Want to know why Financial Reform has been dead in the water so far ?

“The banks run the place. I will tell you what the problem is — they give three times more money than the next biggest group. It’s huge the amount of money they put into politics.”

- Representative Collin C. Peterson  (D- Minnesota), NYT

And this:

“And the banks — hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created — are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place.”

-Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), WJJG 1530 AM’s “Mornings with Ray Hanania.”

We no longer live in a democracy — its a corptocracy, where the government gets sold to the highest bidder.

John McCain was sure right about this — whatever happened to that guy? The maverick MaCain who tried to rein in lobbyists and campaign contributions?

Category: Bailouts, Politics

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

56 Responses to “QOTD: “The banks run the place””

  1. DL says:

    Dick Durbin’s comment pertained to bank behavior from the consumer point of view, particularly credit card policy. I don’t give a sh*t about that; what I want, at the very least, is for the government to be able to wipe out the bondholders of a bank in the event of a bailout.

  2. call me ahab says:

    no doubt- that was McCain’s platform-

    the question is- and it may be your question too- why isn’t he banging a podium somewhere bringing this issue front and center now?

    if it was important a year ago on the campaign trail- it should be even more important now- now that the banks are putting congress in a sleeper hold- where we don’t even get the luxury of seeing them tap out

  3. Marcus Aurelius says:

    The Constitutional Republic failed nearly 10 years ago. Government is now a political/corporate oligarchy supported by an increasingly large bureaucratic/administrative cohort operating within the old (legitimate) framework but not strictly governed by the Constitution (“strictly,” in this sense, meaning “at all,” depending on the circumstances and benefit to the oligarchy).

    Rome lasted for a 500 years in such a state.

  4. nemo says:

    “John McCain was sure right about this — whatever happened to that guy? The maverick MaCain who tried to rein in lobbyists and campaign contributions?”

    He decided he wanted to be President so badly that he had to forget about real issues, and instead had to devote all his time and energy to the nutcase concerns of the GOP’s nutcase base.

  5. polizeros says:

    I think we’re on the verge of a major populist resurgence. The similarities between now and the populist revolt of the 1890′s are striking. They organized against exploitative bankers, usurious interest rates, the huge numbers of foreclosures, and specifically targeted an elite few getting even wealthier off the many.

    At their peak, they controlled several state legislatures, had a US Senator, and were a powerful third party.

  6. nemo says:

    Well, more correctly, McCain decided he wanted to the GOP’s presidential nominee, so he devoted all his time and energy to the GOP base’s nutcase concerns. Anyway, he went down that road a few years ago, and he’s never turned back. He’s not the man he once was. You can forget about anything useful from McCain.

  7. mitchcalderwood says:

    Public financing of political campaigns.

    PUBLIC FINANCING

    or severe limits on contributions with no participation except by registered voters.

    Only registered voters may contribute to political campaigns, you could conceivably even restrict it so that only the voters in a particular election could contribute to the candidates that are running in that election.

    I prefer public financing though.

  8. DL says:

    I think it’s worth drawing a distinction between politicians being paid off to influence credit card policy, and politicians being paid off to influence bailout policy. In the case of credit card policy, there are certain economic realities that one has to face up to, regardless of what one thinks the laws should be.

  9. VennData says:

    Picky here, but the US is a republic, with the head of state chosen by the Electoral College – as opposed to hereditary monarchy or direct democracy. It’s also arguable that republics are democracies (See Madison) but we reside in a republic.

    While I’m not a big fan of lobbyists, why shouldn’t they have the right to petition and communicate with our representatives? if not the executive branch? I don’t know about you, but as an investor in the major indexes, I’m glad that they can at least get heard.

    It’s situations like the ibanks lobbying the SEC to increase their leverage ratio that voters should learn who they want in charge. Now the voters are more concerned about “Death Panels” and “Birth certificates.” How quickly and easily their passions are flared. Thank goodness for the republic.

  10. gala123 says:

    What a way to loose your country!
    Castro and Lenin galvanized the masses
    Romans marched with an iron fist
    Attila crossed the Volga
    And what do we get?…a bunch of suits with computers and logarithmic formulas

    What glamour, what romance, what a way to go down without a fight!

  11. Paul Jones says:

    Concur.

  12. holl says:

    You just have to see who was the biggest contributor in the last elections: Goldman Sachs

  13. Wes Schott says:

    the reason that the lobbying should be stopped is that the congress are beholden to them and who they represent and make their decisions, not based on what is objectively good for their individual constituencies, but based on which group gave them the most money. the corporation and their surrogates give the most money.

    there is a word for the merger of the corporation and the state – it is called (hope this word get through the censors) F A S C I S M !

    Mussolini called his nation’s system “the corporate state”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism#Definitions

    Gerald Celente, says it well…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VjAdYf-xiY

    i even read it on a stickin’ t-shirt -

    http://www.zazzle.com/fascism_the_merger_of_state_and_corporate_inter_tshirt-235364477672303966

  14. TraderMark says:

    Is anyone surprised?

    Even the politicos are astounded at what they’ve created

    Replace oil with bank and replace Russia with US – oligarchs are oligarchs

    Or as Dylan Ratigan says – we have corporate communism

    I’ve been calling it corporate socialism… we rail against socialism, unless its for corporations. Then we’re good with it.
    Or at least those who make the rules are ok with it.

  15. VD,

    that’s quaint, and all..reads well in Textbooks, to boot~

    though, it rather, too, conviently, sidesteps the Issue of http://clusty.com/search?input-form=clusty-simple&v%3Asources=webplus&query=black+box+voting
    subset: Black Box Voting: Ballot-Tampering in the 21st Century
    http://www.bespacific.com/mt/archives/005020.html
    recent: Voting Machine Monopoly
    National Journal (blog) – Eliza Newlin Carney – ‎Sep 21, 2009‎
    Watchdog groups BlackBoxVoting.org and Common Cause also are urging the Justice Department to thoroughly review the deal.
    ht tp://news.google.com/news/search?aq=f&pz=1&cf=all&ned=us&hl=en&q=Black+Box+voting

  16. willid3 says:

    isn’t this what Simon Johnson was talking about?

  17. keithpiccirillo says:

    So what has been the prudent actionable thing to do for a fund manager?
    GS and their ilk…if you can’t beat em’ join em.
    This past week money centers did not participate, but as they report the cauldron may come to a boil.

  18. Bruce in Tn says:

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/banks-cutting-back-on-loans-to-businesses-2009-10-09

    Banks cutting back on loans to businesses

    “According to weekly figures provided by the Federal Reserve, total loans at commercial banks have fallen at a 19% annual rate over the past three months, while loans to businesses have dropped at a 28% annualized pace.
    Last autumn, bank lending temporarily expanded when other sources of funding from the shadow banking system dried up after the collapse of Lehman Bros. Since then, however, total outstanding bank loans have dropped at an accelerating pace. See the data.”

    …..This is what confuses me a little about some pundits declarations that this “recovery” cannot be stopped. It seems to me that it is all chickenwire and smoke. The country starts deleveraging. The government sees what is happening, decides it is GDII, and bails out investment banks. The bailout money, though, does not get to the small business owner, or the individual. It is mainly a top down approach.

    Now for the last three months, banks are doing what you’d expect in this environment. Bernanke makes idiot noises about raising the fed funds rate. And if I am a bank, and Bernanke is going to tighten, I am not going to make long term loans until I see the other fellow’s cards….

    This” recovery” looks more and more like Rube Goldbergesque to me everyday…

    If we can grow our way out of debt, then before September of last year I suppose the debt/GDP ratio had been going down every year…uh, if not, then that premise was already faulty…

  19. Bruce in Tn says:

    Sorry, the above article was from CR….

  20. liqal says:

    “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power”
    Benito Mussolini quotes (Italian dictator, 1883-1945)

  21. MikeNY says:

    This is exactly what Simon Johnson has been talking about. Obama, Summers, Geithner et al are owned by the Street.

    Wall Street gets the best government money can buy.

    Nothing will change until the people bring out the pitchforks.

  22. dblwyo says:

    Did y’all watch the video Barry posted on “The Financial Regulation Revolution”? It’s worth some time and I put up a bunch of other URL links on other (longer & deeper) ones that are worth spending some time on imho. Not to get all cosmic on us but this could be one of the major policy decisions we’ll ever face – the GD led to the framework that was gradually loosened beginning in the ’80′s and laid the foundations for this disaster. That points worth making to you representative. And it’s in your and our own interest…oddly enough it’s also in the interest of the finance industry since they almost destroyed themselves along with us. If you’d like some more ammo let me point you at some essays on Scribd that look at why re-regulation is in our interest and how & why the industry failed and needs to fix it’s broken business models. Consider it minable ammo for firing :)!
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/18645321/The-Corporation-vs-Society-Performance-Social-Responsibility-and-the-WinWin
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/19011962/The-Broken-Finance-Industry-Credit-Crisis-Collapse-and-Broken-Business-Models
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/20018385/Facing-the-Firestorm-Finance-Industry-Popular-Anger-and-Re-regulation

    Meanwhile many thanks to Barry for raising and staying on this issue. And let’s hope he keeps pounding away at it. Like they say if war is too important to be left to the generals then finance is to critical to be left to the bankers!

  23. sidesspot says:

    While the above quotes make good copy and get folks whipped up into a populist fervor, the truth is that, according to the Open Secrets website (http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/sector.php?txt=P01&cycle=2010), Labor Unions give more, in terms of PAC money, than either banks or health care companies. Rep Peterson’s largest entity contributor was a union. Rep Durbin’s biggest contributors were law firms.

    ~~~

    BR: You are incorrect.

    According to the link you referenced, they gave far less — about $15m in 2010, $66m in 2008. Banks spent $114.2 million dollars in contributions toward the 2008 election alone — $77 million on lobbying and $37 million on federal campaign contributions.

    Labor unions got, at best, a piece of a decrepit automakers — and what regulations have they thwarted?

  24. contrabandista13 says:

    We own you and we own everything yet, it just doesn’t feel like if it’s enough. We want more, we want to own your children. Wait….! We already own them. I want diamond studded soles on my shoes, I want a chinchilla palace with Louis Vuitton toilets… I want my butler to have a butler and my chef to have a chef and my chef’s chef to have a chef… I WANT MORE, I MUST HAVE MORE, I NEED MORE……!!!!!!

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA……! emmmm…..

  25. engineerd1 says:

    1) money in politics. all attempts to control it are farcical. if you want to change the way groups lobby Congress, limit the amount of money Congress controls. this of course runs counter to the populist and leftist bilgewater that pours too freely through Barry’s otherwise nice site….. you don’t want smaller or less intrusive government, you just want the money spent on you.

    2) corruption. the idea that we are in some unique oligarchical period in our history which has corrupted some past democratic ideal is, well I don’t want to be insulting….but this is the leftist’s achilleus heel; utopian fantasy.

    3) mccain and nutburgers. Admit to being nutburger, at least by what I imagine your definition to be….clearly the republican party is the home of people who believe in God as oppposed to the infinite multiverse and ultimate oblivion. I imagine your grandparents were nutburgers….the ones who were shallow enough to believe that their were distinctions between shameful and praiseworthy, wholesome and perverse… Nutburgers….. The legacy of civilization that you have been bequeathed, and which you are spending on internet porn and halo 3, was built by these.

    4) republic… well, this is really sort of quaint….we haven’t had a constitutional republic for a long time, primarily because the constitution is a dead letter…. the idea of a written constitution which needs interpretation is a facade that is openly ridiculed in our elite law schools. If you want an education on this read Bork’s book “The Tempting of America”. It is an unanswered and unanswerable condemnation of our constitutional jurisprudence for at least 100 years.

  26. flipspiceland says:

    AIPAC told him to sit down and shut up.

  27. madman130 says:

    Is the WSJ list incomplete?

    I see 75% D’s and 25% R’s. I have been told time and time again that R’s are the tools of evil banksters and insurance companies.

  28. flipspiceland says:

    Y’all ought to all read, “It Can’t Happen Here”, by Sinclair Lewis, for a primer on what’s happening here.

  29. Thor says:

    We’re are living through the second Gilded Age

  30. fsl,

    nice lead..
    “The handsome dining room of the Hotel Wessex, with its gilded plaster shields and the mural depicting the Green Mountains, had been reserved for the Ladies’ Night Dinner of the Fort Beulah Rotary Club.

    Here in Vermont the affair was not so picturesque as it might have been on the Western prairies. Oh, it had its points: there was a skit in which Medary Cole (grist mill & feed store) and Louis Rotenstern (custom tailoring–pressing & cleaning) announced that they were those historic Vermonters, Brigham Young and Joseph Smith, and with their jokes about imaginary plural wives they got in ever so many funny digs at the ladies present. But the occasion was essentially serious. All of America was serious now, after the seven years of depression since 1929. It was just long enough after the Great War of 1914-18 for the young people who had been born in 1917 to be ready to go to college . . . or to another war, almost any old war that might be handy…”
    Title: It Can’t Happen Here (1935)
    Author: Sinclair Lewis
    http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks03/0301001h.html
    ~~
    “Maureen Farrell, BuzzFlash columnist who is on sabbatical, ruminated on the importance of Sinclair’s book in her 2004 BuzzFlash commentary, “It Can Happen Here”:

    In 1935, Sinclair Lewis penned the cautionary tale, It Can’t Happen Here, chronicling the fictional rise of Berzelius “Buzz” Windrip, who becomes President against the protests of Franklin D. Roosevelt and America’s saner citizens.

    A charismatic Senator who claims to champion the common man, Windrip is in the pocket of big business (i.e. Corpos), is favored by religious extremists, and though he talks of freedom and prosperity for all, he eventually becomes the ultimate crony capitalist. Boosted by Hearst newspapers (the FOX News of its day), he neuters both Congress and the Supreme Court, before stripping people of their liberties and installing a fascist dictatorship….

    America is haunted by past sins, to be sure, and Sinclair Lewis craftily presents a series of them as a primer for what the “land of the free” is capable of. “Why, there’s no country in the world that can get more hysterical-yes, or more obsequious!-than America. Look how Huey Long became absolute monarch over Louisiana. . . Listen to Bishop Prang and Father Coughlin on the radio-divine oracles, to millions. Remember how casually most Americans have accepted Tammany grafting and Chicago gangs and the crookedness of so many of President Harding’s appointees?. . .”
    http://www.buzzflash.com/reviews/05/rev05051.html

  31. scharfy says:

    I think most Americans, (except hard righties or lefties) are slowly waking up to the fact that Obama’s crew is every bit as bought and paid for as Bush’s, as Clintons, and Reagans.

    Obama ran a hopey-changey populist platform all about preventing the large corporate interests from dominating the “working man”. Hows he doin? (save the “look what he inherited?” for someone who cares.. real leaders lead)

    As luck woud have it, he was served a perfect fastball by fate in the form of an ostensibly Bush caused crisis. I can almost hear the crowds roar in approval as he stands before congress and bellows:

    ” I, if elected, will veto any bill that transfers the wages of working Americans to banks that made some bad bets!!!! We, as a nation, will deal with whatever the consequences may be!! Not on my watch!!”

    A swell of American pride overtakes the nation as the average citizen gets protected by our new leader!!! —- (startlingly loud buzzer sound here)

    Obama, allowed to rid the US of Bush’s lackey, one Ben Bernanke, can actually appoint someone new and cleanse the system of what I believe to be a root cause- loose monetary policy courtesy of (again the taxpayer) via the Creature from Jeckyll Island, the Federal Reserve. Ben gets ousted for mangaing to make the Tech Bubble look pimply, inventor and architect of the largest assest bubble in the history of the solar system. —– (buzzer)

    Obama honors his pledge to America and as commander in chief, and proudly brings our sons and daughters home… (faint buzzer sound)

    This list goes on…

    And is long for Bush too…..

    So are we gonna add up the crap piles and see which pile has more R’s or D’s in it?

    Will that make you feel better? Having a nice neat bad guy to blame in office, so the next guy with the other letter can promise you HE is different?

    And so on- and so forth till there is nothing?

    And we have to ask THEM for what is OURS?

    Democrats, Repblicans, Libs, Conservatives, we had all better wake up to the fact that when you dismiss all the rhetoric, ain’t really nothin new under the sun. We are being fleeced. The Gargoyles have (as Ray Bradbury so eloquently stated) taken over the Cathedral.

    An unseen war is being waged against us by the few , and we are 300 million strong. Don’t be afraid.

    Please fight for this proud nation. They’ve got us fighting amongst ourselves while they are ransacking the coffers…

    Nothin new under the sun.

  32. flipspiceland says:

    @scharfy

    Last year, his 401k reduced to a 201, a friend called and began a rant about the direction this country has been heading in for the last 50- years. I told my friend in Massachusetts, a registered republican, that I’d vote against any two term incumbent here in Pennsylvania if he voted for anyone but Kennedy since Kennedy was a prime mover in accumulating the trillions in debt this country amassed thru the likes of him and the other thieves in Congress. (He alsways voted for Kennedy)

    He promised he would vote against him.

    When I asked him after the election if he carried out his promise, he said his spouse, an ardent if not fanatic feminist, insisted he vote for Kennedy. Claims he did so because he didn’t want to lie to her.

    So much for change.

  33. holulu says:

    “I think we’re on the verge of a major populist resurgence. The similarities between now and the populist revolt of the 1890’s are striking.”

    I don’t think so. I see it in my office (these people making +$80K/year, so you can call them educated middle class), they care more about sports/sports analysis/player analysis than anything else combined.

    Americans are clueless. We bloggers who follow reality via some wonderfull sites like The Big Picture are minorities

  34. km4 says:

    > willid3 Says: October 10th, 2009 at 4:03 pm
    isn’t this what Simon Johnson was talking about?

    Yes in The Quiet Coup last May
    http://bit.ly/9QobY
    If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform.

    then here last week…
    Too Politically Connected To Fail In Any Crisis « The Baseline Scenario
    http://bit.ly/HkyCU

    But it’s not going to happen for reasons cited in BR post.

  35. bsneath says:

    I am a life-long Republican who feels more aligned with Michael Moore than with either party at the moment. I have never been as angry with the direction of our nation as I am today. Populist movement? Bullshit. It is a common sense movement. We have been hijacked and we need to take our nation back. Obama, where the fuck are you and why the fuck are you acting like a puppet to the investment bankers?????

  36. madman130 says:

    holulu,

    It’s not that they are clueless. I think they cared and have been disappointed so thoroughly by both parties in the past that they just don’t give a fuck no more. Hence they occupy themselves with sports and stats.

    I work with many of these people in my office. Actually many of them voted Dem and Obama for the first time in their lives. Since I was a Ron Paul guy, I used to hear crap from them during the election. Fast forward 9 months and you don’t hear a peep from these guys regarding politics. Three actually have expressed buyers’ remorse already. Other 2 are on the fence – uptick in their 401k have quieted them a little. Not for long I am afraid.

  37. Jack Gavin says:

    There seems to be a completely mistaken idea about how laws are written in this country (or any other for that matter). The notion that INDEPENDENT thinking lawmakers has not existed for decades.

    -banking laws are written by bankers
    -insurance “reform” laws are written by insurers
    -tort reform laws are written by…..ahh you get it

  38. bsneath says:

    Some quotes are worth repeating:

    “And remember, where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that. All power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Lord Acton

  39. madman130 says:

    The congress has too much power over our lives.

    Isn’t that the root of all evil to begin with? Any law you create will punish some, benefit others and leave a huge unintended consequences.

    PJ O’rourke said it best:

    When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.

  40. Christopher says:

    “While I’m not a big fan of lobbyists, why shouldn’t they have the right to petition and communicate with our representatives? ”

    No.

    No they shouldn’t.

    Why should “for the people, by the people” include corporations??
    What vested interest do corporations have in anything beyond profit??

    The corporate lobbying is what dismantled Glass-Steagall, and gave us the Commodity Futures Modernization Act…both of which are direct contributors to the trainwreck.

    Corporate lobbying is why are fucking cars still suck fuel like sailors on shore leave, and all our fucking jobs are GONE.

    So I say not only No….but Hell Fuck No.
    K Street should be burned and leveled.

  41. snapshot says:

    What if….Legislators had no pension to work toward. Of course they are going to spend all of their time trying to move heaven and earth to be reelected.

    Nothing new under the sun -

    In on promises and out on alibis – Will Rogers

  42. philipat says:

    In a Democracy, the people get the government they deserve – Alexis de Tocqueville.

    So when does somebody, anybody, tell it like it is and have “We the people” take back control? Let’s face it, US democracy has become a joke and is just as corrupt, if not more so, than your average third world country or banana republic. How can the US take the moral high ground on anything with this dirty mess in place?

  43. some_guy_in_a_cube says:

    You said “We no longer live in a democracy — its a corptocracy, where the government gets sold to the highest bidder.”

    You don’t even have to be the highest bidder…it helps to have have strong social connections as well.

  44. Bob the unemployed says:

    > We no longer live in a democracy — its a corptocracy, where the government gets sold to the highest bidder.

    Not to put too fine a point on this, but … this is just becoming obvious now? For the past decade the will of Congress has been sold to the highest bidder.

  45. KJ Foehr says:

    The plutocrats may have won the battle of the financial crisis, but may yet lose the war of keeping control over the country.

    The hair of the dog remedy, more debt and easy money, will not save them in the long run, and eventually we all may suffer even more than we would have without it.

    Jack Welch on May 11, 2009: “We (read: the plutocracy) almost lost the country, in Sept, Oct, Nov (2008). … We were in the last days.”

    “If we only grow at 2.5%… we’re done. We’re cooked.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJV6XWfOlUc&NR=1

  46. Andy T says:

    I tell you what happened to McCain, whom I voted for in the 2000 CA primaries: he made the worst political decision of all time by picking S. Palin, which, all at once, negated his “experience” factor and highlighted a terribly inexperienced politician from the least populace state in the Union.

    Whatever we have here in the U.S. ain’t capitalism…so yeah, I’d go with corptocracy…

  47. Andy T says:

    Every country gets the government it deserves. (Aristotle)

  48. vixensharpears says:

    I, too, believe in public financing of campaigns, and would gladly see some of my tax dollars allocated for that purpose. It would have the added benefit of shortening the ridiculously long election cycle, allowing elected officials to spend more time governing and less time raising money and campaigning.

    Instead, McCain Feingold is likely to be watered down further this session. I don’t see things changing until we get a Supreme Court willing to reverse decisions that equate money with free speech and corporations with living human beings. The likelihood of that happening is next to nil, given that the court–like the rest of our government–has become more “corporatist” over the past 30 years.

  49. flipspiceland says:

    @KJ

    Turn off the volume, and Jack Welch looks like “The Joker”, in Batman.

    And who the hell is he to tell the world about the economy, when he was the one responsible for turning GE into a lending institution in the first place, taking out a billion for himself on results that would eventually devastate the shareholders?

    He, along with all these other Jokers, ought to be sued and forced to give back everything they were paid in compensation, and left homeless.

  50. sidesspot says:

    Barry,

    I’m not sure that I am incorrect:

    2008 Labor PAC Contributions: $66.37 million
    http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/sector.php?cycle=2008&txt=P01

    2008 Finance, Insurance and Real Estate Contributions: $62.6 million
    http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/sector.php?cycle=2008&txt=F01

    I’m not pretending that the financial industry does not have a big impact in Washington, but if we’re talking money, and Democrats, who currently run the legislative and executive branches, then labor unions have even more influence. So, I still think the statements by the two Democrats you mention are highly overblown.

    Caveat: I am only looking at PAC money at the site I mention. If there are other places to look, then I am happy to be educated.

  51. beaufou says:

    A republic gives rights and freedoms to its citizens.
    Who decided one day that corporations were citizens?
    it’s a status given by the government to an enterprise whose sole purpose is to make money, not laws.

    Therefore, corporate lobbying should be made unlawful.

    As an added point, what happens when corporations are owned by foreigners and are meddling with lawmakers, isn’t that the most unpatriotic thing you ever saw?

    As for McCain, Frank Rich had something to say about that “maverick” today.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/11/opinion/11rich.html
    This guy has said everything and its contrary and is still somewhat listened to.
    Those who want you to believe absurdities will make you commit atrocities said Voltaire, well thank you Mr McCain, you should be remembered as an artisan of the great American comedy taking place nowadays.

  52. WaveCatcher says:

    Sadly, we get the government we deserve.

    Our nation’s moral fiber has devolved to the point where the majority don’t know the value of delayed gratification. As we approach the point where less than 50% of Americans pay income tax, the nanny state is here to stay.

  53. FromLori says:

    The democrats should know being the main recipients of the payoffs including durbin who made some moola after being in the meeting!

    Who is cleanest of them all that would be Ron Paul!

    Bought and Paid For

    Lobbyists from the financial industry have paid hundreds of millions to Congress and the Obama administration. They have bought virtually all of the key congress members and senators on committees overseeing finances and banking.

    This is easy to confirm in black-and-white. See for yourself: here, here, here, here, here and here.

    Manhattan Institute senior fellow Ni

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2009/10/bought-and-paid-for.html

  54. TDL says:

    For all of those who are keen on the government controlling political speech (i.e. campaign reform) I urger you to view this ten minute video at reason of the former FEC Chairman.

    http://reason.com/blog/2008/10/16/now-playing-at-reasontv-former

    Regards,
    TDL

  55. jaydub says:

    Kind of ironic that a prominent advertiser on this website is Chase.

    ~~~

    BR: And AMEX and VISA.

    Federated Media (the ad firm I use) is well aware of what gets discussed/covered here.

    It turns out the advertisers dont care about the content, only the eyeballs/demographics of the readers.

  56. [...] wonder two powerful congressmen said that banks run [...]