Archive for the ‘Citizens’ Category
Rights are an inherent part of the American psyche, at least as much as the fabled baseball and Mom’s apple pie. More so, as we don’t get nostalgic about rights bestowed upon us by our Creator – they’re just there. Like our right hand, we know it is there and cannot imagine what it would be like if it were missing, and we have little sayings such as “know [it] like the back of my hand”… but how often do you really look at the back of your hand?
There seems to be such a lot of confusion about those rights we all purport to know so well. Call it a normative bias, or just too much TV (when the national conversation is that the Second Amendment only protects hunting, but health care is a human right, you know someone is surely confused about something). The biggest intellectual distortion of them all appears to be the difference between rights and privileges.
Privilege just means “private law”. The utilization of resources perhaps not available to all, in order to bring about beneficial circumstances to you personally. Human rights are natural law, a set of rules under which you are born, and under no circumstance may be taken away. The fabled “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, for example. The difference between rights and privileges is easy to delineate, and yet profound. Even the Founding Fathers missed the mark, although perhaps the Bill of Rights and Constitution were always meant to be a codified wish list. Heinlein explained this quite well.
“Ah, yes, the ‘unalienable rights.’ Each year someone quotes that magnificent poetry. Life? What ‘right’ to life has a man who is drowning in the Pacific? The ocean will not hearken to his cries.
As to liberty, the heroes who signed the great document pledged themselves to buy liberty with their lives. Liberty is never unalienable; it must be redeemed regularly with the blood of patriots or it always vanishes. Of all the so-called natural human rights that have ever been invented, liberty is the least likely to be cheap and is never free of cost.” ~ Colonel DuBois, Starship Troopers
Health care as a human right is too simple to disprove, the brain cells hardly have to break a sweat. Health care is something which must be provided by others; medicines, testing equipment, the time of people who have exerted themselves to gain knowledge and experience, all things which are necessary to provide “health care” and all things which have value. To require others to give all of this to you without giving them something of equal value in compensation is merely a polite way to describe stealing, and to force another man to offer the effort of his labor for your enrichment, and no benefit to him, is slavery. Advocating common thievery and enslavement in the name of compassion shows how far critical thinking skills have deteriorated in this country.
The human right to health and health care does not exist and never has. A child does not have a natural right endowed by their Creator to be born in perfect health. No man who smokes for thirty years has the natural right to genes unsympathetic to the growth of cancerous lung cells, nor does he have the right to use a gun to force a doctor to cure him of the effects of his thirty-year dissipation. What humans have instead is the right to decide to exert their privileges in order to eat healthy meals, lead active lives, moderate all dangerous or risky consumption/behaviors, and get out in the fresh air from time to time, and to take whatever lumps come their way. That is what a natural right looks like.
Shining a light on the delusion of a natural right to peacefully assemble in public, say, is a bit more difficult. Fortunately, governments have already demonstrably proven this all by their onesies. Tiananmen Square. Kent State. Greece. Americans very recently watched hundreds of cops descend on other Americans peacefully assembling in public; shooting Americans in the head, beating Americans, handcuffing Americans tightly enough to cause long-term damage and leaving Americans in cuffs until they soiled themselves, and finally ordering $10,000 bonds for jaywalking violations. Doesn’t sound like much of an inherent unalienable right, does it?
Right to liberty? NDAA.
Freedom of speech? Watch lists. Warrantless wiretaps. Alphabet agencies with keyword alerts and searches. FBI citizen files.
Freedom to travel for private non-commercial purposes, a perfected right? Checkpoints. Show me your license, insurance, registration. Government-issued identification required.
Freedom of religion? Crosses and prayer banned in public schools.
To wit, those human rights of which Americans are so proud – habeus corpus, mens rea, freedom of speech, the sanctity of private property – are no longer available in America. Rather, we have seen these same inherent human rights be violated time and time again, but we persist in knowing, deep in our heads, that those rights that have been denied to others are still available to us, should we need to use them. We are different than those other Americans. Right?
More fool you. A benevolent Creator may have bestowed upon the created a certain set of inalienable rights, the number depending upon the privilege of country of birth (Rwanda doesn’t seem to have many, but can’t really think of any that are more than marginally better in anything but rhetoric) . That same Creator may also have seen fit to bestow at birth perfect health. What you do to enforce that health and those rights afterward is entirely your business.
Ah, that’s the sticky wicket, eh wot? Enforcement, and whose job that is. The government’s? American government is on a nearly century-long blatant campaign to hem round and limit “inalienable” rights. They’re so terribly inconvenient to government control and bureaucratic power. Your Creator, maybe? Let us know how that works out for you. Other Americans, then. Perhaps we should all wait quietly and safely in our homes whilst others risk all to enforce our inalienable rights. Yeah, that’s a great idea! We’ll just wait for someone else to step up to the plate!
In truth rights once codified were never inalienable – codifying them would have been redundant if they were. Those rights we cherish, once held and hope to have again are privileges, and as all men know privileges are earned. We Americans were fortunate to be descended from men who once earned those rights for us, paid the price in blood and sacrifice and, for many, their lives. Those rights were never bought, however, merely leased. The lease has expired. Further privilege must again be earned – not given by the government, or by your Creator, or by waiting for someone else to make the sacrifice to earn it back.
Start mourning the loss of your comfy little lives, couch-potato existence, coddled push-button middle-class safety now. If it helps, it was always a legal and financial fiction. Hard times are coming. You can pray for easier lives, for the Federal Reserve to kick the economic can, for someone else to make the sacrifice to save American values… or you can pray to be stronger men.
by Jo Newton
If Americans will trample one another just to save a few dollars on a television, what will they do when society breaks down and the survival of their families is at stake? Once in a while an event comes along that gives us a peek into what life could be like when the thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted is stripped away. For example, when Hurricane Sandy hit New York and New Jersey there wasrampant looting and within days people were digging around in supermarket dumpsters looking for food. Sadly, “Black Friday” also gives us a look at how crazed the American people can be when given the opportunity. This year was no exception. Once again we saw large crowds of frenzied shoppers push, shove, scratch, claw, bite and trample one another just to save a few bucks on cheap foreign-made goods. And of course most retailers seem to be encouraging this type of behavior. Most of them actually want people frothing at the mouth and willing to fight one another to buy their goods. But is this kind of “me first” mentality really something that we want to foster as a society? If people are willing to riot to save money on a cell phone, what would they be willing to do to feed their families? Are the Black Friday riots a very small preview of the civil unrest that is coming when society eventually breaks down?
Once upon a time, Thanksgiving was not really a commercial holiday. It was a time to get together with family and friends, eat turkey and express thanks for the blessings that we have been given.
But in recent years Black Friday has started to become even a bigger event than Thanksgiving itself.
Millions of Americans have become convinced that it is fun to wait in long lines outside retail stores in freezing cold weather in the middle of the night to spend money that they do not have on things that they do not need.
And of course very, very few “Black Friday deals” are actually made in America. So these frenzied shoppers are actually killing American jobs and destroying the U.S. economy as well.
The absurdity of Black Friday was summed up very well recently in a statement that has already been retweeted on Twitter more than 1,000 times…
It has gotten to the point where it is now expected that there will be mini-riots all over the country early on Black Friday morning each year. The following are a few examples of the craziness that we saw this year…
Fortunately, many Americans are starting to get fed up with Black Friday. In fact, one activist named Mark Dice actually went out and heckled Black Friday shoppers this year. I found the following You Tube video to be very funny, and I think most of you will too…
In the end, it is not that big of a deal that people want to fight with one another to save 50 dollars on a cell phone.
But this kind of extreme selfishness and desperation could become a massive problem someday if society breaks down and suddenly millions of extremely selfish and desperate people are scrambling for survival.
With each passing day our economy is getting even weaker, and the next wave of the economic collapse is rapidly approaching. What are people going to do when the next spike in unemployment hits us and nobody can find work?
To get an idea of where things are headed, just look at Europe. In both Greece and Spain the unemployment rate is over 25 percent and civil unrest has become almost a constant problem in both of those countries.
So what kind of riots will we see in the United States when the economy gets much worse than it is now?
Already there are signs of social decay all around us, and most Americans are completely unprepared for what will happen if a major disaster or emergency does strike.
Sadly, the reality is that most Americans live on a month to month basis. Most families do not have any emergency savings to speak of, and one recent poll found that 55 percent of all Americans only have enough food in their homes to survive for three days or less.
To me, that is an absolutely insane number.
We just came through a summer of extreme drought and global food supplies have dropped to a 40 year low. Our world is becoming increasingly unstable, and the global financial system could fall apart at any time. Most of us just assume that there will always be huge amounts of very cheap food available to us, but unfortunately that simply is not a safe assumption. The following is from a recent article in the Guardian…
Evan Fraser, author of Empires of Food and a geography lecturer at Guelph University in Ontario, Canada, says: “For six of the last 11 years the world has consumed more food than it has grown. We do not have any buffer and are running down reserves. Our stocks are very low and if we have a dry winter and a poor rice harvest we could see a major food crisis across the board.”
“Even if things do not boil over this year, by next summer we’ll have used up this buffer and consumers in the poorer parts of the world will once again be exposed to the effects of anything that hurts production.”
When I watch my fellow Americans trample one another to get a deal on a television or a video game, it makes me wonder what they would be willing to do if they went to the store someday and all the food was gone.
Desperate people do desperate things, and someday if there was a major economic breakdown in the United States I think the level of desperation in this country would be extremely frightening.
So what do you think? Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below…
Government promises to public employees have created “zero-risk” Wonderlands protected from the market forces of risk and consequence. These islands of privilege are snapping back to join the real economy.
Every government entity that reckoned it was moated from the market economy will be snapped back to “discover” risk and consequence. Let’s lay out the dynamic:
1. Every government can only spend what its economy generates in surplus.
2. Every government transfers risk and consequence from itself, its employees and its favored vested interests to the citizenry and taxpayers.
3. Every government collects and distributes the surplus of its private sector to its employees, favored constituencies and vested interests.
4. Since the government (State) promises guaranteed salaries, benefits and entitlements to its employees and favored constituencies, these individuals believe they are living in a risk-free Wonderland that is completely protected from the market economy.
5. Risk cannot be repealed or eliminated, it can only be masked or transferred to others.
6. The Federal government and the Federal Reserve have pursued a policy of inflating serial speculative credit-based bubbles.
7. These bubbles inflated assets, profits and taxes, creating the illusion that blow-off speculative tops were “the new normal.”
8. Speculative credit-based bubbles misallocate capital and incentivize malinvestment on a spectacular scale.
9. Once the bubble deflates, the capital is lost or trapped in illiquid malinvestments.
10. As a direct result of the dot-com bubble, Stockton’s tax revenues (general fund) leaped to $139 million in 2001. As a direct consequence of the housing bubble, it jumped to $186 million in 2007.
11. This “new normal” encouraged the belief that the stock market would double or triple every decade into the future, generating 8%+ annual returns for public union employee pension funds.
12. The city government granted employees open-ended guarantees of lifetime healthcare coverage.
13. This meant that there was no limit on the cost of each employee’s benefits.
14. As noted here many times, healthcare costs rise by 7%-10% every year, even as the economy which supports healthcare grows by 2% on average.
15. Healthcare alone will bankrupt the nation, and the bankruptcy of entities that promised open-ended healthcare is merely one manifestation of the coming bankruptcy of the entire sickcare/entitlement Status Quo.
16. Once the stock market reverts to the mean and is revalued to the “new normal” of global recession and low earnings growth, it will decline by 40% or more and yields will remain around 2%.
17. Pension funds earning 2% at best based on expectations of permanent 8% returns cannot sustainably pay the benefits promised.
18. If the city attempts to make up the shortfall annually, the services provided to the citizenry will be gutted. The risk and consequence of malinvestment and favoritism has been offloaded onto the citizens while those protected by the government moat live “risk-free” lives of guaranteed pensions and benefits.
19. The public-employee pension and healthcare benefits were separated from the market economy with this government guarantee: regardless of what happens in the real economy, you will be paid pensions and benefits that have zero exposure to the market economy and private-sector pensions/benefits.
20. In effect, the government has placed its employees and vested interests in a moated “risk-free” zone outside the market economy. The risk that is distributed to all participants in an open market (i.e. a democracy) is transferred to the citizens and taxpayers.
21. Any government that siphons off an increasing share of its taxpayers’ disposable income (to distribute to the privileged few) in return for declining services will eventually be overthrown by the citizenry and taxpayers who must bear the full consequences of the city’s mismanagement of their capital and income.
22. Every city, county and state in the U.S. which has secured a risk-free wonderland for its favored few will “snap back” into the real economy and face the discipline of the credit market and the “discovery” of price and value.
23. Risk cannot be eliminated by government mandate, it can only be transferred to others. No government entity can maintain a “risk-free” fortress outside the market forever. The moat around Wonderland will be drained or filled, regardless of what promises were made.
24. Government has no mechanism to transparently price risk, value and return on investment. The market will “discover” all these and re-set government services and salaries accordingly.
Charles Hugh Smith – Of Two Minds
Just when you think that things can’t get more stupid in my old town of Chitcago, the political folks open their mouths and remove all doubt.
When asked about the “gap” between law enforcement and the black community, McCarthy reached back 400 years for an answer.
“It’s a big issue. It’s a long time coming. We’ve done a lot of things wrong in policing in this country. I’m willing to admit that,” said McCarthy. “But this goes back 200-300 years to the time when Pilgrims came here and things developed from that, the African American experience in this country.”
But the Pilgrims weren’t the only people being blamed for the violence. The superintendent also laid blame at the feet of America’s finest and inferred – without actually stating it – that white police officers are the problem.
But playing the race card is equally stupid.
But for decades, vast sums of money have been poured into poor communities on Chicago’s South and West sides.
Where has the money gone?
It’s been stolen. See, economic empowerment, starting with the removal of incentives to be a thug (and yes, getting rid of the drug war would be a big help) isn’t really on any of these people’s agenda. It’s far more profitable to blame “whitey” and repress the people, then claim that you can “fix it” if just a bit more freedom (and a lot more money!) is sacrificed on your unholy altar.
Instead, how about this idea: The City of Chicago recognizes the 2nd Amendment. In full. Be a thug, you might get shot. By a law-abiding citizen who answers your thuggery with a couple of 1,000 fps hunks of lead hurled at your center-of-mass.
Senseless violence? Oh there’s plenty of that. And plenty of stupid too. Like Heaven Sutton. Where do I start with that? A kid selling “candy” at 11:00 PM in the middle of an area known for gang activity? Really, candy? What sort of candy was she selling, may I ask, and to whom?
Who knows if the alleged gang-banger is really the person who shot the kid; it appears from what I can determine that this was a “two gangs in one place, someone starts blasting” incident. Am I surprised? Oh hell no, not when only criminals have guns — everyone else who is law-abiding has been disarmed by Constitution-ignoring — that is, a lawless – government!
Of course the gang-bangers don’t care if it’s “illegal” to carry (and use!) a gun — that’s why we call them criminals. The first rule of being a criminal is that you don’t give a damn about the law. The second one appears to be that you pick up a “hot” pistol and that you’re prepared to use it.
When you really need someone to put a stop to the asshole waving a pistol around and shooting people with it right damn now the police will be there in 5 minutes — or 10, or 20. Just dial 911 and the hearses will be be right over to carry off the dead.
It wouldn’t take very long for this crap to stop were Chitcago to stop being stupid and make legal Constitutional Carry. See, gang-bangers may be many things, but none of them are really all that interested in being DRT (Dead Right THERE), which is exactly what they would be were that change to be implemented.
The fact is that the law-abiding citizens radically outnumber the gang-bangers and while more dead bodies is not a good answer to any particular problem if there are going to be dead bodies due to the acts and decisions taken by gang-bangers I prefer ex-gang-bangers instead of ex-7 year old girls.
In the meantime, until and unless Rahm pulls his head out of his ass (which, incidentally, is unlikely to happen — ever) nor is it likely that the residents of Chitcago will demand that the Jackass-in-Chief abdicate and be replaced by someone who actually read the Bill of Rights my recommendation is that everyone avoid Chitcago. Don’t do business there and definitely don’t visit and spend money.
You’re an unarmed target and that’s exactly how the thugs – and City Government – like it.
Discussion (registration required to post)
I hate bankers and so should you. Why? Because bankers steal a little bit of Christmas cheer
every year. For the past several years, bankers have stolen a lot of Christmas
cheer. Like the Grinch from Dr. Seuss’s famous children’s tale, How the Grinch
Stole Christmas, bankers have hearts two sizes too small, and by means of
burglary, they do their best to deprive everyone of Christmas every year. Only
unlike the Grinch, despite stealing from people every year, bankers never learn
and never reform, they never return to the people the vast amounts of money
they stole from them, and they are cold-hearted and arrogant enough to claim
that they are doing “God’s work” (as stated by Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO
Lloyd Blankfein, when in reality, they do much more harm to society as a whole
than good. And this makes the majority of bankers worse than the even the
loathed Grinch himself.
Since the institution of banking was founded, bankers have
been guilty of deceit, fraud and theft. During Biblical times, “Jesus went into
the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and
overthrew the tables of the moneychangers [bankers]..And he taught, saying unto
them, Is it not written, my house shall be called of all nations the house of
prayer? But ye have made it a den of thieves.” (Mark 11:15-17)
Fast forward almost a couple thousand years later, and
bankers were still committing the same theft. In fact, over a period of
eighteen hundred years, bankers learned nothing from being cast out by Jesus
from the temples, and they continued to commit such questionable acts of
morality that even a man of very questionable character himself showed nothing
but contempt for them. Though historians noted that former US President Jackson
committed numerous hateful acts against Choctaw, Chikasaw, and Cherokee
American Indians, Jackson despised bankers so much, that in front of a
delegation of bankers, he stated the following:
“Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time, and
I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the
breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you,
and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the
deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand
families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you
go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are
a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the eternal God,
I will rout you out.”
Fast forward another one hundred and eighty years, and we
discover that bankers have failed to evolve even a tiny iota from their
deceitful nature. When ex-CEO and former US Secretary Henry Paulson lied to the
American people and to US Congress by asking for more than $800 billion of
funds for the purposes of helping American home owners and then committed the
ultimate bait-and-switch fraud by handing this money to his banking friends, he
epitomized the very warning Andrew Jackson levied against bankers in the
1800’s: “When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost,
you charged it to the bank.” In this case, Paulson acted beyond the normal
level of immorality of bankers, and charged the banks’ losses to every single
American citizen. Unlike the
Grinch, who repented from the error of his ways over a period of a few days,
bankers have refused to repent for the unsound monetary system they have
created for more than two thousand years!
To understand why Jesus threw bankers out of the temple, why
a former governor of the Bank of England stated that banking “was born in sin”,
and why Andrew Jackson, a focus of much hatred and contempt among American
Indians, viewed bankers as so immoral, that despite his own immense character
flaws, he made it his own personal crusade to throw out all bankers from US
government, one must understand how bankers continually rob all citizens of
their wealth every day. To state that bankers lie, deceive, rob and steal from
all citizens every day is not an exaggeration. The means by which they do so
today has drastically changed from the means they employed centuries ago, so
this is why so few people understand that bankers continually rob them. Most people don’t understand that
bankers ensure the continual devaluation of the purchasing power of all money
in the system by not only literally creating money out of nothing but also by
creating money as debt.
This process, to which they cleverly assign the word
“inflation” is in reality a tax that constitutes a direct theft of your
savings, and no different than the tax British monarch King George imposed upon
the American colonists that triggered the American Revolution. The bankers have
only changed the mechanism by which they collect this tax, and the word that
they use to describe this mechanism. In America, this hidden tax of inflation,
which is a euphemism for the devaluation of the currency that sits in your
savings account, is directly responsible for the following situation that Eric
Schlosser described in his national bestseller, Fast Food Nation:
“It used to be, even in low income families, that the father
worked and the mother stayed home to raise the children. Now it seems that no
one’s home and that both parents work just to make ends meet, often holding
down two or three jobs. Parents increasingly turn to the school for help,
asking teachers to supply discipline and direction.”
The above paragraph described the family life of many
families that lived in Middle America almost a decade ago. Due to an unsound
monetary system that has led to relentless devaluation of the US dollar, the
situation described above will explode in intensity and magnitude over the next
five years, and affect everyone in America, no matter your income level and
socio-economic status. As the US dollar continues to lose purchasing power,
despite a current possible extended rally against the pound and Euro,
middle-class America will sink into the ranks of the poor. If the world operated on a sound monetary system, even in low-income families, the mother could still stay home to raise the children. Today, even in middle-class families, thanks to bankers, the mother does not have the option to stay home and raise the children. When the situation
of both parents working two or three jobs and their kids attending high school
while working 20+ hours a week is still not enough to make ends meet, crime
will explode in America during the next five years. It is the critical problems
of these very families that the bankers are creating through their monetary
policies that will come home to roost in America.
In reality, I don’t hold hatred in my heart for anyone.
Christmas is a time for forgiveness and none among us are infallible and none
among us are without sin. Yet, to be forgiven, those that continually do wrong
must repent, and bankers have yet to do anything that demonstrates that they
have even the slightest amount of regret and remorse for the economic upheaval
and chaos that they have created throughout the world in recent years. The
rich, though they may not care to understand the tale of How the Bankers Stole
Christmas now, should make it their prerogative to understand this as soon as
possible. Why? The current course the bankers have set us on has ensured that
the rich will soon become victims of desperate masses of people in their
country that will see a huge degradation in their quality of life due to the
recent monetary policies bankers have elected to impose upon their
citizens. When large portions of
the middle class are destroyed, masses of people that never considered stealing
before, will steal and loot due to the simple instinct of survival, and a great
battle between “the haves” and the “have nots” will ensue in future years in
many developed countries, as crazy as this concept sounds today. Should the
people choose to understand “How the Bankers Stole Christmas”, the
inevitable massive increase in crime that will accompany the sinking of the
middle class into poverty can be avoided.
If instead, everyone chooses to buy into the propaganda of
the bankers, then this same scenario, as crazy as it sounds today, will come
true in the future just as the “crazy” stock market crashes I predicted in 2006
eventually materialized in 2008.
And the biggest culprit of this shameful scenario, should it
materialize, will embarrassingly be our own refusal to see the truth about how
bankers have commandeered today’s “modern” monetary system for their own
benefit, and their own benefit only, to the detriment of every single citizen
they claim to be helping. If one doubts the enormous reach of banker’s
tentacles into governments, then perhaps now is a good time to review former
IMF Chief Economist’s Simon Johnson’s brilliant article, “The Quiet Coup”.
Senator Sanders To Place 'Hold' On Bernanke Reconfirmation, Chairman Will Need 60 Senate Votes To Override
Tomorrow’s Bernanke reconfirmation hearing just got more interesting, courtesy of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders who has stated he will put a “hold” on the Bernanke confirmation process, meaning the Senate will need to amass 60 votes in order to override and proceed with the confirmation process. Yet as the NYT notes: “though the Senate has been paralyzed by similar blocking tactics on
countless other issues, Mr. Bernanke probably has enough support in
both parties to clear the 60-vote hurdle.” It is time to call your Senators and remind them that at best only 21% of Americans favor Bernanke’s reappointment.
Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont, said Wednesday that he would try to block the Senate from confirming Ben S. Bernanke to a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve.
The move is unlikely to derail Mr. Bernanke’s reappointment, but it
could slow the confirmation process and give the Fed’s critics
additional opportunity to press their case. As a practical matter, it
means Senate Democratic leaders will have to line up 60 votes in favor
of Mr. Bernanke rather than a simple majority at a time when the
Federal Reserve is under increasing populist attacks from lawmakers on
both the right and the left.
Mr. Sanders, an independent, is not a member of the Senate Banking
Committee, but he has frequently accused the Federal Reserve of bailing
out Wall Street firms and the banking industry at the expense of
“In this country, there is profound disgust
at what happened on Wall Street,” Mr. Sanders said in a telephone
interview. “People want a new direction and people are asking, where
was the Fed? How did the Fed allow this to happen, when one of their
mandates to oversee the safety and soundness of the banking system?”
Sanders said he would place a “hold” on Mr. Bernanke’s nomination when
it reaches the Senate floor. Under Senate rules, lawmakers would need
to amass 60 votes to override Mr. Sanders and proceed with a vote on
As pointed out previously, Bernanke is a Bush legacy, yet is somehow supposed to represent Obama’s “change” agenda:
The Fed chairman was originally appointed by President George W. Bush
and took over the central bank in February 2006. Despite his Republican
ties, Mr. Bernanke forged a close working relationship with President Obama and his top economic advisers during the financial crisis.
And some more potential wild cards in tomorrow’s historing hearing:
Senator Christopher J. Dodd,
Democrat of Connecticut and chairman of the banking committee, has said
Mr. Bernanke was “probably” the best person to lead the Fed because he
responded valiantly to the financial crisis when it began two years ago.
Mr. Dodd has also proposed stripping the Federal Reserve of virtually
all its powers as a banking regulator, and consolidating all the
federal government’s bank regulatory efforts in a new agency. In an
Op-Ed article last Sunday in The Washington Post, Mr. Bernanke sharply
criticized Mr. Dodd’s proposal.
Senator Richard C. Shelby
of Alabama, the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, has
also been sharply critical of the Federal Reserve but has not yet said
how he would vote on Mr. Bernanke’s nomination.
Even with Zero Hedge polling indicates a mere 11% of our readers would support Bernanke’s reconfirmation, a different poll by Rasmussen finds a comparable result: only 21% favor Bernanke as Chairman.
And here is a reminder of the confirmation whip count in the Senate Banking Committee:
Definite no: 2
Lean no: 3
No indication: 6
Lean yes: 7
Definite yes: 5
Definite no: 2
Bernie Sanders (I-VT):
Senator Bernard Sanders, a Vermont independent who isn’t on the banking committee, said Nov. 29 on ABC television’s “This Week” that he will “absolutely not vote for Mr. Bernanke” and that the Fed chief is “part of the problem.”
Jim Bunning (R-KY):
Jim Bunning, the Kentucky Republican who was the only senator to oppose Bernanke’s first nomination in 2005, hasn’t changed his views.
‘His job rating would be zero minus F,’ Bunning said in an interview yesterday. ‘He has catered to the big banks, to the Wall Street elitists, to every major money concern in the country and in the world.’
It is possible that one or both of these Senators will place a “hold” on the nomination. Such a procedural move would at least delay a vote on Bernake, which would provide opponents of his reconfirmation time to organize. For more details on what a “hold” is, check Tom Coburn’s website (no one places more holds than Coburn).
Lean no: 3
Jim DeMint (R-SC):
“He’s [Bernanke's] going to face some tough questions because he’s got a lot to answer for,” leading Fed critic Sen. Jim DeMint said through a spokesman. “The Fed’s mission is to guard the value of the dollar and to focus on employment, and right now their track record is looking very poor.”
Richard Shelby (R-AL):
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the top Republican on the Banking committee, would not say how he would vote on Bernanke’s nomination, only encouraging reporters to stay tuned for the chairman’s hearing this week.
“I used to be a big defender of the Fed,” he said, adding he believes the institution has “utterly failed” in its role for regulating financial institutions.”
David Vitter (R-LA): As a support of auditing the Fed, everything I have heard is that Vitter is a no–and is even possibly willing to put a hold on Bernake. Still, lacking a public statement to that effect, I won’t put him in the “definite no” category.
No indication: 6
Michael Bennet (D-CO): No word for Bennet one way or the other. His primary challenger, Andrew Romanoff, might be an interesting way to move Bennet on this one.
Mike Crapo (R-ID): Praised Bernanke’s nomination in 2005, but no word on where he stands now.
Herb Kohl (D-WI)
Three said they’re undecided, including Wisconsin’s Herb Kohl, Jon Tester of Montana and Jeff Merkley of Oregon.
Kay Baily Hutchinson (R-TX): I can’t find any indication on Hutchison, one way or the other.
Three said they’re undecided, including Wisconsin’s Herb Kohl, Jon Tester of Montana and Jeff Merkley of Oregon.
Three said they’re undecided, including Wisconsin’s Herb Kohl, Jon Tester of Montana and Jeff Merkley of Oregon.
Lean Yes: 7
Robert Bennett (R-UT)
Utah’s Robert Bennett said he’ll probably vote in favor
Sherrod Brown (D-OH):
“He’s been far from perfect,” Senator Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, said in an interview yesterday. “He was not quick enough responding last year to many of these issues that we care about, particularly in housing. I want him to focus on jobs. But I think he’s generally done a decent job.”
Tom Carper (D-DE):
“Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) all said they’d wait until hearing from Bernanke.”
Bob Corker (R-TN)
Corker noted that he leans toward supporting a second term for the Fed chairman, who was nominated in August to a second term by President Barack Obama, but acknowledged gripes toward the Fed chairman on the left and the right.”
Chris Dodd (D-CT, chair):
I’m inclined to be supportive. I think he’s done a far better job in the last couple of years than he did initially.
Charles Schumer (D-NY):
Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) all said they’d wait until hearing from Bernanke.
Mark Warner (D-VA): Over email, a spokesman for Mark Warner told me “Senator Warner is inclined to be supportive of Bernanke’s reappointment, but he’s certainly not a fan of expanding the role or the power of the Fed as part of financial re-reg.”
Definite Yes: 5
Daniel Akaka (D-HI): Bloomberg reports Akaka is a yes.
Evan Bayh (D-IN): Bayh was the first prominent Democrat to support Bernanke in 2005. According to Bloomberg, also support him in 2009.
Judd Gregg (R-NH):
Judd Gregg, a New Hampshire Republican, said Nov. 20 he will “absolutely” vote for Bernanke.
Mike Johanns (R-NE):
Among Republicans, Nebraska’s Mike Johanns said Bernanke “will have my support.
Tim Johnson (D-SD):
Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) — a favorite of Wall Street — told HuffPost that he has decided to vote to confirm Bernanke.