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Thursday, January 05, 2012

Defiant Obama Names Finance Watchdog, Infuriates GOP

The National Memo
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Thursday, January 5, 2012
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The Big Story
A defiant President Barack Obama, tired of Senate Republicans stalling his nominee to lead a new consumer protection agency, put Richard Cordray in charge Wednesday over their opposition. With a director in place, the agency can start overseeing the mortgage companies, payday lenders, debt collectors and other finance outfits often blamed for practices that undermined the economy. "I'm not going to stand by while a minority in the Senate puts party ideology ahead of the people we were elected to serve," Obama said. READ MORE
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Featured Column: E.J. Dionne
Rick Santorum's retro philosophy means that he comes by his class warfare honestly, even if he panders shamelessly on guns and gays, and talks about the straight-laced President Obama as if he embodied the moral sensibilities of Woodstock and Gomorrah. If the Republicans want to have a genuinely searching debate about the future of their party, they'd send Santorum and Jon Huntsman -- both of whom are battling to topple Mitt Romney in New Hampshire -- off for the long fight. READ MORE
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Featured Author: Sally Denton
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's bold New Deal experiments provoked a backlash from the nation's most powerful bankers, industrialists, and Wall Street brokers. When the famous retired Marine general Smedley Darlington Butler accused those interests of soliciting him to lead a Fascist coup d'etat against Roosevelt, the nation was shocked. How serious the threat of the "Business Plot" was to the Roosevelt presidency is debatable. What is clear is that some of the nation's wealthiest men -- Republicans and Democrats alike -- were so threatened by Roosevelt's monetary policies that they actually flirted with anti-government paramilitarism in order to manipulate the presidency. READ MORE
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January is a critical month for the hundreds of thousands of potential Social Security beneficiaries who are reaching their so-called full retirement age in 2012. The important message: All of them should at least consider the possibility of filing for their benefits this month, even though they may not be reaching their retirement age until later in the year. The reason for this early-filing timeframe has to do with some of the quirky and complicated features of Social Security that many people don't know about. READ MORE
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Election 2012
Many Republicans still dislike Mitt Romney, even if his marginal (eight-vote) Iowa win gives him a boost as he travels to friendlier territory in New Hampshire next week. And the conservative movement seems determined not to allow itself to be fractured and defeated as it was in 2008, when the relatively moderate John McCain captured his party's presidential nomination. READ MORE
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Featured Columnist: Mark Schmitt
The Wisconsin Republican recently said that "relentlessly rising health care costs" are wrecking America's finances over the long-term, and it's easy to see this as just a veiled argument for Ryan's plan to end Medicare (yes, I said it; come and get me, Politifact). But we should also acknowledge that there's a big shift here in language about the long-term deficit -- he's no longer blaming it on Social Security. READ MORE
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