to carry the ball.

We all can understand the strategy, not to repeat Hillary’s debacle, but it was too simplistically opposite. “If Hillary had trouble because she was too involved, let’s not get involved at all and then there won’t be trouble.”

This allowed the Teabaggers, the Insurance companies and the GOP to define HCR as killing Granny, Death Panels, Socialism, Government between you and your doctor, being forced to give up your current insurance and doctors.

In the vacuum Pres. Obama allowed to be created, all the garbage was poured in.

As you describe, not just Dems but Pres. Obama too dismissed the insanity of the charges and Teabaggers, that people were smarter than to believe such obvious bullshit.

He and we were wrong. Never underestimate the stupidity of the masses.

2. Joe Lieberman and The Blue Dogs

Nothing would have changed them from corrupting HCR. Nothing. They are bought and paid for by the Insurance industry for the most part.

The truth from the beginning, from Obama’s inauguration day, is that HCR could never pass the Senate with 60 votes unless it was a gift to the insurance industry.

End of story.

No amount of protests, letters or phone calls would ever have changed that.

So, why didn’t Harry Reid know this? What kind of idiot is he, to be in the Senate as long as he’s been, to know all of these people so well, to be leader of the Senate…and not know that these guys were the tools of industry and bitterness they were?

Why didn’t he manage this in a way that compensated for that, a safer smarter plan to put through the basic reforms on one track and the financial aspects on another headed for reconciliation?

That would have been smart. But that’s not Reid’s style.

So, yes, we Dems and our President were overconfident. However, I don’t think there is one thing we could have done differently that would have changed this outcome.

It was in our leaders’ hands, they made up their minds and never changed course…and here we are, rammed into an iceberg.


I haven’t given up on HCR yet. Call me an optimist. It ain’t over ’til it’s over.


I certainly hope that you are right.

Not that I have any fondness for the bill that we are likely to get at this juncture.

For me it was all about lowering costs. We are paying on the order of 30% more than the other industrialized democracies, per citizen, and failing to cover all our citizens, which all the others do.

In point of fact, about 1/3rd of what we spend nationally is for stuff that we just don’t need. Tests, procedures and medications that we just don’t need.

It may be a blessing that this bill dies.


cosign, e’cat.

Once again, we are on the same page.


Whether or not the bought and payed for members of Congress sign on to the President’s plan of more regulation and transparency for the banks, he has done what the people have wanted and expected him to do.

Definitely a big step in the right direction, one glove off, one more to go.


Maybe we should start a movement to help Americans.
Maybe we should ask the rich and the elite, especially in Hollywood, which is more liberal than not, to work for Americans.
Any ideas how to do that?


To be frank and realistic, does anyone here believe that the corporately owned Congress that sabotaged HCR is somehow going to pass harsh regulations over the corporations that finance their re-elections?

I think javaz was onto something a while back with her post about Progressives and Teabaggers having some common interests.

How can we steer our country back from the abyss of permanent corporate fascism it’s speeding towards? If we can’t do it through elections, where are we left to turn?

That’s when the corporate pacifying of Americans through entertainment looks like a far-sighted agenda.

Americans should have been rallying across the nation in front of big banks all last year but most just flipped to another channel or played with their Wii or iPod.

Is there enough activism left in American society to fight against a final corporate coup?


AdLib– that is what I’ve been thinking for a while now. And do even a significant number (forget a majority) of citizens even know about the SCOTUS ruling? We are narcotized and it is almost too perfect to have been planned, but it probably was. Bread and circuses is hardly a new concept. We are uneducated and apathetic, getting the government we deserve in the end. I will fight on, but with decreasing optimism. And the only hope is enough outrage to convince representatives to amend the constitution, but if we weren’t outraged already, I can’t imagine anything will change.


Cher, this was a one-two punch to the gut, I’m feeling a bit knocked back on my heels too.

But when this has happened in the past, we’ve regrouped and refocused ourselves.

Fortunately, we have many colleagues here at The Planet to work with and a more activist approach this year to help us step up and confront what’s happening.

We confronted far worse under Bush, we can confront this.


Cher – the only hope I can see comes from the millions for whom the ‘bread and circuses’ means only the circuses. Increasingly there is no bread.

No health care, no basic supports, no deployment of ARRA funds into real jobs (billions are left unspent – why?) How long will people accept their repression?

Perhaps it will be only when basic cable becomes too expensive, and the WWF smack downs and “reality” shows can no longer be seen?

I am scared for my nation.


1. The Teabaggers aren’t just ‘knives and pitchforks’ rubes in from the country. They’re financed and organised by some of the biggest corporate entities in the land. The people might be real, but they’re being used and abused.

2. Loved your comment about pacifying Americans through entertainment. In Europe, that’s called the ‘Berlusconi Plan.’ He OWNS the media in Italy. Literally OWNS it – being the major shareholder in all the state-owned television and radio media, as well as owning 7 of the daily newspapers. Talk about controlling information!

The Italians are fed a daily diet of reality shows, pithy gameshows, stripping housewives and costume drama (general tripe) to keep them entertained, whilst Berlusconi treats the country like his private fiefdom. Looks like it’s happening in the States.


Marion, you are right on target.

Just playing around a bit, I am aware that a consortium of corporations and Republicans posing as Freedomworks has financed and organized them.

It’s all about one thing, undermining Obama’s agenda.

I just was remarking on how I have just gotten my pitchfork out of storage and the word “revolution” has been moved from the archives in my mind onto the coffee table.

Unfortunately, Italy has a history of fascist governments and there can be little argument that Berlusconi has been their fascist leader for some time.

The situation there, as you aptly describe, would be the equivalent of having a President Rupert Murdoch…after Fox absorbed CNN and (MS)NBC.

We’re heading right down that path.

The revolution won’t be televised, it will be preempted by the reality show, “Breast Implanting With The Stars”.


You have the pitchforks? cool – I have the torches. To the gates!

We are laboring under the legacy of Reagan that the “enemy” is government. People will hate corporations, especially banks, but will keep the status quo rather than take a risk that democracy really means US.

Given the Supremes’ ruling today, this will get worse. Now only Barney Frank who does not give a damn, will probably have the chuzpah to stand up to them. On the other hand, if we show up with said pitchforks and torches, maybe we CAN make a difference? And, frankly, this may well be some place where we do have to reach out to the tea bag people – a lot of them are dupes, not evil, and might well move the better way if they were approached well.

Or not…


Here’s an oxmoron: Murdoch has fought long and hard to be able to establish Sky in Italy, and – until recently – Berlusconi put the mockers on it. But last year, he was allowed to establish Sky News & entertainment in Italy and they now have Sky Italia.

Here’s the rub: People are FLOCKING to Sky as a liberal news source, totally in opposition to the hardline RAI news generated by Berlusconi. I have friends in Forli, who are leftist Communists. They always used to watch RAI 3 news, which is a soft left version ‘allowed’ by Berlusconi. For them, Murdoch is a saviour. He’s tapped into the fact that Italy needs a liberal news voice and he’s it; and in the UK Sky News really IS fair and balanced.


To paraphrase Joseph Stieglitz this morning on NPR about bank profits: They go to the feds discount window and practically get no interest money and lend it out at 30% interest on credit cards….. How hard is that to make a profit?


Like shooting ducks in a barrel, b’ito!
(As you may have gathered I’m on-call. Good to see you.)
How do you get so much research done online and listen to NPR, too? You multi-tasker, you! I’m envious.


I don’t think it will help Main Street, KQ – at least, not in the short term. In the long term, it is essential to separate the investing (gambling) activities from commercial/retail banking. Is this what the Glass/Steagel Act was all about? In Canada we had what was called the 4 pillars of finance: Banks, Insurance, Trust/Credit Unions and Brokerage. About the time Glass/Steagel was repealed (or shortly thereafter) our Banks started making noises to tumble those pillars down – and they succeeded; they now have insurance companies, they bought out brokerage houses and trust companies. The one thing they were NOT allowed to do was to reduce their Capital ratio – although there had been a lot of rumbling to loosen up the banking requirements for that; those rumblings stopped very abruptly when the whole rotten house of cards collapsed! Anything the American government can do to limit both the risks that can be taken and the exposure to the national economy in the future is a good thing – even if it doesn’t help Main Street or create jobs, jobs, jobs right now.

OT – I’m so sad that HCR looks to be dying before it was born. Folks just don’t seem to be able to get it through their heads that your private health care system is sucking money and jobs right out of your economy – to say nothing of the personal hell people like you will go through if HCR dies.


To me it looks like the president is using the bully pulpit to prepare Americans for what comes next and to reassure an increasing disaffected public that he is actually on our side.

We really won’t know what this means until we get a look at whatever legislation is drafted by congress.

I’m not giving up on health care yet. Everything I read suggests that congress is going to get this done one way or another.

Dems got a one-two punch this week. If this doesn’t get them of their a$$es, nothing will.


nellie says:

Dems got a one-two punch this week. If this doesn


Don’t give up hope, KQ!

There will be HCR, and unfortunately, it will be a smaller reform, but people without insurance will be helped and I truly believe that people with pre-existing conditions – that the insurance companies will not be able to deny coverage.

I sort of disagree with the blame-game in the way things played out regarding HCR.
I think the public is much more aware now of the greedy insurance companies and the stories about people who are dropped when they get sick or cannot purchase insurance due to pre-existing conditions.
And everyone’s angry about the cost of medicines and that we cannot go to Canada for cheaper drugs.

I never realized until the HCR debate about the greed of insurance companies and that it was as dark and bad as it is.

People are not only angry with the banks and corporations, but they are angry with the health insurance companies, too.
And people are very angry with our elected officials, and not so much Obama, but Congress.
And that is who we should be royally pissed off at.

I cannot explain my opinion correctly, but I think the entire HCR debate helped this nation.
Even the pared down bill will be a beginning.

People are waking up, KQ, and even the teabaggers are angry with the GOP.

Have a little faith and never give up hope.

Change takes time, but we are on the road to change because people are finally waking up and realizing that it’s both parties screwing us all.


Can a Prez get a second “First 100 Days”?

Get ready for First 100 Days Part Deux…


100 2.0     :mrgreen: