One of Mitch McConnell’s 41 soldiers just went soft on filibustering finance reform. You can take that to the bank stuff that under the mattress.


Also, Democrats raising cain over McConnell’s unbelievably tone-deaf bankster confab could have hit a bit close to the mark. WWKRD?

***Update 2***

Excellent news for readers with GOP Senators! As BR points out, now would be an excellent time to phone your distinguished Senatecritters and give them hell for blocking reform. Mitch McConnell will especially appreciate it if you use his back-door meeting with banksters to make your point.

***Update 3***

The article did not mention McConnell’s stupid attempt to get Democrats to start over from scratch so I assumed that this is independent from that. Still, I ought to know better than to trust Shailagh Murray to report a story straight. Take it with the appropriate dollop of skepticism.

62 replies
  1. 1
    EconWatcher says:

    Dems need to keep squeezing. It’s working.

  2. 2
    Mike Kay says:

    but obama is weak, a black jimmy carter, who couldn’t get Health care passed.

  3. 3
    Eric U. says:

    this seems like a no-brainer. I hope the dems are desperate enough about their poll numbers and pissed off enough that they are being blamed for the economy that they will play a little hardball here.

  4. 4
    Shalimar says:

    I still don’t understand how you can have bi-partisan negotiations when one side is lying about what is in the bill.

  5. 5
    Poopyman says:

    OK, I know I’m brain dead (more so than usual), but I’m coming up blank for who/what is “KR”.


  6. 6
    Warren Terra says:

    On the other hand, former White House Counsel Gregory Craig had better demonstrate that (1) Goldman Sachs is holding his kids hostage (2) he’s donating all his fees to charity (3) he’s really a mole or (4) he really needed the money to pay for his sick mother’s operation. Because if he’s really representing Goldman Sachs, the original subject-verb phrase of investment banking, in their time of need just to cash in, at significant political liability to the President, that just suchs. Er, sucks.

  7. 7
    debbie says:

    They need to make more of that meeting Boehner had with American bankers where he called the Congressional staffers who were working on financial reform legislation a bunch of punks.


  8. 8

    After a week of attacking the pending legislation as a ticket to new taxpayer “bailouts,” McConnell is striking a different tone. Monday on the Senate floor, he called for lawmakers to move beyond “personal attacks and questioning each other’s motives” to “fixing the problems in this bill.

    Sociopaths is too nice a term for these folks. Is there anything else in the lexicon that denotes a worse excuse for humanity?

  9. 9
    Morbo says:

    @Poopyman: Turdblossom.

  10. 10
    licensed to kill time says:

    @Poopyman: Karl Rove?

  11. 11
    Brian J says:

    @Mike Kay:

    And let’s not forget, he’s under the control of Rahm Emmanuel, who is under the control of ACORN (or whatever its calling itself now) and Bertha Lewis, who is under the control of Dan Rather, who is under the control of Michael Moore, who is under the control of Paul Krugman and The New York Times, who is under the control of Arianna Huffington, who is under the control of Theresa Heinz Kerry, who is under the control of Keith Olbermann, who is under the control of George Soros. Or something like that. All I know is, whatever bad stuff happens, it’s all because of Rahm.

    Now, because I can never stay on topic, let me post this:

    Dems struggling to hold on to the House widened their cash on hand advantage in March as the DCCC once again outraised the NRCC, according to filings to be made with the FEC today.

    Last month, the DCCC raised $9.77M and spent just $3.55M. The DCCC had $26M in the bank at the end of March.

    The NRCC, on the other hand, raised $8M in March, one of their best months to date. Still, the party ended with month with $10M in the bank.

    I’m not sure how this relates to individual Democrats being out raised by Republicans, but perhaps it’s a sign things aren’t going to be as bad as some, myself included, fear. Or maybe it’s all a matter of the Democrats being the incumbents.

  12. 12
    Omnes Omnibus says:


    Sociopaths is too nice a term for these folks. Is there anything else in the lexicon that denotes a worse excuse for humanity?

    Republican legislator?

  13. 13
    Tim F. says:

    @Poopyman: Karl Rove. Democrats will probably reward McConnell for what Republicans would correctly interpret as a vulnerability to exploit. McConnell knows that Democrats could make his bankster meet ‘n greet the issue of the election.

    I know that Mitch is afraid because he’s attacking Democrats on the topic. That is precisely what Karl Rove would do.

  14. 14
    BR says:

    Just to repost what I said in the other thread (since it’s more relevant here):

    BTW, if you live in Massachusetts, call Scott Brown’s office and give them hell on his decision to filibuster.

    I called this morning and told them I voted for Brown (I didn’t) and that I’m an independent (I am) and that he won because he said he was a different kind of Republican – not a Southern Republican, and that Wall Street has screwed over the country and if he doesn’t support the Wall Street reform bill he’s going to be out of a job soon.

  15. 15
    aimai says:

    Its weird to bounce around the bloggosphere and see “Obama and the Dems have no plan B” when it comes to the Republicans filibustering, and then see that they do actually seem to be having a full court press which is ultimately going to make a filibuster impossible. What else is plan B other than a massive public squeeze play such as flooding the airwaves with criticism of McConnell et al, sending Obama to Wall Street, bringing down the hammer with the SEC, keeping the entire matter in the public eye? That sounds like a pretty good plan B to me. And they seem to be executing.

    Still, I’m unhappy that they have let congressional representation for DC get pulled out from under them once again.


  16. 16
    The Dude says:


    Kenny Rogers?

  17. 17
    dmsilev says:

    @aimai: They may actually not have a plan B. I’m guessing that “make it politically costly for the Republicans to be seen as blocking this bill” is plan A, and so far at least, it seems to have a reasonable chance of working.


  18. 18
    Poopyman says:


    Thaaaank yooooou.

    ETA – And to every one who followed after Morbo.

  19. 19
    Mike Kay says:

    @aimai: but doesn’t a certain segment of the blogoshere always criticize obama. That segment is married to that narrative.

  20. 20
    aimai says:

    Well, Plan A is always “get olympia snowe or that other guy, the pretty boy from MA, to flip and just get to a floor vote. Plan B is what happens while everyone is grandstanding and none of the usual suspects will break the imaginary filibuster before it happens. Looks like they went to plan B very rapidly and they may end up at plan A. The Republicans are terrified that if it goes to a floor vote they are going to have to vote for regulation and their only hope is preventing the floor vote. Will no one rid us of this woeful filibuster?


  21. 21
    geg6 says:

    Hmmmm, I’m seeing something coming from my Dem leaders that I’ve never seen before. Can’t quite put my finger on it…

    Oh, wait.

    Message discipline. Didn’t recognize it coming out Dem (and not GOP) mouths.

  22. 22
    Randy P says:

    @aimai: Thank the FSM that the Democrats seem to have figure out how to play the headlines this way. We saw this before with one-Senator “secret holds”, over and over, with no consequences until suddenly the headlines gave the name of the Senator who was doing it. All of a sudden when he had to hold press conferences to try to justify the parliamentary nonsense, he backed down.

    Sorry I don’t remember the specifics of which Senator and which vote. But all the MSM press outlets picked up on the “Senator X is single-handedly obstructing Vote Y” story.

    The Repubs count on being able to get their screamers to scream that any Republican policy, no matter who the actual beneficiary, is a blow for democracy and any vote against it is nazi-fasci-moslem-commu-treason. How refreshing to see that there are issues they can’t rally the screamers on.

    Edit: What would Karl do? Well, on the basis of the “attack their strengths” philosophy he’d probably start running ads that Democrats were holding secret back-door meetings with bankers. Maybe including Fox footage of Republicans in such meetings but with the letter (D) on screen.

  23. 23
    aimai says:

    Mike Kay–that was T fucking PM not Firedoglake. And it didn’t refer to Obama but to “the dems.” I think its still legitimate to study actual democratic politics and politicians. This has nothing to do with anti obama stuff on the left. Its the usual “dems in disarray” narrative.


  24. 24
    Mike Kay says:

    @BR: THIS! a 1,000 times.

  25. 25
    jl says:


    I agree. But I think the Dems are afraid being accused of acting like thugs for pointing out the the GOP House Minority Leader acted like a thug.

    I actually read the links this time, instead of glancing at them for a half a second and imagining what they must be about.

    The second link says that Collins will “reject an effort to begin consideration of the legislation on the Senate floor” unless the bill is ‘bipartisan’.

    What does that mean? Can one Senator block a bill from being introduced or debated even before there is a chance to filibuster it?

    That does not sound good, since Collins is about only person who could make it bipartisan. Or do I misunderstand?

    Senate rules have to change. This is ridiculous, when the leadership of either party allows just one of those mostly worthless corrupt filthy rich schlubs to block anything and everything they please.

  26. 26
    Legalize says:

    Obama can’t beat Hillary Clinton. He’s too inexperienced, and well, too black.

    Obama can’t beat McMaverick, especially now that he has Sarah Palin to help him appeal to Hillary voters. It’s just that he’s too inexperienced, and well, too black.

    Obama can’t get get heath care reform passed. He’s too inexperienced, not tough enough, and well, too black.

    Obama can’t get Wall Street reform passed.

  27. 27
    Mike Kay says:

    @aimai: I wasn’t talking about poor little insignificant FDL. Go to GOS, there has always been a segment of posters who oppose everything obama does.

  28. 28
    Redshirt says:

    I find it hilarious to assume the Senate Dems can win this battle. They think, what? The Repugs will give into shame? The truth? That the media will expose them? That the voters in their districts will hold them accountable?


    I’ve learned over the past 1.5 years that as a Republican, you can lie with impunity and you will pay no cost – in fact, odds are you will reap the benefits of your lives.

    So why not lie?

  29. 29
    Steve says:

    Shailagh Murray is a frickin’ stenographer. From Tim’s link:

    Unlike with the health-care reform bill, which McConnell sought to kill outright, the Republican leader is not calling for Democrats to return to the drawing board. GOP senators have asked for several specific changes, in particular to a $50 billion fund created by the financial sector to liquidate bankrupt firms.

    McConnell himself, two days ago:

    We ought to go back to the drawing board and fix it.

    Look, if the guy wants to flip-flop, so be it. But don’t help him cover up the fact that he’s doing it!

  30. 30
    mr. whipple says:


    Mike Kay—that was T fucking PM not Firedoglake. And it didn’t refer to Obama but to “the dems.” I think its still legitimate to study actual democratic politics and politicians. This has nothing to do with anti obama stuff on the left. Its the usual “dems in disarray” narrative.

    Did you write him to complain? I did. He’s actually an ok guy, but too often falls into this trap of criticizing dems when the focus should be on gop mendacity.

    on edit: The pic he chose for this ‘story’ was also BS.

  31. 31
    Punchy says:

    Wow. If I had to guess what Senator was doing back-door “deals”, I would have guessed Lindsey Graham.

  32. 32
    aimai says:

    Mike Kay,
    TPM is Talking Points Memo, Josh Marshall’s site. There is a detailed account there of why they think the Democrats “have no plan B.” Its a specific charge that they haven’t revved up the ads and the attacks based on the near inevitable filibuster. I’m unconvinced (by TPM) which has a tendency these days to try to grab eyeballs a la politico instead of doing serious research.

    I think if its true that the Dems haven’t gone so far as to prep the adds that they are doing what they think will be effective and not costly. However I do think its the case, from looking at the timeline, that they aren’t fully preparing to unleash holy hell on the Republicans as a party for the filibuster/posturing and then for the eventual vote against the financial reform bill. This has nothing to do with Obama bashing. This has everything to do with the usual lack of strong messaging on the part of the Dems. I think, for once, they are doing a pretty good job. But if they had half the loudmouths and talking heads the Republicans do there would be no problem at all and we’d be seeing massive reform right now.


  33. 33
    Dork says:

    @Punchy: That comment needs a rim-job shot.

    McConnell’s jowels talked him into this. Maybe they’re holding his face hostage.

  34. 34
    aimai says:

    Mr whipple, we cross posted. I really have liked JMM very much and I think that a few years ago he was doing astounding work. But lately, not so much. I don’t think he’s changed. I’m sure he’s a good guy. But he isn’t putting as much time and energy into breaking stories as he used to and seems content to feed relatively uninteresting horse race style observations into the blog at regular intervals. I don’t see the point in writing to criticize him. I think he’s doing what he thinks he needs to do, for some reason.


  35. 35
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    and if he doesn’t support the Wall Street reform bill he’s going to be out of a job soon.

    Wait. Doesn’t he have 6 years, or am I mistaken?

  36. 36
    gwangung says:


    But I think the Dems are afraid being accused of acting like thugs for pointing out the the GOP House Minority Leader acted like a thug.

    Well, since Dems get accused of being racist when they point out people using “chink”, “nigger” and watermelon, it’s small wonder.

  37. 37

    Regarding the Plan B.

    How does this source know that the Dems don’t have a plan B? Just because they have not confided in him does not mean that they don’t have one. Maybe they just didn’t feel like telling him about it.

    Actually, I am not going to tell that guy about my plans, either.

  38. 38
    mistersnrub says:

    Anyone see Issa, et al. have demanded documents related to the SEC Goldman suit? Should be fun when impeachment comes around when the GOP gets the house.

    Yeats had it right. Blah.

  39. 39
    D0n Camillo says:

    @peach flavored shampoo:

    He is filling the remainder of Senator Kennedy’s term which ends in 2012, so he will be running as a Republican in a blue state during a presidential election year. If he wants to tout his record of opposing banking reform during his re-election bid, then that’s his choice and good luck to him.

  40. 40
    I have issues with Baltimore says:

    KR — Keith Richards?

  41. 41
    Lee says:

    My Senator is Cornyn…he is getting a call about this.

    I’m going to ask if they REALLY think the bill is too weak, then offer up a MUCH stronger one.

  42. 42
    artem1s says:

    @Brian J:

    I think its proof that the party of NO is loosing the PR battle. they can show as many screaming wingnuts on TV as they want, it still doesn’t mean teabaggers are a majority or, more pertinent, will show up on election day.

  43. 43
    MikeJ says:

    @peach flavored shampoo: Mistaken. He won a special election. He’s up in, uhm ’12 I think.

  44. 44
    demimondian says:

    @peach flavored shampoo: His *term* has six years. The term started in 2007, though, and will end in 2013.

  45. 45
    Bob K says:

    Who owns C-Span? Don’t they realize they’d raise their ratings through the roof if they would just implement my Paintball/Laser Tag cage match suggestion instead of this lame A$$ Calvinball thing we’ve been running. Come on – this is why the sheeple would rather watch “American Idol” or “Dancing with the Stars.” Idiots – I bet the supreme leader would love to dance with Kate Gosselin. Niecy Nash also/too.

  46. 46
    Yutsano says:

    @Bob K: “Sooner or later, all our games turn into Calvinball.”

  47. 47
    demimondian says:

    @Linda Featheringill: Actually, Brian is a pretty friendly reporter to the Dems. Also, if you read the story, instead of the headline — shame on you, Dr. Marshall, that was an AWFUL hed — it’s a lot more ambiguous. The story is actually about how the Dems haven’t settled on a unified message for exploiting the filibuster, not about how they don’t plan on exploiting it. It’s obvious that they do, but that they haven’t settled on talking points yet.

  48. 48
    kay says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Read the whole thing. Well, skip the words in between the quotes and read the quotes from actual individuals. There’s nothing there. It’s a panic attack, or something, anyway, it isn’t based on anything anyone actually said, or did, or planned to do.

  49. 49
    kay says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Here’s what I’ve gleaned so far, re: financial reform.
    Chris Dodd is madly in love with every word of his own proposal.
    Obama’s line in the sand is derivatives, he cares not a whit for the 50 (or 150) billion fund to cover wind-down costs, so Congress are going to have to carry that.
    The Republicans are bluffing.
    That last one is my guess :)

  50. 50
    Yutsano says:

    @kay: They are bluffing, but they’re also hoping for a repeat on HCR, and I think they are going to be sorely disappointed.

  51. 51
    EconWatcher says:

    I don’t think they were bluffing. I think they were testing the waters. I think they found the waters very cold.

  52. 52
    Dr.BDH says:

    “WWKRD” around our house (referencing the nearly indestructible Mr. Richards) means, “Get out the guitar, loosen up, lay back, take a drink and be thankful you’re here. Or anywhere.”

  53. 53
    kay says:


    I don’t really get that. They’re not at all the same thing. It’s not just that people dislike bankers, and people like doctors, it’s that “derivatives” are just meaningless to regular people, and “finance regulation” makes people’s eyes glaze over with exhaustion and dread.
    If bankers wanted to scare the shit out of people re: denying them credit, they probably shouldn’t have spent the last 16 months denying them credit.
    Wouldn’t it be great if consumers found out they weren’t all that dependent on bankers, as it turned out? I don’t know: it seems to me that’s what we found out, in terms of consumer lending. Sure, it’s been hard, but we’re soldiering on without them. We’re better off! Imagine that!

  54. 54
    kay says:


    I don’t know. I’m just guessing. This whole thing has the feel of an elaborate media event, even more so than health care reform. Sure, initially it followed a trajectory: Republicans made shit up, media repeated the lies, but then it sort of lost its patina of reality, despite best efforts.
    Sarah Palin hasn’t weighed in. Maybe that’s what happened.
    I think this is Chris Dodd’s legacy, though. He has something to prove, or disprove, actually. It’s sort of tragic.

  55. 55
    cleek says:

    I think this is Chris Dodd’s legacy, though.

    i heartily encourage all incumbents to announce their resignation, and to do something bold and good on their way out.

  56. 56
    kay says:


    Had we not found out that all these “life-long” friendships in the Senate are just so much bullshit when Kennedy died, I would say his friends on the other side of the aisle in the House of Lords would help him out on his legacy-building.
    But, they won’t. That’s clear. Again.
    I’m not sure what the point is of all this “relationship-building” we’re always hearing about in the Senate.
    The GOP keep sticking the knife in after you’re dead.

  57. 57
    EconWatcher says:

    Kay: Obviously, I’m guessing too. But I think the combo of the Goldman suit, Reid’s taunting about McConnell’s secret meetings with banksters, and Corker’s apparent misgivings about a strategy of total obstruction proved too much for McConnell. He realized that the “Big Lie” wasn’t going to work on this, and now he’s trying to regroup and cut his losses.

    The right course for the Dems is obvious: Keep pushing. Push harder. Push until they scream.

    I’ve been waiting for this since the day Obama took office. I thought he was dumb not to push it his first year in office (before HCR). Now I think maybe he was dumb like a fox–waiting to push it until right before mid-terms.

  58. 58
    kay says:


    I’m torn between your theory and McConnell bluffing because he promised the bankers a big fight, and he has to deliver that.

    No one wants their paid advocate to just roll over. He has to earn the money.

  59. 59
    Batocchio says:

    I was going with Keith Richards for “KR,” but “Karl Rove” makes more sense. (Keith would be more fun, though.)

  60. 60
    Joseph Nobles says:

    One of my Senators went with McConnell. Double my fun!


    That’s him, Cornyn! He went with Mitch to Wall Street!

  61. 61
    Elie says:



    Thanks — made me smile

  62. 62
    Joseph Nobles says:

    This “bailout fund” thing is one of the most cockamamie things I’ve ever heard of. If the resolution authority is a “bailout fund”, then Dallas just bailed out the Texas Stadium recently. Maybe that’s something that would sink into Cornyn’s thick head.

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