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  War is peace. Lies are truth. And, now, Melissa Bean is like Elizabeth Warren. That is the instant thought I had when reading about the rumors that the White House might consider appointing Melissa Bean to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau if she ends up on the short end of the vote count in her House race in Illinois. This is absurd--and it goes far beyond her relationship with the financial industry.

  Melissa Bean has been a voice for corporate America from the first day she took office. Most of the small bits of information I've been sent so far focus on her close ties with the Chamber of Commerce around the financial reform bill:

Bean, a member of the House financial services and small business committees, has a long history as a favorite of Wall Street. Her top donors hail from the finance, insurance, and real estate industries, which together have poured $2.5 million into her campaign coffers over her five-year career, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In the 2008 elections, Bean bagged more money from the Chamber of Commerce, which vehemently opposed the Dodd-Frank bill, than any other House incumbent. And among the top contributors to her 2010 reelection campaign were JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Allstate Insurance, all of which sought to weaken aspects of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill that established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau...

Bean, though, offered a provision backed by big banks and the Chamber of Commerce that would've exempted national banks from those tougher state laws, in effect neutering the states' new oversight powers. Bean was also one of six Democrats to oppose taxing bonuses at government-owned AIG, and she opposed auditing the Federal Reserve. "We're very connected to the business community and very much appreciate the importance of their success to our overall economic recovery," Bean said in March 2009. "We are trying to champion their issues and concerns."
 

  But, it goes deeper. Bean was one of only 15 Democrats to vote for the Central American Free Trade Agreement--which passed by just TWO votes in the House. Even many of the reviled "Blue Dogs" voted against the bill. If just one Democrat of the 15 had voted NO, the bill would have failed on a tie vote--and millions of people throughout Central America would have been spared the ugliness of CAFTA. Among Bean's little group, by the way, was former Rep. William "Dollar Bill" Jefferson--you may remember him...in one of the dumber moves in political corruption history, the guy stashed $90,000 in bribery money in his freezer--and was convicted in August 2009.

  While what the irresponsible people on Wall Street and the financial industry did leading up to 2008 devastated the lives of millions of people and sent our economic system into a nose dive, I believe opposition to Bean must be broader.

  Even before the economic crisis of 2008, a broader economic crisis has taken hold of our country for the past 30 years. What was Wall Street's role in the "good 'ole days" pre Angelo Mozilo-led mortgage-scam? Finance corporate takeover and leveraged buy-outs that were based, almost always, on slashing good-paying jobs to pay off the mountain of debt companies took on. Millions of Americans lost their jobs because of that strategy.

  And so-called "free trade" was a critical part of the game plan. Once jobs were cut here, if global corporations were to be come "lean and mean" and "competitive" around the planet, they needed an environment where wage and regulation arbitrage were in place. That is, where they could find "hospitable" investment locations--meaning, places where wages could be driven down and regulations undone that protected labor, environment or CONSUMER rights.

   So, Bean's record on being a corporate voice is far deeper than just the recent financial reform bill. Having her oversee consumer protection would be as bizarre and Orwellian and unimaginable as having Robert Rubin, former vice-chair of Citibank who advocated aggressively using debt to finance growth only to see his company plunge into an economic tailspin for which he took no responsibility, advising our government on economic strategy...errr...ok, so, that may not be the best example.

     Here is one thought, based on 100 percent idle speculation with no evidence: what is Rahm Emanuel's hand in this? Is this part of his attempt to nail down both contributors and a slice of the political vote in Chicago for his mayoral campaign?

Originally posted to Tasini on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 06:39 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Why are you surprised? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hardhatmama

      This the president has folded every pledge that he ever made while on the campaign trail. Now comes word that he's reneging on the Afghanistan withdrawal. He's a hypocrite and utterly untrustworthy. He's not a liberal andhe's not a fighter.

  •  Absurd? (7+ / 0-)

    Maybe in some absolute sense.

    But did you really not see a pro-corporate head being installed?

    Wow, Independents put down the centrist Blue Dogs, and somehow liberals are to blame?

    by Ezekial 23 20 on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 06:47:13 AM PST

  •  If true, this is another example of (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ScienceMom, davekro, laker, hardhatmama, beerh

    A. The bad advice Obama receives
    B. Obama's failure to grasp why progressives and moderates no longer trust him
    C. The absolute futility to expect real leadership out of this WH.
    D. The spinelessness we blamed on the senate, was actually due to the WH.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 06:55:16 AM PST

  •  I am betting that this talk.. (11+ / 0-)

    ...of Melissa Bean is just the usual fiddling with the Overton Window.

    One day, Progressives will learn to play that game: We will demand, DEMAND!,  that Michael Moore be made (let's say) Secretary of the Treasury. We will draw a line in the sand. We will talk about it like it's a done deal.  We will yell that any other nominee is, "dead on arrival!"

    That way Conservatives will breathe a sigh of relief as we magnanimously "settle for" Elizabeth Warren, "...in the interests of compromise and bipartisanship".

    One day, we'll learn....I hope.

    •  Nevertheless, I have sent an email (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ScienceMom, marina, hardhatmama

      to President Obama stating that the appointment of Elizabeth Bean to any consumer protection position is unacceptable to me and would signal my need to look for another candidate to support for the future.

      Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction -- Pascal

      by RJDixon74135 on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 07:12:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Overton Window reflects standard negotiating (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ManhattanMan, marina

      tactics of demanding the moon and stars and make concessions to walk away with the moon. Teapublicans understand this. Yet, how many times have we seen Dems make concessions even before negotiating begins and settle for a handful of beans? We quickly take what a majority of the American people want off the table quickly and make further concessions. Public option and ending tax cuts for rich are obvious examples.

      Instead, we seem to be the target of the Overton. Let's talk about reservations about Elizabeth Warren and toss out Bean as a trial balloon, then settle on someone far weaker than Warren and a hair better than Bean, shout victory, and expect us to clap.

      Be radical in your compassion.

      by DWG on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 07:18:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  All you need to do this is leftist talk radio (0+ / 0-)

      on about 600 AM radio stations, 24/7/365.

      Keep drilling the points home.

      But that ain't EVER going to happen.

      PS: those people you call 'conservatives', aren't.

      The rest of the planet looks on in horror as US descends into another fresh round of Insani-Tea.

      by shpilk on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 08:32:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Unfortunaely, the only thing Dems do (0+ / 0-)

      with the Overton's Window is help sliding it to the right.  You see this opens the window for them to receive 'more and better' corporate money!  "Middle right" nation.... nice help with THAT marketing campaign, Dems (read asshats)!

      I used to have hope. Now I just see most conservative Dem's audacity in maintaining the corporate status quo.

      by davekro on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 09:42:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sadly... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bigchin, DWG, Fossil, laker

    ... I could see it happening.  Ever since the earliest appointments of Rahm Emanuel, Ken Salazar and the like, it's been all too clear what kind of people Obama tends to appoint.

    Sadly.

    That said, I like the idea of Elizabeth Warren running against Scott Brown for the Senate.

    exmearden: Grab every minute of joy you can. 8/30/09

    by Land of Enchantment on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 07:02:02 AM PST

  •  Melissa Bean is the pits (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tasini, bigchin, DWG, Fossil, laker

    He voting record on economic issues is horrible.  It would be like having the fox guarding the hen house.  I can't believe, even in this tone deaf administration, that this talk is serious.

    "I've never believed that government's role is to create jobs . . . So this week, I've proposed a six year infrastructure plan."

    by Paleo on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 07:10:25 AM PST

    •  That was my take, Paleo (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bigchin, Fossil

      I found it hard to believe. But, as I wonder, is this Emanuel's hand here? That may be a reach but, of all the people, how does her name get into the mix? You could chose a whole lot of other people of the defeated Democrats to choose from--certainly not progressives but mainstream Dems the White House (if not progressives) could like. Bean?

  •  UGH (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, davekro

    I live and vote in he district - IL 8.

    I voted, and many others voted against her because of her corporatist shilling.  I went with Green Part, and in the primary I voted for an independent that shy has manipulated off the ballot two terms running by challenging his signatures.  I volunteered to go around and help him collect an overabundance next time so that even that challenge would be a waste of time.

    That makes so much sense she loses an election because of her corporatist policies and then the Obama administration puts her in charge of corporate oversight.

    Wow!

  •  Does the Suggestion Come From a Credible Source? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tasini, bigchin

    Not to deny that it's obviously plausible.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 07:23:46 AM PST

    •  to the extent anything is credible... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bigchin

      It's a buzz out there in several spots I saw. I don't know what one considers "credible" but to me it's something that needs to be looked at. It may be true that this a ruse, as some have suggested, to get someone else slipped through. But, I can see the thinking: smaller margin in the Senate, appoint someone who is palatable to Republicans and enough Dems to get it done. It's "bi-partisanship" after all.

    •  The Original Published Source was Politico (0+ / 0-)

      And they referred to it as "Buzz," which means whatever their source was, it was weak enough that they weren't even willing to put "Anonymous source" on it (which is really saying something... 'Anonymous Source' might as well be their tagline).

      Dear Wall Street: If you want to stop feeling like a piñata, stop stuffing yourself with our f#@$ing candy.

      by TooFolkGR on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 07:57:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wait to hear from Warren (0+ / 0-)

    If Elizabeth Warren endorses her, that's fine with me.

    Warren doesn't want the job, and she will be a much better advocate if she's on the outside rather than the inside.  Let's not forget, Warren was Republican (maybe still is).  It's very hard to tell what a person in a swing district really is like.  I can't imagine Warren wouldn't say anything if she didn't approve.

    •  Unlike Bean (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ManhattanMan

      Warren has the inclination and voice to protect the interests of ordinary people.  Not so Bean, who has demonstrated the opposite.

      Distrust of authority should be the first civic duty. - Norman Douglas

      by Fossil on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 07:34:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I Think It's More Appropriate to Say (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pollwatcher

      "Wait to hear it from anywhere," which I really haven't yet.  It could just be that someone somewhere in Washington said, 'Well what about Melissa Bean if she loses her election?'  That's all it would take to get to the level of credibility it is now.

      Dear Wall Street: If you want to stop feeling like a piñata, stop stuffing yourself with our f#@$ing candy.

      by TooFolkGR on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 07:59:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Warren was interviewed by Rachel the day after (0+ / 0-)

      I read about this Politico 'buzz' on FDL.  I was praying she asked Warren about this 'rumor' and her thoughts of a corpra-dem heading the CFPB.  SADLY, crickets!  no question.  I was very disappointed.  

      I used to have hope. Now I just see most conservative Dem's audacity in maintaining the corporate status quo.

      by davekro on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 09:54:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, what I'd love for Warren to do is come (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pollwatcher

        out with HER shortlist of recommended people to head the CFPB!

        That seems to me to be a very good avenue to pursue!
        "Hey Elizabeth.  Who do you think would BEST serve the american people as head of the CFPB?"  Do NOT ask who is a 'good fit', would be a 'good' choice, we could 'reasonably expect' (fuckin' BS)  to be appointed and all the other BS qualifying ways it could be asked!

        I used to have hope. Now I just see most conservative Dem's audacity in maintaining the corporate status quo.

        by davekro on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 10:00:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Another person not to be trusted. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davekro

    And, while she displaced Crane - a mideaval mind if there ever was one - Bean is an opportunist, a repub running as a Democrat.  The Chicago area is rife with that type of person.

    But, should she be appointed, then it will be another failure of good governance demonstrated by Obama.  And the apologists will be out in force to excuse why this needs to be taken positively.

    Distrust of authority should be the first civic duty. - Norman Douglas

    by Fossil on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 07:31:20 AM PST

  •  We are screwed (0+ / 0-)

    I knew it all along. Warren told too many inconvenient truths. That is why she was not nominated. She knew it.

    No surprises here.

  •  "Justice" has already been done to Mozilo (0+ / 0-)

    He got slapped with a $67 million fine by the SEC and was forbidden from running a financial company ever again.

    Never mind that Mozilo's net worth was $600 million and that Bank of America is paying $45 million of that fine. In other words, Mozilo only has to pay $22 million. And because he's 71 years old, he can take the remaining $578 million and ride off into retirement.

    In other words, he just got a tap on the wrist.

  •  she lost my vote when she crowed about being (0+ / 0-)

    one of 22 dems who sent a letter to Obama asking that he extend the tax cuts for everyone.  She has been a corporate shill and republican in dem clothing from the start.  Good riddance!  And if Obama appoints her to anything, it will be another completely tone deaf move from the WH.

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