Via Zach Carter
A full 90 members of Congress who voted to bailout Wall Street in 2008 failed to support financial reform reining in the banks that drove our economy off a cliff. But when you examine campaign contribution data, it’s really no surprise that these particular lawmakers voted to mortgage our economic future to Big Finance: This election cycle, they’ve raked in over $48.8 million from the financial establishment. Over the course of their Congressional careers, the figure swells to a massive $176.9 million.
The complete list of these Crony Capitalists is below, along with the money they pulled in from Big Finance, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics (opensecrets.org). The career data goes back to 1989. Of the 69 House members who voted with Wall Street on both the bailout and financial reform, 60 are Republicans, while nine are Democrats. All 21 Senators who voted with Wall Street on both issues are Republicans, and Republicans raked in over 90 percent of the total campaign contributions. Here’s a chart showing Wall Street’s total contributions to this crowd for the 2010 cycle, by political party:
And here’s one showing total Wall Street contributions over the course of their careers:
These aren’t the only politicians carrying water for Wall Street—only the most flagrant. Some of the bank lobby’s savviest servants on Capitol Hill do their dirty work early in the legislative process. They push through technical amendments and deploy complex procedural tricks to defang a bill, but when the final vote comes, they can still create the appearance of taking a stand against Wall Street’s interests. Rep. Melissa Bean, D-Ill., is a master of this technique, and Tea Party favorite Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., was able to claim credit for voting in favor of reform after demanding—and receiving—a host of big bank giveaways in return for his vote.
Nor are Republicans the only recipients of Wall Street largesse. Bean, for instance, has pulled in over $773,000 from Wall Street in the 2010 cycle alone, while working overtime to carve loopholes into new consumer protections (she’s scored $2.4 million over the course of her Congressional career). And the Democratic leadership has received millions as well.
When it comes to dealing out economic damage, no special interest group has been able to wreak more havoc that Big Finance. After inflating an $8 trillion housing bubble and sparking a recession that has cost the economy over 8 million jobs, public pressure to crack down on Wall Street was intense. And the public is still clamoring for Wall Street accountability—after two years in office, the Wall Street reform bill remains the most popular legislative effort championed by President Barack Obama, and getting tough on Big Finance has been a reliable re-election strategy for embattled incumbents.
But harnessing the Wall Street beast proved a tortuously long and difficult process, taking nearly two years despite its economic urgency. And while the bill that Congress approved this year has plenty of virtues, many of the most critical reforms were simply not addressed by the legislation. The too-big-to-fail financial behemoths that taxpayers bailed out in 2008 are even bigger today, banks can still gamble with taxpayer money, and the foreclosure crisis continues to ravage neighborhoods across the country. Until these issues are addressed, the U.S. economy will remain beholden to Wall Street’s bonus-crazed whims.
But if you follow the money, it’s obvious why so much work remains to be done on financial reform. This year alone, Wall Street spent a staggering $251 million fighting financial reform. According to a separate analysis of campaign contributions performed by Public Citizen, lawmakers who voted with Wall Street on both the bailout and reform received nearly triple the campaign cash of those who opposed Wall Street (figures in the Public Citizen study don’t correspond to those I’ve compiled, as Public Citizen examined contributions from 2007 through July of 2010).
Despite the popularity of Wall Street reform, 90 members of Congress didn’t even want to publicly pretend to support reining in almost universally reviled banks. When you’re trying to decide which bums to throw out in November, here’s one place to start. These members of Congress are okay with setting up economic calamities, and they don’t mind paying for them with your tax dollars.
Here’s how Wall Street’s contributions break down among Wall Street’s 21 Senate Cronies. For 2010:
For their careers:
And here are all of the Cronies, along with their Wall Street hauls:
|Senator||2010 Wall Street Cash||Career Wall Street Cash|
|Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)||$1,600,000||$4,900,000|
|Sen. Robert Bennett (R-UT)||$1,500,000||$2,600,000|
|Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO)||$333,600||$3,300,000|
|Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)||$1,500,000||$3,300,000|
|Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)||$2,500,000||$3,500,000|
|Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK)||$451,700||$1,200,000|
|Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)||$3,100,000||$3,300,000|
|Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)||$3,200,000||$4,700,000|
|Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)||$1,300,000||$2,600,000|
|Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)||$1,100,000||$2,000,000|
|Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH)||$233,200||$1,100,000|
|Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)||$1,400,000||$2,600,000|
|Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)||$1,400,000||$4,700,000|
|Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA)||$1,500,000||$4,200,000|
|Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ)||$2,800,000||$3,800,000|
|Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN)||$412,200||$2,500,000|
|Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)||$947,600||$34,000,000|
|Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)||$4,300,000||$5,300,000|
|Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)||$268,200||$909,700|
|Sen. John Thune (R-SD)||$1,600,000||$3,900,000|
|Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH)||$435,200||$2,800,000|
|House Member||2010 Wall Street Cash||Career Wall Street Cash|
|Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-La.||$106,500||$422,300|
|Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala.||$611,600||$4,400,000|
|Rep. Gresham Barrett, R-S.C.||$20,400||$806,700|
|Rep. Marion Berry, D-Ark.||$24,900||$663,700|
|Rep. Judy Biggert, R-Ill.||$395,000||$1,900,000|
|Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.||$1,200,000||$3,800,000|
|Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio||$1,300,000||$3,700,000|
|Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Ala.||$90,400||$702,200|
|Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif.||$190,000||$733,400|
|Rep. John Boozman, R-Ark.||$257,700||$491,000|
|Rep. Dan Boren, D-Okla.||$123,100||$722,200|
|Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va.||$92,700||$1,400,000|
|Rep. Charles Boustany Jr, R-La.||$226,300||$934,600|
|Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas||$157,000||$840,500|
|Rep. Henry Brown, R-S.C.||$35,700||$494,000|
|Rep. Vernon Buchanan, R-Fla.||$336,800||$1,400,000|
|Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Calif.||$180,300||$940,300|
|Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich.||$588,000||$1,700,000|
|Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif.||$413,400||$1,200,000|
|Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va.||$2,100,000||$4,400,000|
|Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del.||$749,100||$3,200,000|
|Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C.||$23,400||$502,500|
|Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla.||$110,000||$686,000|
|Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas||$161,500||$711,800|
|Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla.||$86,100||$717,000|
|Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas||$90,600||$606,900|
|Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa.||$177,900||$881,000|
|Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Texas||$324,200||$1,900,000|
|Rep.Vernon Ehlers, R-Mich.||$8,500||$292,200|
|Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo.||$143,900||$904,400|
|Rep. Mary Fallin, R-Okla||($1,000)||$340,700|
|Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J.||$86,200||$840,300|
|Rep. Jim Gerlach, R-Pa.||$251,600||$1,800,000|
|Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas||$140,000||$1,100,000|
|Rep. Wally Herger, R-Calif.||$171,500||$1,100,000|
|Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich.||($1,000)||$300,600|
|Rep. Bob Inglis, R-S.C.||0||$572,800|
|Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y.||$173,900||$1,600,000|
|Rep. Mark Kirk, R-Ill.||$1,900,000||$4,200,000|
|Rep. John Kline, R-Minn||$170,900||$989,100|
|Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Calif.||$31,800||$748,000|
|Rep. Daniel E. Lungren, R-Calif.||$147,700||$622,500|
|Rep. Howard McKeon, R-Calif.||$132,100||$1,100,000|
|Rep. Gary Miller, R-Calif.||$144,500||$902,000|
|Rep. Harry Mitchell, D-Ariz.||$130,900||$558,000|
|Rep. Sue Myrick, R-S.C.||$93,600||$1,200,000|
|Rep. Soloman Ortiz, D-Texas||$40,200||$381,700|
|Rep. George Radanovich, R-Calif.||$24,900||$462,000|
|Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala.||$128,200||$1,000,000|
|Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky.||$50,200||$468,000|
|Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla.||$127,000||$986,000|
|Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.||$531,500||$1,900,000|
|Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio||$121,900||$519,700|
|Rep. John Shadegg, R-Ariz.||$39,700||$1,200,000|
|Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa.||$30,700||$403,600|
|Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Ind.||$20,500||$266,900|
|Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo.||$112,500||$524,200|
|Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas||$258,900||$1,300,000|
|Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind.||$40,500||$405,800|
|Rep. Zack Space, D-Ohio||$169,300||$476,300|
|Rep. John Sullivan, R-Okla.||$79,200||$494,800|
|Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb.||$202,600||$1,400,000|
|Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas||$42,500||$603,400|
|Rep. Patrick Tiberi, R-Ohio||$555,500||$2,800,000|
|Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich.||$81,700||$929,400|
|Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore.||$180,700||$732,400|
|Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn.||0||$715,700|
|Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C.||$155,500||$580,200|
|Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va.||$90,400||$1,100,000|
Via Jack Stuef
CNN is doing a documentary on the three or four people who are young American conservative activists, so they decided they would follow around that criminal James O’Keefe, the guy who made those ACORN videos and tried to rape Mary Landrieu’s phones. But you know the one thing they weren’t expecting? They weren’t expecting James O’Keefe to try to lure CNN reporter Abbie Boudreau alone onto a boat filled with dildos and lube and a “condom jar” and “fuzzy handcuffs” and “an obvious sex tape machine,” so this is precisely what he did. Presumably it was to record himself raping her, of course, but O’Keefe says it was just a goof. Huh?
Thankfully, Boudreau was tipped off by O’Keefe’s female colleague, Izzy Santa. (Haha, IS HE SANTA? IS HE?)
“I noticed [Santa] had a little bit of dirt on her face, her lip was shaking, she seemed really uncomfortable and I asked her if she was OK,” Boudreau said. “The first thing she basically said to me was, ‘I’m not recording you, I’m not recording you. Are you recording me?’ I said, ‘No, I’m not recording you,’ and she showed me her digital recorder and it was not recording.”
Santa told Boudreau that O’Keefe planned to “punk” her by getting on a boat where hidden cameras were set up.
Haha, “punk’d,” that is a thing hip young people say in 2010.
CNN got hold of a document that supposedly is O’Keefe’s plans.
“Instead, I’ve decided to have a little fun. Instead of giving her a serious interview, I’m going to punk CNN. Abbie has been trying to seduce me to use me, in order to spin a lie about me. So, I’m going to seduce her, on camera, to use her for a video. This bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who comes on at five will get a taste of her own medicine, she’ll get seduced on camera and you’ll get to see the awkwardness and the aftermath.
Oh, we get it! It’s because all attractive women want to have sex with James O’Keefe. How can you resist that O’Keefe charm? CNN won’t like it very much when their reporter is forced to have sex with him on a boat! (Forced as in forced by her amazing sexual attraction to him, not rape or anything like that.)
This is why CNN should not employ women. They’re too liable to want to fuck James O’Keefe.
Also included in this story? This hilarious list of items in the boat!
1. hidden cams on the boat
2. tripod and overt recorder near the bed, an obvious sex tape machine
1. condom jar
a. Alicia keys
b. 80s romance songs, things that are typically James
c. avoid Marvin Gaye as too cliche
5. ceiling mirror
6. posters and paintings of naked women
7. playboys and pornographic magazines
9. Viagra and stamina pills
10. fuzzy handcuffs
Looks like journalism to us, James O’Keefe. [CNN]
Via Ian Millhiser
On Fox News Sunday this morning, host Chris Wallace noted that the GOP’s “Pledge To America” has been widely panned even by conservatives. In response, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who played a lead role in drafting the Pledge, claimed that two publications praised his plan:
WALLACE: Congressman McCarthy, a number of conservatives aren’t buying this. Let’s take a look at what Erick Erickson, of the conservative website RedState had to say about this document. He said “it is full of mom-tested, kid-approved pablum that will make certain hearts on the right sing in solidarity. But like a diet full of sugar, it will actually do nothing but keep making Washington fatter before we crash from the sugar high.”
MCCARTHY: But National Review says it’s bolder than the Contract of ‘94. Wall Street Journal says it will do more to shrink the federal government. It’s like when the Contract came out. There’s going to be attacks on both sides.
McCarthy misrepresents the right-wing Wall Street Journal editorial page’s reaction to the Pledge. In truth, the WSJ gave a the Pledge a decidedly mixed review, stating that the pledge is “less specific in offering new ideas than was the GOP’s 1994 Contract with America,” and it attacks the Pledge for its unambitious approach to earmarks, health care and tax policy.
The conservative National Review did indeed praise the Pledge, as “compelling,” “praiseworthy,” and “a shrewd political document,” but that’s only half the story. As ThinkProgress noted yesterday, the National Review’s hagiographic editorial was prearranged with GOP leadership. One Republican aide called the editorial a “political blowjob.”
There’s a reason why McCarthy could only cite one source that wholeheartedly endorses his party’s trainwreck of a plan. The National Review’s political fellatio aside, public reaction to the GOP Pledge has been almost universally negative.
People don't seem to be particularly impressed with the Republican Party's new Pledge to America, do they?
The way I see it, at least it got the Republicans recycling…