Saturday, July 30, 2011

...Teh Cookie Crumbles (7/30/11): Bill

John Oliver/TDSWJS? Fuukin genius. TDSWJS. Stuff like this is what wins Emmys.

I am slightly surprised this (see below) got on air, even cable, at all. The Dodd-Frank bill exists today, in all the splendors which Oliver and Stewart attribute to it, as it does today, in the condition it is in because of the ministrations and attentions of former Senator Chris Dodd. Dodd was retiring from the Senate, and held the powerful Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. He sheparded it through, worked the deals, pulled the strings, called in the favors, and accomplished this! A real work of (some kind of) "Art."

A bit of background: In 2009, recent upsetting events in the economy had made it necessary, everyone agreed, to do something to make it LOOK like the Congress and Prez. Shazama were really interested in "fixing" Wall Street--get your minds out of the kennel!--since the nearly fatal financial implosion in '07 and '08 had eviscerated the job market, thrown millions of "consumers" (formerly, "citizens") into foreclosure , and gutted the hard-fought, hard-earned retirement savings of SCORES of millions of "nice, ordinary, middle-class Americans." While they were not yet in the streets with pitchforks, torches, tubs of tar, bags of feathers and stacks of rails, they were apparently NOTICING something. There were grumblings even in the usually tame corpoRat media. A few influential outliers were making wavers. So, to allay their fears, Shazama and Dodd cobbled together a 2,100 page monstrosity (through which, I am ashamed to admit, I have not even begun to read) of financially coded bullshit, thickly boiler-plated gibberish, and obscurantist legalese ass-wipery.

The Congress obligingly passed it, and Shazama triumphantly signed, it to thunderous, rhetorical volleys proclaiming it the mostets, and powerfulest and far-reachingest regulation of the financial industry in fucking for-EVAR! Yeah! Fist-pump/Bump! Because IT had its own enforcement regime, see! And it was gonna OVERSEE the credit credit and banking industries to prevent abuses of the Customer (formerly, "citizens") by their mast...bankers and investment agents--abuses which had been demonstrated in abso-fucking-lute abondanza! while the system had, for a brief while, begun to unravel and its dirtiest secrets were fleetingly if unremarkedly in the main, exposed to the gaze of the fortunately (and designedly) narcotized and somnolent public.

Of course, it bore Dodd's name because he had seen to it that what had "passed," and was then "signed into law" was mainly a blank sheet, basically, a template, with general terms (2100 fucking pages--a lot of trees died for that excrescence), and blanks where the really important stuff --like the regulations themselves,
which were to be inserted later by the banksters and their allies--was supposed to go. Kinda like a rental contract you pick up at Office Depot, with blanks for personalizing it, except that the terms of rental agreement will be filled in at a later date?

The oversight office was the brainchild of Prof. Elizabeth Warren, about whose adventures in and amid the Shazama regime I have written, already, in this space. She was tipped from the start (by the naifs, at least) to be named to head the office she invented. She was (is) smart, and mostly immune to bullshit of the sort borne by any smarmy, Southern snap-crackkkers. There was, as they say, NO FUCKING WAY the GOPhux were gonna let that happen. Shazama didn't push it; instead shunted her into a powerless position supervising something. Now Congress either has already, or soon will deund the oversight office, and wipe their banker-master's asses with the bill's pages, printed on scented linen.

Oh yeah. Chris Dodd. His pay-off for this tasty bit of corpoRat log-rolling?

He's replaced another complicit, compliant, compromised, corrupt, silver-haired Pol-emeritus, Jack Valenti, as the head of the movie industry lobby. And this is a lifetime appointment. At 7 figures per year, left of teh decimal, and clout, and private planes, and sparkling gewgaws for the trophy wife.

Nice work, Chris.

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