SEC: CoxSlackers & BushWackers Fiddled While Wall Street Burned

The big outrage de jour making the rounds in the media currently is the porn scandal at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This report from the Washington Post is typical of the reporting coming out of the main media:

Republicans are stepping up their criticism of the Securities and Exchange Commission following reports that senior agency staffers spent hours surfing pornographic websites on government-issued computers while they were supposed to be policing the nation’s financial system.

California Rep. Darrell Issa, the top Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said it was “disturbing that high-ranking officials within the SEC were spending more time looking at porn than taking action to help stave off the events that put our nation’s economy on the brink of collapse.”

He said in a statement Thursday that SEC officials “were preoccupied with other distractions” when they should have been overseeing the growing problems in the financial system.

Would it be too much for the media to actually think for a moment before they perform stenography for alarmist Darrell Issa? Because even a moment’s pause would yield the realization that Republican outrage on this is absurd and duplicitous. In fact the SEC – IG report produced for another of the Republican howlers, Iowa Senator Charles Grassley, proves the pornification of the SEC was born and grown during the Bush/Cheney Administration and the leadership of Republican stalwart and longtime Issa colleague and friend Chris Cox. The IG Report also demonstrates quite clearly that the vast majority of the incidents occurred during Cox’s reign during the second Bush term, although there were some that continued on during the Obama Administration.

But it is not just that the problem was born and matured under Bush and Cox, it is the fact that it is symptomatic for the emasculation and gutting of the SEC which occurred at their hands and express direction. It was not a bug, but a feature. As Bloomberg News reported last year:

Under former SEC Chairman Christopher Cox, the agency instituted policies that slowed cases and led enforcement-unit lawyers to conclude commissioners opposed fining companies, the Government Accountability Office said in a report today. An unidentified attorney said it was “widely felt” commissioners prevented the division from “doing its job,” according to the report.

“Some investigative attorneys came to see the commission as less of an ally in bringing enforcement actions and more of a barrier,” the GAO said. Cox’s policies “contributed to an adversarial relationship between enforcement and the commission.”

The non-partisan GAO report on the Bush/Cox SEC found poor management, determination to not pursue cases, lack of transparency, and collusion with business interests. It was the Republican philosophy and direction which neutered the SEC. It is little wonder they took to surfing the net for porn, they literally had nothing else to do under Republican “leadership”.

So perhaps the media stenographers ought to remember this when suddenly howling duplicitous Republican shills like Issa and Grassley want to tar, feather and undermine the SEC now that Democratic leadership, led by Mary Schapiro, have cleaned the agency up, turned it around and put it back to work doing its oversight and enforcement job.

On a related note in things financial, our friend Selise is going to be along in comments to discuss her Seminal Diary on financial reform and the commendable Fiscal Sustainability Conference and Teach-In occurring next week in Washington DC. This is a worthy effort and is supported by a variety of progressive interests including Jamie Galbraith and my friend and former colleague, Ian Welsh.

(graphic by nathan bransford)

83 replies
  1. fatster says:

    Nice article, bmaz. Many thanks.

    That “graphic” reminds me of W. C. Fields, or, “Taking the bull by the tail and looking it straight in the eye.”

  2. selise says:

    when they have to resort to talking about sex, i take it as a “tell” that they are desperate for a distraction.

    p.s. via nd20:

    Bill Black will appear tonight on Bill Moyers Journal to discuss the sociopathic culture of Wall Street as Obama makes the case for financial reform. Black’s interview follows on the heels of his pull-no-punches testimony this week on the Lehman fraud (yes, that was Dick Fuld sitting right next to him!) Black and Eliot Spitzer’s recent post on the Lehman scandal is a must-read: see “Time for Truth: Three Card Monte is for Suckers.” Stay tuned for their post on Goldman, coming later today…

  3. orionATL says:

    issa’s charges are republicans setting a back-fire against the obama admin’s finsncial “reforms” effort.

    typical republican obstructionism -precisely timed.

  4. IntelVet says:

    They were told to ignore.

    My cousin told me so.

    Hanging, after a legal trial, Cheney/Bush, would do wonders for our status world-wide. Perhaps we could get them to see the greater good?

  5. selise says:

    re bmaz’s “related note,” the peterson foundation is holding a “fiscal summit” next week — just one day after the president’s commission — for their deficit hawkery and fear mongering featuring such notables as alan greenspan and robert rubin.

    as a counter to their summit, and i hope some help to CAF which is in desperate need of a counter-narrative, there will be a teach-in in DC (at GWU) on the 28th, the same day as the peterson foundation “summit.” galbraith won’t be there, but he sent a very strong statement of support (the economists who will be speaking at the teach-in are very much out of the orthodox economic mainstream and, as far as i can tell, share a similar understanding about the nature of national budgets, the role of money in modern capitalism, and the need for an economics that is consistent with basic accounting).

    i’ve been pushing randall wray’s book, understanding modern money: the key to full employment and price stability, ever since i started reading it. probably the most important book i’ve read in years (btw, wray was a student of minsky’s). wray will with be there, along with a some other really amazing macro economists — even if they’re names aren’t familiar yet, imo they should be. i’d go to dc, if i could, to hear any one of them. all of them together is going to be amazing.

    so, i wanted to make sure people in dc knew about the teach-in (it will be free and open to the public) and also to ask beg for donations to cover the bare essentials (several of the economists are paying their own expenses, as jamie galbraith said he would if only he didn’t have teach responsibilities on that day). the whole thing is being done on a shoe-string. but there is still some more $ that need to be raised — especially so that people like me, who can’t go, will be able to listen and/or watch the whole thing archived on the web.

    so for anyone interested in going, willing to consider making a donation (of any amount that is comfortable, small donations are most welcome) or just interested in finding out more, here is my diary:

    Time to Sweep the Vampire Squid Off Our Faces and Make Room for the Real Change

    which i’ve been cross posting and asking others to cross post freely.

    p.s. many many thanks to bmaz for including info on it in his post.

    • goldstandard says:

      re bmaz’s “related note,” the peterson foundation is holding a “fiscal summit” next week — just one day after the president’s commission — for their deficit hawkery and fear mongering featuring such notables as alan greenspan and robert rubin.

      Unless there has been some radical change of heart, Bill Clinton is supposed to be attending with his pal Rubin. Hard to believe, but one can always hope that Clinton might come to his senses.

      • selise says:

        Unless there has been some radical change of heart, Bill Clinton is supposed to be attending with his pal Rubin. Hard to believe, but one can always hope that Clinton might come to his senses.

        i know. my guess, and i’m just guessing, is that clinton is interested in preserving his (bogus) legacy of good economic times and Responsible Very Serious Persons status for the Dems on the economoy — so no one looks at our nation’s pattern of fed budget surpluses (7) instances, followed by 6 depressions — so far (this would be the 7th).

  6. cheneywatchorg says:

    Someone finally mirrored my sentiments today on CNN. One of the “write in” people for the Cafferty file said, ‘Well maybe we should recognize they were doing their job and simply studying what they were going to be doing to us!’, or something to that flair.

    I wonder what the defense will be, “we lost track in all the screwing going on!”?

    That would be their only reasonable plea.

  7. watercarrier4diogenes says:

    Should I hold my breath until a Dem in Congress, or Mary Shapiro herself, points this out to the press on camera in the near future? Do we have to wait until Obermann, Maddow or Moyers (or maybe SNL?) do the Dems’ job for them?

  8. john in sacramento says:

    Would it be too much for the media to actually think for a moment before they perform stenography for alarmist Darrell Issa? Because even a moment’s pause would yield the realization that Republican outrage on this is absurd and duplicitous. In fact the SEC – IG report produced for another of the Republican howlers, Iowa Senator Charles Grassley, proves the pornification of the SEC was born and grown during the Bush/Cheney Administration and the leadership of Republican stalwart and longtime Issa colleague and friend Chris Cox. It also demonstrates quite clearly that the vast majority of the incidents occurred during Cox’s reign during the second Bush term, although there were some that continued on during the Obama Administration.

    JMHO but the words in bold should be the headline

    The talk radio shitheads blowhards here have been going bananas over this today. They’ve been trying to say how this proves that (paraphrasing) regulation is an evil-communist-socialist-demon-liberal plot to ruin the country and that this story proves it

    OT PS – Memo to Brad Childress: Chris Cook??? You traded down for someone you could have gotten later in the 2nd? A much more pressing need is linemen on both sides of the line. You’re not doing anything to revise my opinion of you

    And btw you’re going to like Jahvid Best, Marcy

    • prostratedragon says:

      Didn’t the problem kind of blow up between ’06 and ’07?

      You know, much as the first wave of implosion hit?

      (Somewhere I ran up on a year-by-year breakdown of disciplinary actions.)

  9. JohnLopresti says:

    I am glad to see ex-congressman, Crimson graduate, Chris Cox, beginning to get top billing on the marquee as the commission reviews the sequence of collapses. I guess I have seen a sufficient number of bulls both old and calf, to view the image as one more workout tending the bovines, though having seen a corrida and sized up the Pamplona San Fermin run, appreciated that the horns seemed ready to hasten pedestrians* steps. The French agrarians have shown historical ingenuity at incongruous protest statements in cities; however, there was one innovative and ancient appearing sheepherder a few years ago who brought several hundred of his wooly flock into the capital in Castilla as a protest.

    I think the Democrats need to get free trade right; Clinton initialized the precis, but under the aegis of Bush2 dereg artists US trade abetted mucb rapine abroad, particularly in nascent third world lands and among their populace.

    I think the Democrats need to serve the stock markets well, as they are one of the driving energies in the global economy. Close to the US, for example, a US economy returned to vibrancy by the Democrats could strengthen foreign policy, which, in turn, might ameliorate some of the cumbersome parts of a future **immigration reform**. A MX with domestic opportunities would remove emigration incentive and improve that civilization.

  10. orionATL says:

    for more on what issa is trying to derail with this attack

    see nytimes financial columnist floyd norris’ column dated april 23rd and titled “sec’s timing seals overhaul deal”.

    norris is one of the very few nytimes columnists whose judgment i trust.

  11. orionATL says:

    thanks, pj

    i hadn’t heard that.

    frankly, i can’t imagine the suit was not related to the “reform” legislation.

    my view is, “so what”;

    you use the weapons you have available to get legislation passed- good legislation or bad legislation.

    my question would be: is the sec ig a republican?

    if so, the investigation is de facto biased,

    yet another branch of the growing obstructionism the republican party has practiced since jan, 2009.

    • bmaz says:

      What is “related to reform legislation”? A determination by a Presidential Administration to have an established governmental oversight and regulatory agency actually do its job after a massive financial economic/financial failure while at the same time seeking legislation to address and correct the causative factors which led to the failure and prevent the same in the future? If that is it, then I guess there is guilt. On the other hand, such is what you would hope a functioning government would do. It is actually the least that should be be done.

  12. orionATL says:

    selise @24

    ” building dwellers”?

    you weren’t perchance thinking of ” wealth-gleaning troglodytes” were you?

    • selise says:

      full card bingo!

      i just couldn’t think of an accurate and non-vulgar description… so went with the reference to fatster comment @21. thanks for the assist!

  13. orionATL says:

    selise @30

    i don’t think most ordinary folk realize just how rapacious, just how much like the lords of the rhine hundreds of years earlier,

    the goldman-sachs predators are.

    that obama took money from them,

    named their boy sec of the treasury,

    and is now, i am quite certain, acting to protect their inteterests, is disgaceful in my view.

    i don’t recall where i read it, maybe norris’ column, but the joke these days,

    like the black humor of the soviet peoples in the ’60’s,

    is this:

    sec wins.

    g- s agrees to do pennance.

    head of g-s agrees to do community service-

    as the secretary of the treasury!

  14. orionATL says:

    on further reflection

    “wealth-gleaning troglodytes” is far too kind a term to apply
    to the likes of predatory firms like g-s.

    “gleaning” is an honorable and frugal activity.

    a more appropriate descriptor for
    goldman-sachs would be:

    “wealth-leeching troglodytes”.

    g-s style firms are not wealth creators;

    they are wealth-siphoners and wealth-stealers

    to themselves and to a favored few clients.

  15. bobschacht says:

    For those who might be feeling depressed about all that Obama is not doing differently than President Bush, listen to Bill Moyers’ final segment tonight (scroll to the end):

    BILL MOYERS: Finally, last Saturday a viewer stopped me in our local supermarket with a question. She had seen several editions of the Journal dealing with how big money constantly undermines the public interest, and she wanted to know, “How do you keep reporting what’s happening in Washington without totally losing heart?”

    I’ll try to answer that more fully next week, on the final edition of the JOURNAL. For now, I’ll just say that I owe what sanity that remains – what hope I have – to acts of the imagination inspired by others. Think about what we learned from Vaclav Havel and Lech Walesa – when few believed nations in the soviet orbit could free themselves from its heavy gravitational pull, they imagined a different Czechoslovakia, a different Poland.

    Think of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu – when even our own American government was supporting apartheid in South Africa, they imagined something different.

    Abraham Lincoln imagined the end of slavery and the preservation of the union. Theodore Roosevelt imagined victory over the money trusts; his cousin Franklin imagined a new deal for people like my father.

    The philosopher and critic Theodor Adorno, after his own escape from Hitler’s Germany, wrote about this power of imagination. In the face of despair, he said, you must try to “Contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption.”

    This is not romanticism. It’s not even idealism. It’s our power to imagine alternatives – and to wake up every morning day to try to do something to bring them about….

    So my thanks to all those here at the Wheel House and elsewhere, who share with me in imagining something better.

    Bob in AZ

    • harpie says:

      Thanks for this, bobschacht, and ditto this:

      So my thanks to all those here at the Wheel House and elsewhere, who share with me in imagining something better.

  16. bobschacht says:

    Tonight I was listening to Bill Black being interviewed by Bill Moyers. Very riveting. Black calls our financial services industry “criminogenic,” based on a linguistic parallel with “pathogenic.” In other words, a “criminogenic” environment is one that promotes crime. Black talks about massive fraud in the financial services industry– the recent SEC suit barely scratches the surface. IOW, the financial services industry, as presently constructed, is criminogenic.

    He says this is basically because under Bush, regulators didn’t regulate. And where regulators don’t regulate, i.e. where there are no adverse consequences for fraud, the result is lots of fraud.

    I think one might say the same thing about the CIA/DOD/JSOC torture program: the CIA, in particular, has become a criminogenic environment. The “regulators,” in that environment, was supposed to be the OLC. Think of John Yoo as a regulator. Unfortunately, even there, Yoo served at best as an ex post facto “regulator” because the CIA mostly came to him after they had done something and tried to get his blessing (get out of jail free card.) Yoo actually did set a few lines in the sand, but not many, and most of the lines he drew were way far out of bounds. To Bush’s credit, in his second term the boundaries were pushed back *towards* their proper place, but still there was virtually no punishment for the perps (Abu Ghraib stands as the example of the limit of “regulation”– i.e., only low level perps received any adverse consequences.) Margolis saw to that.

    But by advocating “looking forward, not backwards,” Obama is maintaining the criminogenic environment not only in the CIA, but even in the DOJ.

    So, I find this word “criminogenic” useful, not only for the financial services industry, but also for the CIA in particular, and even for the DOJ in general.

    Bob in AZ

    • qweryous says:

      Bill Blacks book is a must read for a number of reasons.

      The description of criminogenic is accurate.

      In the banking industry ‘bad behavior’ that is marginally more profitable than ‘good behavior’ will always drive out the ‘good behavior’ absent either moral control by all players OR adequate regulation COUPLED with active enforcement. Profitable in this case can mean more money in the pocket directly(sometimes by outright theft); or in ephemeral profits shown on balance sheets and in the price of securities like stock,bonds, and other more complicated instruments like CDO’s (Enron, Worldcomm etc)

      “The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One
      How Corporate Executives and Politicians Looted the S&L Industry”
      By William K. Black LINK

      If I remember correctly he also discusses the concept of “regulatory capture”
      wherin the regulators are coopted and become tools of the regulated.

      He describes a movie made from a helicopter of mile after mile of failed Texas real estate developments. I’d like to see that movie.

      • carver says:

        If we were to analyze the composite mentality/personality of Wall Street we would have to conclude that it is a sociopathic entity. Human costs and the cost to the nation and world, were not considered in the frenzy to accumulate wealth.
        This entity has done damage to the nation beyond the wildest dreams of Osama Bin Laden. If the degree of criminality were based on the greatest damage done to the greatest number then Wall Street would be in the deepest of dungeons.

    • skdadl says:

      Wonderful reflection, Bob. You’ve hit on such a good metaphor for Yoo. A lot of people would grasp that if it could be put to them just that way.

    • bonjonno says:

      That was a superb Moyers show last night. I can’t believe next week is his last show. It’s the only thing I turn the tv on for. Oh well. It’s been great.

    • harpie says:

      Really interesting comment! I haven’t heard/read the interview, yet, but I think your use of the concept of criminogenic [what a great word!] culture in areas other than financial is spot on.

      If I’m understanding this correctly, the following two recent articles may show the exportation by US of this criminogenic culture to areas within our sphere of influence “where there are no adverse consequences for fraud, [and] the result is [or encourages] lots of fraud” [not that his is anything new]:

      New York Times Calls for Economic Shock Doctrine in Afghanistan“; Jim White

      […] For those who have read The Shock Doctrine, this move by the Times amounts to a request to declare open season for the west to exploit the vast sums of relief money flowing into Afghanistan and to then follow up by exploiting the natural resources there.[…]

      “Corrupt U.S. Contracts and the Revolution in Kyrgyzstan”; Scott Horton ]:

      A public perception of massive corruption concerning U.S. Department of Defense fuel-supply contracts has now helped bring down the government of Kyrgyzstan twice–in 2005, and again two weeks ago. Was the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act violated by U.S. government actors and their contractors and subcontractors? Did the Department of Justice actually take note of these massive bribery operations and give them a wink and a nod? A good deal of information is coming to the surface now that suggests the answer to both questions will be “yes.”

      He links to his recent very informative Congressional Testimony and a very interesting article in The Nation by Aram Rostom, called “Fueling the Afghan War”.

      • selise says:

        OT to harpie, if you happen to see powwow and think of it, would you pass on a msg from me that the filibuster diaries are coming as soon as fundraising, etc for the teach-in on the 28th (which is time sensitive in the extreme) is over? thanks!

  17. perris says:

    stopped by just to drop an article for you and marcy bmaz, I know you guys have been on the anthrax story

    “That’s more than 8,000 hours (close to a year) short of what he would have needed to grow the anthrax,” Heine told ProPublica in an interview after his NAS presentation.

    from here

  18. JamesJoyce says:

    This exposes the nature of the “turd” deposited on America by corporate Aristocrats. A huge pile of “Bull*hit” now covers the landscape Management was more concerned with manipulating market share for profit than with the “merit” of the ratings determined analysts on a CDO. Incentives to commit fraud and Corporate economic blackmail…. sounds like a form of servitude?

  19. Mary says:

    @37 – a lot to chew on there, thank you.

    OT –
    I thought this comment on the British debates almost more interesting for what it says about US politics than the observations on the British impact.

    This new politics is so depersonalised that saying nothing on difficult issues seems to be the order of the day.

    This “new” political dimension of public debate is nothing of the sort. It’s the old, old story of a political elite smothering the aspirations of the rank and file in favour of its own preset and agreed agenda.

    It’s politics without people, without dissent and without spontaneity. It’s simple manipulation to restrict, not widen the range of political debate.

    There was also piece on Milliband – Guardian maybe? – where he called Cameron’s emphasis on quote change unquote, “vacuous” and got uppity over the fact that a voter was still “punishing” labor over Iraq.

    Yeah – all that “punishment” – having to answer questions about Iraq must be just like getting blown up by an ied or having your family bombed or becoming a refugee and losing everything. Poor Davey.

    • skdadl says:

      Heh, yes — Miliband thought that he was the golden boy of the future (and after all, Hillary has a crush on him), and then suddenly, up the middle comes this bright young man (Clegg) no one had really factored in before.

      I don’t actually think the Lib Dems are all that amazing, but I am at least entertained to see the voters do such a sudden shift. I also moderately like Brown, although the demon-flake Blair left him with an impossible legacy. Everyone kind of knew that Labour would have to go, but I don’t think most people saw Clegg as an alternative to the pasty-faced overprivileged stuffed shirts (Cameron & co).

      Coalitions of libs and lefties can be quite happy governments. We’ve done that in the past. That’s how we got medicare. *skdadl waves at Tommy Douglas, and waggles a finger at his inexplicable grandson, Kiefer Sutherland, who should stop making that dreadful TV show*

      • dakine01 says:

        I think that show is heading out the door after the current season.

        And I always understood that Kiefer was rebelling more against his father than anything else. Since Donald was/is a noted anti-war person, Kiefer probably felt he should go to the other extreme.

        • bmaz says:

          Yes, this is the last season of 24. The current plan is supposedly to continue with a series of standalone theatrical release movies; but I don’t think that is definite.

        • PJEvans says:

          I’m wondering what’s going to be in all the buildings they’re leasing in the industrial area across the street from me, when that show finally packs its tents and vanishes. (I don’t know what it actually does for the local economy, either. But some of the people working there need to get more traffic tickets.)

        • skdadl says:

          Well, I can certainly understand anyone’s rebelling against the father (I adored my father but I rebelled anyway), but Kiefer has made political ads here defending public healthcare (single-payer, socialistic, all that jazz). He seems to be very proud of his granddad, who would have been horrified by that show, and Kiefer must know that.

  20. ThingsComeUndone says:

    Bush our countries first Harvard MBA president is there any area of government that was well managed during his administration?
    The Pentagon no 6 months we were suppose to be out of Iraq its been way more than 6 years.
    State Dept America’s relations and popularity took a huge dive under Bush.
    Education Debt No Child Left behind.
    The Economy Totaled
    The Justice Dept I can’t Recall

  21. cinnamonape says:

    They need to get Chris Cox in front of the Committee’s Issa sits on and skewer his management regime…and ask why his appointed crew had so much time on their hands to put something else in them…and why that lack of efficiency was obvious to him? Make Issa the poster boy in defending Cox and the SEC’s-crazed and bored-monkeys in suits.

  22. timr says:

    So we learn what from this? 1-that the MSM does not uderstand what the word “reporting” means and that 2-rethugs and wing nut hosts either do not know how to read or, firmly believing in the BIG LIE, think that democrats are to damn dumb to point out the date of the report. Or that the MSM, being firmly in the pocket of the oligarchs, will never report the truth. In any case the sheeple are, once again, left with the impression that Obama and the democrats, are preverts.

  23. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Bush’s famous hatred for the SEC goes back decades, ever since it tried to enforce its rules against him and his trading in his own company’s stock and a former SEC lawyer friend of daddy had to bail him out one more time. No surprise that Bush attempted to neuter it and largely succeeded. But the SEC is only one of the government agencies he did that to.

  24. earlofhuntingdon says:

    If that graphic were an image of the SEC and its regulatory peers, it would have to undergo a little Wizard of Oz, snip snip here, snip snip there, and be turned into a short-horned steer. You’ll recall that the only ones Bush had on his faux ranch were cardboard cutouts. (Horses were banned: they frightened him.)

  25. prostratedragon says:

    From ProPublica blog:

    Oddly enough, news of the SEC’s porn problem is not a new revelation. …

    … [I]n the past five years, the SEC’s Inspector General conducted 33 investigations into SEC employees’ viewing porn at work. And the results of those investigations were routinely reported to Congress, and they’ve been publicly available all this time on the inspector general’s website.

    [A summary, with links, of news reports on similar findings from 2008 and 2009 by ProPublica, ABC News, the Washington Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Daily News, and Huffington Post.]

    But this time, Republican lawmakers have taken the porn issue as an opportunity to further criticize the regulator.

    I’d agree with the ProPublica blogger that that is one helluva coincidence. Maybe a suitable Inspector General type, or perhaps just a good Capitol Hill reporter, can be found to interview Mr. Issa on the matter?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      My guess is that the SEC employees view porn a fraction of the time that private sector employees view porn.

      Which is worse, Congress and its lobbyists actually servicing each other? Or a few SEC employees, like all employees everywhere, fantasizing a few minutes a day about something more interesting than the jobs they are not allowed to perform because it would require them to look backward at the past and current wrongs of the fabulously wealthy or powerful?

      • PJEvans says:

        I suspect most private companies have porn-site blockers on their internet accesses – mine certainly does.

    • prostratedragon says:

      To clarify, I don’t care whether the SEC employees watch porn or use it for screensavers, so long as their regulatory task is done assiduously and has the necessary throughput, shall we say.

      I’d be happy to leave those worries unremarked upon to the likes of Rep. Issa, except that I doubt that they are honest about them.

    • bmaz says:

      Yeah, this could be an interesting Salon for any of you interested in the Supreme Court; the book is a great read and the author very informed.

  26. harpie says:

    That is a great interview between Moyers and Black!

    Criminogenic, indeed! Thanks again, Bob.

    At under “Influence and Lobbying”
    GS is #6 on the “Heavy Hitters” list:

    Click on the tab for “Summary”. The change from 1990 to 2008 is astounding-there’s a big jump in 2000 [the “Heckuva job, Brownie! era].

    Moyers and Black talk about GS money to Congress, but don’t mention Obama. He’s at the top of the 2008 “recipients” list [tab], weighing in at $996,595.

    “[…] one of the most important things a president has is the bully pulpit. We have not heard speeches by the president demanding that the frauds go to prison. We have not heard speeches from the attorney general of the United States of America, Eric Holder. Indeed, we haven’t heard anything. It’s like Sherlock Holmes, the dog that didn’t bark. And that’s the dog that is supposed to be our guard dog. It must bark. And it must have teeth, not just bark.-William Black

  27. orionATL says:

    darrel issa,*

    california’s best-known car thief,

    working to see that his pals in commetcisl banking thievery, e.g., goldman-sachs, prosper.

    *where else but in the fruitcake capitol of the u.s. of a., could a car thief become a congressman,

    and then proceed to speak condemnatorily about moral issues, (excepting thievery, of course)?

    hey darrel,

    how do you rate stealing people’s car


    sitting and watching porn on a gov’t computer?

    note to dem party dummies: see how easy that was to counter.

  28. JamesJoyce says:

    “Liars Loans”

    It is called liars poker and fraud. This was a scam. Once the traders drove the price of oil to $147.00 a barrel, the inevitable outcome which many analyst at the rating agencies knew would happen, became reality.

    The “models used” by rating agencies and investment houses did not take into consideration 147.00 oil. The house of cards come a tumbling down, once the cost of living skyrocketed and sucked all the available resources from the working middle class and business. People made choices. Pay a mortgage of starve? Let an employee go or go out of business. The “cost of energy” and the protection those of status quo interests has decimated America. Instead of liberating a nation we are enslaved. America is in a state of denial. We are like “the alcoholic” in our thinking, period! Subservient to our instilled, hence perceived needs, while never realizing the true cost!

    “Corporate Aristocrats who lust for endless profit, while decimating Liberty and Life, simply suck!”

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