Obama’s Reform Agenda: Batting .500
I’m only talking about the financial industry overhaul and health insurance reform, since those are the two main reform bills that have already been voted on.
Reining in Wall Street: a Base Hit! This bill still has to survive a Senate vote and that probably won’t be until next year. But the financial overhaul bill made it through the House. This bill creates a new agency to protect consumers from sleazy banking tactics. Republicans tried but failed to delete this new agency from the bill.
The bill also gives the government the authority to break up large “too big to fail” companies whose failure would take everybody else down with them.
And just today, Obama had some harsh words for the Wall Street Marie Antoinettes who’ve been lobbying (using OUR tax dollars!) against any kind of financial reform. He told those flaming douchebags to take their greed and contempt and shove it up their fuckin’ asses so hard it’ll get jammed in their throats. (I’m paraphrasing.)
He criticized banks that received trillion-dollar taxpayer handouts and are now “fighting tooth and nail with their lobbyists” to prevent financial reform. He said the economy is just now starting to recover from the “irresponsibility” of Wall Street firms that “gambled on risky loans and complex financial products” and almost took the whole country down with them when they lost. He said “It was, as some have put it, risk management without the management.”
Obama also told 60 Minutes (his interview is supposed to be broadcast tomorrow night): “The people on Wall Street still don't get it. ... They're still puzzled why it is that people are mad at the banks. Well, let's see. You guys are drawing down $10, $20 million bonuses after America went through the worst economic year ... in decades and you guys caused the problem.”
Meanwhile, in the continuing adventures of our watered-down health care “reform” bill: STEEERIKE THREEE!!!
I didn’t think you could water down something that’s already been diluted beyond recognition. But our prostitutes in the Senate — under strict orders from their johns in the insurance industry — managed to find a way.
Several days ago, when the Senate FINALLY came up with SOMETHING, I was relieved. Sure the bill was disappointing. It sucked. But after months of arguing and nitpicking about everything from abortion to death panels to the end of America's "Freedom!" — they finally agreed on something.
And then a mysterious amendment was “discovered” in the bill. Nobody knew how it got there. They were mystified. Shocked! Hidden in a section entitled “No Lifetime or Annual Limits” was an innocuous little sentence allowing insurance companies to place annual financial limits on a patient’s health care, as long as these limits are “not unreasonable.”
Aw heck, that shouldn’t be a problem. Insurance companies being unreasonable???
And the Senate prostitutes are all completely dumbfounded. “Huh. How’d that get in there?” Sort of like a bunch of 6th graders throwing spitballs and paper airplanes when the teacher’s back is turned. And when the teacher turns around, they’re all wide-eyed and “who, me?”
Except, these senators are grownups (chronologically at least) and they’re “earning” six-figure salaries, courtesy of OUR tax dollars.